The Zombie Survival Guide

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The Zombie Survival Guide  
The cover to The Zombie Survival Guide
Author Max Brooks
Cover artist Max Werner
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Zombies
Genre(s) Humour[1], Horror, Informative
Publisher Three Rivers Press
Publication date September 16, 2003
Media type print (paperback), ebook
Pages 272
ISBN 1400049628
OCLC 51251720

The Zombie Survival Guide, published in 2003, is a tongue-in-cheek survival manual dealing with the potentiality of a zombie attack. Its author, Max Brooks, lays out detailed plans for the average citizen to survive zombie uprisings of varying intensity and reach.


[edit] Contents

The book is divided into six separate chapters, a fictional list of attacks throughout history and an appendix.

The first chapter is entitled The Undead: Myths and Realities. It lays down the specific ground rules that are referenced repeatedly in the book. The first of these describes "Solanum", the fictional virus that creates a zombie, along with details on how it is spread (such as through an open wound, when coming in contact with infected blood or saliva), and treatment of the infected (suicide or amputation). The middle of this chapter explains the abilities and behavioral patterns of the Undead and the differences between "voodoo" zombies and zombies created by "Solanum". The end of the chapter discusses the levels of zombie outbreaks and how severe of a threat each is to mankind.

The second chapter, Weapons and Combat Techniques, discusses the weapons at the average reader's disposal and weighs them against the various threats that may be faced during confrontations with the undead. The book recommends the M1 carbine and a machete, as portrayed on the cover of the book.

The third chapter, On the Defense, focuses on how to turn residential or public building into a base. It discusses the pros and cons for each different type of building, what supplies to gather, where to find a new shelter and maintain a new one should it ever be over-run.

The fourth chapter, On the Run, discusses the rules and necessities of traveling through zombie-infested territory. It also discusses types of terrain and the pros and cons of different types of transportation.

While all previous chapters emphasize avoiding zombies at all costs, chapter five, On the Attack, however specifically deals with engaging ghouls to ensure their destruction. It discusses the proper strategies and tools to eradicate zombies from an area.

The sixth chapter, "Living in an Undead World" looks at survival during a doomsday scenario that would see zombies becoming the dominant species on Earth. Advice in this section is adapted from previous sections by referring to a more serious Class-4 outbreak (previous chapters discussed a less widespread Class-3 outbreak). Brooks explains the separate chapter is only useful in the case of a nearly-impossible outbreak, and primarily focuses on creating a new civilization as far away from current civilizations as possible.

The guide concludes with a fictional list of documented zombie encounters throughout history. The oldest entry is 60,000 BC, in Katanga, Central Africa, although the author expresses doubt to its validity. Instead, he presents evidence from 3,000 BC in Hieraconpolis, Egypt as the first verifiable instance of a zombie outbreak. The most recent entry is 2002, in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Appendix takes the form of a sample "Outbreak Journal", with the author noting a covered-up zombie outbreak being seen on the local news and the preparation steps he takes in the event that the outbreak worsens. The following pages are blank entries, for the reader to use as a basis for their own journal; their inclusion furthers the overall feel that the book is a survival guide to a life-threatening possibility.

[edit] Solanum

The guide attributes the zombie outbreaks to the fictional virus "Solanum". The disease was first recorded by Jan Vanderhaven while traveling through South America. He describes those infected with the disease as bearing festering sores, mottled skin, and decomposing flesh. He said victims show no rational thought or recognition of anything previously familiar to the victim. They neither sleep nor drink water, and reject all food apart from living prey. The infected will attempt to eat all living human prey that it observes. Vanderhaven describes seeing a hospital orderly throw a live rat at an infected individual, who then consumed the rat whole.

Solanum is described as working by traveling through the bloodstream from the point of entry to the brain, where the virus replicates in the cells of the frontal lobe, thus turning the frontal lobe into an entirely new organ that does not need food, water, or even air to survive; it can be described as a completely self-sufficient organism.

Their one and only goal after being infected will be to find and devour other individuals. With the blood to its brain gone the ghoul is basically brain dead, making it rely only on its lowest and most basic needs such as food. The only way to stop this is to destroy the brain or remove the head. Note that if the zombie is decapitated, the head still remains a threat.

The symptoms occur in the following order. The timeline may be several hours off, depending on the number and location of the bites, and the size and resilience of the victim.

Hour 1- Pain and discoloration of the infected area. Immediate clotting of the wound.

Hour 5- Fever between 99 °F. and 103 °F. Chills, slight dementia, vomiting, and acute pain in the joints.

Hour 8- Numbing of extremities and infected area, increased fever from 103 °F to 106 °F. Increased dementia and loss of muscular coordination.

Hour 11- Paralysis in the lower body, overall numbness, and slowed heart rate.

Hour 16- Coma.

Hour 20- Cardiac arrest and cessation of brain activity.

Hour 23- Reanimation.

Solanum is extremely contagious and 100% fatal. Physical contact with infected blood or saliva always results in infection. Ingestion of infected flesh results in permanent death unless the victim has open mouth sores. Solanum is fatal to all living organisms, though humans are the only organisms that will reanimate. Parasitic insects, such as mosquitoes, reject infected hosts 100% of the time. All animals will instinctively run, swim or fly away from zombies.

[edit] Comic

Random House will be publishing a comic based on the The Zombie Survival Guide to be written by Brooks. It will be titled The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks and will be released on June 2, 2009.[2][3] Brazilian artist Ibraim Roberson is drawing the book.[4]

[edit] Literary significance and reception

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, said The Zombie Survival Guide was "extremely funny and well done."[5]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide". Random House. Retrieved on 2009-02-15. 
  2. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks". Random House. Retrieved on 2008-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Recorded Attacks video". Random House. Retrieved on 2008-09-17. 
  4. ^ Langley, Nick. (November, 2008). Max Brooks, Mao Tse Tung, and the Mystery of the Missing Snapple. Retrieved March 15, 2009 from Rocket Llama World Headquarters:
  5. ^ Grossman, Lev (April 2, 2009). "Pride and Prejudice, Now with Zombies!". Time.,8599,1889075,00.html. Retrieved on 2009-04-08. 

[edit] External links

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