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Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In the myths, legends, and folklore of many peoples, the returning, physical dead play a significant role, whether they are the zombies of Haiti or the draugr of Scandinavia. But what are the origins of an actual bodily return from the grave? Does it come from something deep within our psyche, or is there some truth to it?

In Zombies, Bob Curran explores how some of these
Paperback, 220 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by New Page Books
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Icy Sedgwick
I'll warn you in advance the sub-title of the book is something of a misnomer. A "field guide to the walking dead" would imply some sort of encyclopedia of zombies, whereas the book is more of a discussion of differing forms of the walking dead throughout history. Medieval folklore sits alongside Far Eastern mythology, while a whole section is devoted to Biblical examples of the dead rising from their graves. In addition, Curran seems less concerned with zombies and more interested in the differ ...more
Doug Lewis
I gave this book one star because everything about the title is a misnomer.

There is very little "zombie" about this book, and even less "field guide"

While it is somewhat well researched - it is simply that. A research paper. Basically, a really long essay about the history of folklore surrounding resurrection myths. NOT zombies as we know them. In fact, the "zombies" we all know and love are summed up in about a page and a half that mentions george romero and his movies ... and kind of messes th
Patrick D'Orazio
Dr. Bob Curran presents an eminently readable, indepth, and fascinating tome on the history of the walking dead. The title of this book is "Zombies" but to limit it to that specific term and its origins also limits the impact of this comprehensive history of many cultures perception of the corporeal forms of the undead that have come back for varied reasons, both fair and foul, since nearly the dawn of time.
This book does explore the origin of the classic Haiti zombie but goes much deeper than
Bob Curran gives you a crash-course in mythology related to the dead returning from the grave, either as the undead or back to life -- including a certain Mr. Christ. And he gives an overview of ye olde graverobbers, from the days when surgery students had to buy corpses from disreputable cads. All of this is supposed to inform and underlie the modern zombie archtype -- the flesh-eating corpse returned from the grave.

And yet, it doesn't.

Don't get me wrong, the book was interesting enough and I e
For starters, I think it's a misleading title. For a "field guide" I expected one of those humorous writings on how to fight off zombies and win the apocalypse. However, this turned out to be simply a world history on how zombie stories have come about. While this was not what I was expecting, it was fascinating and I learned a lot! But, I only gave it three stars because of the writing and grammar (the author apparently has never heard of the word "whom" and there were other typos as well), and ...more
Ross Bussell
I didn't really research this book before I picked it up from the local public library. I just added it to my list because it said "Zombies" in the title, and started reading.

At first, it was somewhat interesting, hearing about the actual historical folklore surrounding zombie stories. But then this book basically repeated the same information over and over again.

It read very much like a poorly written textbook about zombie folklore, which is actually what it was. I can't honestly say I enjoyed
Jenny B.
I found this book very interesting. The author's thorough research in diverse cultural beliefs in the dead rising (from various voodoo practices to the Baltic strigoi) was magnificent. Some of the accounts including actual historical individuals were very intriguing. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history, cultural superstitions, and indeed, the walking dead.
Good book. Once again this author is more of a gateway into folk lore, giving an average depth look into the zombie folklore from around the world. However, some of the things in this book are indeed incredable and it was alot of fun reading it.
Once again the art was also amazing!

The publishing company isnt that great though. There were something like fifty typeos.
I only read some of it, and it was very informative, but some of the religous stuff I didnt agree with the author.
Nessa Stubblefield
It had a few interesting facts, but mostly, it was a bunch of common since things for us zombie fans.
A little gem of a book, interesting and unnerving in places. Answered a lot of questions for me.
Danielle Barclay
Great reference book with interesting illustrations!
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BOB CURRAN is an educational psychologist in Coleraine University. His interests are broad-ranging but are focused especially on history and story. He has written several books, including The Field Guide to Irish Fairies, The Wolfhound Guide to the Shamrock, Creatures of Celtic Myth, The Truth about the Leprechaun.
More about Bob Curran...
Encyclopedia of the Undead: A Field Guide to Creatures That Cannot Rest in Peace Vampires: A Field Guide to the Creatures That Stalk the Night Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts A Field Guide to Irish Fairies Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms: Sunken Continents, Vanished Cities, and the Kingdoms That History Misplaced

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