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on 20 April 2007
Beautifully blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction, this book is an absolute must. I say this because I could barely bring myself to put it down for the entire time I was reading it.

Reinventing the zombie origins, Brooks ascribes the cause of the 'undead plague' to a virulent virus named Solanum, which attacks the brain and allows it to keep functioning even after the organs have shut down and the body begins to decompose. Feeling no pain, and having no awareness of the world around them except for the food on offer, Brooks' zombies are a modern evolution of the zombies on display in Romero's 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead.

Brooks breaks down all the elements that you'll need to survive should a zombie outbreak occur near you. Covering how to stock your house in case of attack, defending it should it become your besieged fortress, going on the run if it all goes wrong, to going on the offensive to take out the undead, he's incredibly thorough about everything from weapons to transport, locations and worse-case scenarios. He even includes a section on how you can survive in the face of a full-scale Zombie Apocalypse. Ray Mears would be proud.

At the end of the book, Brooks points to apparent 'historical' occurrences of zombie outbreaks as a way of showing how the growing threat is being covered up or mishandled. It's testament to his skill as a writer that you can almost believe that they're completely true.

It's an unlikely premise but at least having read this book, you can feel confident that you'll know what to do if the dead ever begin to rise. After all, as the good books says - use your head, and cut off theirs.
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on 6 December 2012
The Zombie Survival Guide is a superb, highly detailed book about surviving a Zombie outbreak which is not a matter 'if', just 'when'. It is an entertaining and methodically researched book leaving you with all the knowledge and tools to survive an outbreak when it happens!

Nicely blurring the lines between 'potential' fact and fiction, you'll end up racing through the book wanting to know more. It's a lot of fun and a real page turner.

For those of us that enjoy a more serious and detailed 'geeky' approach to our fiction, this really hits the nail on the head and does make you consider your options!

A fun, entertaining and well thought out book, which I highly recommend.
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on 30 March 2011
This book was written before World War Z so I have been able to compare things on both books in inverse order (I've readed first WWZ).

This book tries to be a "serious" guide to defend yourself from zombies. As simple as it sounds :D

It is sometimes funny, and has a bit of black humour on it, but mostly tries to be as serious and applied as possible.

It gives all sort of advices, from how to defend your home to how to establish a contingency plan, how to "attack" and raid zombie-infested zones, tactics, and some historical zombie attacks (backgrounds for the supposed guide ;)

So basically we can say the book is 85% a manual of "how to live fighting zombies on a daily basis" and 15% a collection of zombie short-stories themed in the past.

The guide is really well documented, so much that a movie director wanting to do a zombie movie could use this guide as a manual of "how to make a zombie movie". Some tactis explained are funny but clever ones.

Some of the stories are really well thought and even scarier than the future depicted in World War Z (the one of the slaves ship is my favourite), and look like the seed that Brooks planted for WWZ (or maybe was a "playground" to see how well could he tell small zombie tales?).

If you enjoyed World War Z, or just like zombie movies, go grab this book before the apocalypse comes!
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on 8 July 2009
A very comprehensive book which manages to fit in all the relevant information you may require (when, not if, zombies rise up and plague the land) without being too lengthy or tedious.

I easily became engrossed in the subject of the book, as it was written in a very digestable manner and found myself thinking about remote locations I could flee to and defend when the inevitable happens. My wife has asked why I have suddenly sharpened all the gardening tools and have a cupboard full of corned beef tins. They were cheap dear, and you never know.

I keep meaning to independantly research all the outbreaks he has chronologically detailed towards the end of the book as a way of staying in touch with reality. Then again, I might be disappointed to find out that they never happened and are just a product of the author's fertile imagination. Perhaps I'll never know, and should keep one eye on the slate roofed sheep hut I know of far from any paths in the Lake District.

Well worth a read for any Zombie fans, and I would also recommend it as an interesting twist on the apocolyptal-survivalist theme.
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on 20 January 2011
Ever wondered what you would do if Zombies began to run (or walk slowly) outside your window?, would you wait for the government to help?,would you assemble a rag tag team of like minded people and kick some zombie butt? Or just accept the zombies for what they are and let them take over the world with the risk you could end up being food for them''?, all of these questions and more are covered by Max Brooks in 'The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead'. Following the creation of the virus of Solanum which can be pass to anyone through an open wound, or when coming in contact with someone who has infected blood or saliva, zombies are a part of life, how do you survive? Max Brooks is about to tell you how.

What I thought of 'The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead' ~

I enjoyed reading this book for numerous reasons, it had zombies in it and it was shown in a funny, clear, concise and meticulous manner, and it was well researched, I admit though to skipping some parts, particularly the part on dealing with zombies who are underwater, I am scared of the water and having a zombie in the water, well it can stay there, I am not going after it.

Buy a copy, read it and learn from it because you never know when zombies might appear.
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on 9 February 2016
Zombies should be of interest to anyone studying survival: activists, preppers, even the military uses the concept in some of its training exercises. The idea is that a zombie outbreak is a metaphor for all kinds of simultaneous disaster or upheaval: aggressive violence, biological warfare or pandemic, natural disaster or social breakdown. Actually, all of them at once. If you train for zombies, you can survive anything.

That's why I was so disappointed with this book. Instead of a serious survival manual, it's a piece of fiction. Instead of discussing and explaining actual survival skills, it compares the benefits of machetes vs assault rifles in capping the fictional undead. This book is a novelty, nothing more.

In a way, that's exactly what you can expect from a book with this kind of title. I shouldn't really have been surprised. But given some of the other reviewers, and the reputation for realism that Max Brooks has gained since its release, I managed to get the impression that this book actually had something to teach.
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on 26 December 2007
I've always been interested in zombies for some reason ever since watching the newer Dawn of the Dead (according to this book those zombies are completely unrealistic, and the zombies in the old Dawn of the Dead are much more accurate). So I saw this book and purchased it. I have read this book several times over now, and I never lose interest in it. The way it's written makes you think there is a 100% genuine chance that your neighbours are going to shuffle up the drive, wailing as they go. The book describes so many different aspects of zombie survival, including the behaviour of a true zombie, ways of turning a home in to a mini fortress and even goes into great detail on each different type of gun, and how effective it is against your undead foe. Whenever I walk around my house now, I subconsciouly check that the residents of my street are not undead (which is particularly hard because most of them are 80+). Sad, I know, but that's what this book does to you.

It actually made me double check I knew where the key to the cupboard where I keep my shotgun and cartridges was.

I'd recomend this book to anyone, whether they're interested in zombies or not.
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on 30 December 2005
Like many others, Horror is my favourite Genre of not only films but books. The type of Horror I like is the idea of Zombies - the dead rising from the grave to wreak havoc and feasting on the flesh of the ignorant humans populating the earth - and soon the earth is theirs. Max Brooks aims to educate the reader with how to handle a Zombie pandemic and protect themselves from these blood curdling ghouls. The book itself states that ''it is a book that could save your life'' and it sets itself out to do so. The writer does not give any hints that any of this is 'make believe' and merely satirical which we know it is and gives the impression he is being 'deadly' serious and this is what makes this book so effective. From teaching us of the deadly virus Solanum to zombie attributes, to weapons and clothing and to zombie outbreaks in history- IT HAS THE LOT!
This companion is a MUST for any self confessed Zombie lover or avid horror fan. Max Brooks has indeed created a MONSTER!
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on 18 December 2010
What can I say? This book is amazing. As I have an unhealthy obsession with Zombies anyway this book is perfect in every way.

With Chapters such as 'Myths and Realities' which expels classic myths and puts them into perspective into the real world right up to 'Weapons and Combat Techniques' which prepares you for real world solutions and your call at arms to the undead infestation. This book gives you confidence where you thought there was no hope.

No longer will I fear for my life when roaming the deserted streets wondering if there is a zombie waiting round the next corner. I can now walk around, fully equipped and safe in the knowledge that I am prepared for ANY situation that occurs.

Zombie hordes beware!!!
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on 7 July 2015
Brilliant book took me two days to read as I couldn't put it down even when I was at work, gives genuine ideas and strategies for the coming zombie apocalypse. Even in the event that it doesn't come (Boo) if you're 'preper' this is the book for you
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