This book starts off amusing. I bought this book because a friend mentioned it once. I had no idea what to expect.
After reading the first few pages, I was amused. I thought it was funny how the author was taking it so seriously - after all, it's zombies!
Then I read a bit more, and I thought hmm this is kind of a bit boring now, because it's obviously not written (directly) as a humorous book. I read a few more pages and put it down, but within an hour I was back reading it again. Eventually I simply couldn't put it down.
As soon as you mentally make the jump from realising this isn't a (directly) humorous book, to this is a very insightful and fascinating book, both chilling and at the same time exciting, you'll find compared to normal fiction it offers a unique feeling of intrigue, awe and fear. Sure, zombies are slow and easy to kill, but one nibble and you're a gonna.
Once I had finished the book, I (regrettably) gave it to a friend, after animatedly telling them some of the fascinating and unprecidented facts about defense against the living dead. I couldn't stop talking about it!
I am tempted to buy this book again because it's a great book to go back to and re-read sections of. I also bought world war Z after this, which is almost equally good reading (I'd say this book is slightly more interesting though).
This book is not a horror book. It is a practical and logical step by step guide to survival. If you like to think and analyse dangerous situations, this book is for you. If you like to be surprised and intrigued by some of the ingenious methods of survival, this book is for you. If you like zombies, this book is for you. If the thought of 'what if zombies were real, what would we do?' sounds even vaguely interesting, this book is for you.
Buy it. It's not expensive. It will provide you with plenty of entertainment.
To address the issues of some other reviewers:
I didn't find the author to repeat himself any more than was necessary. Each chapter was clearly defined and I didn't find myself skimming through later chapters to skip things that had already been mentioned.
The fact that the stories at the end of the book were believable is testament to the author's ability as a writer to predict human behaviour to the point of making his writings completely belivable. This is also apparently in World War Z, which develops the stories further.
I wouldn't say this book is a waste of money. It entertained me for many hours, and what I took away from it entertained me for many more. Afterwards I read it I often found myself thinking about it, as well as mentioning it to friends. Rare for any fiction book.
The back part of the book is apparently the best. While I have no comment about whether it's true or not, I read that peoples sheer enjoyment of that section is apparently what spawned the other book, world war Z.
I agree that this book could have been taken with irony. I was expecting it and as I wrote above, when I found it slightly boring when it didn't appear. As soon as you take the book for what it is, you can quickly begin enjoying it again.