Monday, March 29, 2004

Book of the Month

The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks.

I'm a huge nerd. And one of the things that makes me a big nerd is that I love all things post-apocalyptic. Planet of the Apes. Logan's Run. Mad Max. Omega Man. Yes, even Waterworld. And these are just movies that I think most people have heard of.

The Zombie Survival Guide does not exactly fit into this genre, but a work of true genius often defies categorization. Is it humor? Is it horror? Is it a survival manual? Quite simply, it is The Zombie Survival Guide-- everything you would expect from the title. It's a book about how to survive in a world where the dead rise and want to eat you. It contains every scrap of information that could benefit you in such a situation. If every book so completely and perfectly delivered what is promised by the title, this world would be a better place.

Allow me to share a favorite passage from the fifth chapter, "On the Attack," from the section entitled, "General Rules."

14. Incendiary control: When using fire, make sure you keep in mind the larger implications. Can you control the blaze? If not, the fire will endanger your whole group. Is the zombie threat serious enough to warrant destroying large amounts of personal property? The answer may seem obvious, but why burn down half a town to kill three zombies that could be destroyed by rifle fire?

And this from the fourth chaper, "On the Run," from the section entitled, "Vehicles."

B. The bicycle. ... The common bicycle is fast, quiet, muscle-powered, and easy to maintain. Add to this the additional advantage that it is the only vehicle you can pick up and carry if the terrain gets too rough. People using bicycles to escape from infested areas have almost always fared better than those on foot. For optimum performance, use a mountain bike, as opposed to the racing or recreational model. Don't let your speed and mobility go to your head, however. Wear standard safety gear and choose caution over speed. The last thing you want is to end up in a ditch, legs broken, bike trashed, with the shuffling of undead feet growing louder with each step.

There is so much more I want to share. I would copy this whole thing down verbatim, right here on the blog. But perhaps it's just better for me to say this is the best book I have read in at least a year. Go buy it.


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