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The Zombie Survival Guide

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  86,841 Ratings  ·  3,546 Reviews
The Zombie Survival Guide, written by American author Max Brooks and published in 2003, is a survival manual dealing with the fictional potentiality of a zombie attack. It contains detailed plans for the average citizen to survive zombie uprisings of varying intensity and reach, and describes "cases" of zombie outbreaks in history, including an interpretation of Roanoke Co ...more
272 pages
Published September 16th 2003 by Three Rivers Press
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Popular Answered Questions

Lubo I disagree. A zombie is still a creature with a human physiology, so it would suffer from the same ailments the human had when living. The zombie…moreI disagree. A zombie is still a creature with a human physiology, so it would suffer from the same ailments the human had when living. The zombie still uses nerve signals to move muscles, so if these were damaged before the death and reanimation, then the zombie would be paralyzed as well. The "zombification" does not heal previous wounds and create some sort of superhuman creture, it just alters the structure of the brain. The book is full of examples of decapitated heads still moving and what not, which directly answers your question.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My love for this book is a result of my lack of social skills. Much as I might try to generate conversation with strangers (and, occasionally, among friends) I usually just end up rambling awkwardly until uneasy silence takes over. So, at some point, I started employing zombies. As conversation topics, not servants. Though that would be cool.

"What would we do if we were attacked by zombies right now?" is an excellent way to get to know someone. Their willingness to participate in this line of th
Kat Kennedy
This book is only really for those hardcore zombie enthusiasts.

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Your home should look like this

Unless you really, REALLY just love all things zombie, don't bother picking up this book.

I thought I loved zombies enough. I really did. Turns out I just don't cut the mustard.

This book is a detailed expose on Zombie anatomy, zombie weapons and zombie survival strategy.

My favourite part of zombie books, the part where people become zombie numnums, is unfortunately missing. And that's the th
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The post-apocalyptically curious, horror buffs, those just being introduced to zombies
"Yes Brooks, but what about?" is what I often found myself asking while perusing the Zombie Survival Guide. It's clear it is meant to be humorous. I first went looking for it in non-fiction, and was disappointed to find it in the Humor section. I spared the Barnes and Noble employee a lecture on the dangers of being woefully unprepared for the coming Zombiepocalypse. Brooks went to some trouble to make it appear as if he put plenty of thought and research into this, and that helps make the tongu ...more
Jon Carroll  Thomas
Max Brooks is a crazy man.

On the surface, this book functions as humor. What to do when zombies take over, that's fun, right?

What becomes obvious once you start reading it is that Brooks spent a lot of time thinking very seriously about this. And that's funny too. Part of what makes this book great is how humorless it is, even though you will find it in the humor section at the book store.

The more you read, the more you realize that Brooks has a very specific agenda in mind. He doesn't waste ti
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombie zombies. Fans of the Boy Scout Manual.
It's a funny coincidence that I'm probably going to get killed by an angry, mindless mob for saying this, but allow me to be the only one with the guts to say that The Zombie Survival Guide is hugely overrated. As others have suggested, the angle is supposed to be that this is a fact-based, real-world take on what to do when the dead finally rise, but Brooks breaks out the "science still can't explain" card way too often for his premise to really work. Which is problematic because while the cent ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
You ever find yourself thinking what you would do if a zombie suddenly came up the hill in front of you. Would you run and try to tell the world? Would you think its already too late and fend for yourself? Would you just go take care of the ghoul yourself?

These are the questions I kept asking myself, especially while listening to The Zombie Survival Guide late at night while driving up the hill to my apartment. Not a good idea if you don't want to really creep yourself out.

I figured zombies woul
Anzu The Great Destroyer
*updated 01 Nov 2011*

raaar GGRRR UURRRG roooorrr RAAAAAAAR uurrg OOOOOR oooor ggrrrr RAAAAR GGRRR oor UUUGGG uugg aahhhhh!!!

Yes! I’m mastering the zombie language! If you don’t know what that means you’re in deep sh*t. You might want to get some books and start learning a few things..

Every person on the planet should own this book; you can never know when the next attack is going to be.

To do list:
• buy a machete
• buy an M1 Carbine
• buy leather suit
• cut hair short
• buy supplies
• buy a dirtbike o
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those unprepared for the zombie menace.
I started this book because I read World War Z and enjoyed it, for some value of enjoyed which also includes being seriously freaked out. This book further cemented my freaked-outedness. I now recognise that my home is inadequate protection against the zombie menace, that not only do I not have any sort of weapon handy which could decapitate without putting me in harm's way but even if I did I would have no skills to use it, and that I am not fully prepared for even a level-1 situation were it t ...more
Hippo dari Hongkong
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombie Nuts and Leli a.k.a Layli :-p
Recommended to Hippo dari Hongkong by: Jendral Pantouw
Buku ini ternyata secara tak terduga sukses menyalip ditikungan si Becky yang lagi belanja dan petualangan William of Baskerville di sebuah biara Benediktian. Oke, ada yang udah nonton film2nya Leslie Nielsen? itu tuh, aki2 ubanan yang maen di film parodi Dracula, trilogi Naked Gun, Airplane, Scary Movie dll. Gayanya khas banget, dia ngelawak dengan gaya yang serius, seakan-akan dia tidak sadar kalo lagi ngelawak dan gak sadar kalo penonton tertawa terbahak-bahak. Nah seperti itulah Max Brooks m ...more
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You, if you want to live
If you’ve ever fantasized about being the last person on Earth, barricaded in some remote makeshift fortress against an unnamable evil that even now encroaches your perimeter … well, maybe you’re the kind of person that should keep this book on their nightstand.

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks (yes, son of Mel Brooks and Ann Bancroft) is strangely informative and darkly satirical. Brooks writes with his tongue planted so firmly in his check that he risks a nasty bruise. I hesitate to even
Oct 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book from the beginning, which is sad because I was so optimistic about the humor of it. The major problem is that the premises the author puts forth fall to pieces when given even the smallest amount of critical analysis. Why does the book hold a rating just under 4? Because too many fans can recognize an exciting concept, but can't see past that to the poor implementation. Yes, it's a zombie survival guide. Whoopdedoo. It's also boring as anything to read, needlessly filled ...more
Gloria Mundi
The End of The World. Predicted, feared and keenly awaited by certain elements throughout human history. But the Big Bad that will swiftly dispatch us all to hell in a handbasket remains hotly debated. Nuclear war, comets and asteroids, the sun going nova, God smiting us, the large hard-on collider creating a black whole etc. etc. are all potential causes. So why not zombies. You know it makes sense.

So, if you want to survive the rising of the eeeeevil dead, you need to follow the following simp
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
Actual rating : 4.5 stars

Really liked this book.
Great for fans of the walking dead.
I feel ready for a Zombie Apocalypse now haha.
3.0 to 3.5 stars. The premise behind this book is great and I really enjoyed the format of an actual "survival guide" for battling zombies. That said, I was probably going to give this book 3 stars except that the last 50 pages were able to secure the book a 4 star rating. These last 50+ pages were a series of "actual" historic accounts of zombie attacks dating back to 60,000 B.C.. These accounts were a ton of fun and showed the spark of brilliance that would make Max Brook's next book, World Wa ...more
Anna  (Bananas!)
I chuckled quite a bit, so this book gets a solid three stars. IF the zombie apocalypse ever does arrive, this baby is getting bumped to five stars on GR stat - that is, if the power hasn't gone out yet.

My issue with the book is that it's a funnier concept than an actual read, because he takes himself so seriously. Really, he goes into extreme DETAIL about all the ways to kill zombies, which weapons to use, where to hide, how to defend versus attack. It's like reading a manual sometimes - wait,
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, owned-books
hmmmm interesantno štivo.

Iz nekog razloga nisu mogli da nadju znak "stepena" pa su gurali nule svuda gde je bio potreban. Postoji u wordu opcija add symbol ako niste znali….

U svakom slucaju najzanimljiviji delovi knjige su bili poredjenje raznolikog uružja i deo o dokumentovanim napadima kroz istoriju.

jaka trojka s moje strane.
Mike (the Paladin)
Having learned how to survive a horror movie (see my review of that book for further details: I set out to arm myself against supernatural, unnatural, cursed, undead, and other threats.

This will be an invaluable resource in the case of Zombie infestation and plague (they [zombies that is] seem to be spreading from what I can tell). The whole "zombie plague" thing seems to have been unheard of before video games it seems to me. Now what with "World-War Z"
Rebecca T
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-in-2014, own
The Zombie Survival Guide reads like a non-fiction preparatory guide for an honest to god zombie invasion. It goes through absolutely everything you could think of; weapons, mode of transport, pre-planning, everything. And it does so in a way that is actually super interesting.

I tend to have trouble reading non-fiction books. It's hard for my attention to be captured and so often find my brain wandering off. However, as my most recent plot bunny involved a zombie apocalypse, this was an amazing
There seems to be some disagreement as to whether this is a humor or a horror book. It was marketed as the former, but I actually think it’s more effective as the latter. If it’s a humor book, it’s strictly one-note—survival guides expect you to be ridiculously over-prepared, haha! As a horror book—even keeping in mind its goofier moments—it really gets under your skin, makes you reassess your surroundings and your safety in ways, I think, few monster stories do.

It’s also interesting to look at
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, zombies
Half realistic survival guide (with a zombie twist), half fictional accounts of zombie outbreaks, this book is a mixed bag.

For someone already as paranoid as myself, it's fairly depressing to have it hammered home just how much in the way of resources you need to truly be prepared for the end of the world. Just bear that in mind before you pick this book up if you have a tendency to fret over whether or not your basement of canned food will be enough to see you through - it won't. The survival s
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Being that I believe there will, one day, be a zombie apocalypse, I find it pertinent to be informed and well-prepared. Reading this book gives you the sense that you will be. It also makes you paranoid as hell. You'll begin to realize that there is no one perfect way to avoid/exterminate the zombies--there are pros and cons to every hideout, weapon, and means of travel. The trick is finding your strengths (and those of the people who will be part of your "team") and choosing the options that wi ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually surprisingly good. I have read before but it was a few years ago when the zombie craze really started so I don't remember a lot of what was in it so I thought a refresher was in store. There is no tricks involved with this book. It is literally a complete guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse.

I would like to note something. Yes, this says a zombie survival guide but I think it would be used for other things like natural disasters or breakdowns of societies. In fact, I
Aug 21, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: lost-interest
Okay, so I'll be honest. I started reading this book. I got about 10 pages in. Most people would say, "Hey, thats not far enough to know if this book is good or not" but I disagree. In the first 10 pages, not only was I able to discover how completely contradicting this book was, but I was also able to realize how familiar this story was. In my opinion, it seems as though Max Brooks compaired the Zombie virus to the AIDS virus. The only difference being the name of the virus. I am in no way diss ...more
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who value their lives.
I must say that I feel better prepared for the inevitable zombie onslaught after having read this.

It's lucky for me that I live on the 3rd floor - I have not one but two sets of stairs to destroy should my exterior defenses be breached.

I would have given this manual 5 stars but for one thing: Several times, the author refers to zombies who have "traveled the ocean floor," etc. While it may be true that zombies don't need to breathe to continue existing, I am quite sure that the immense pressur
Rae  Walker
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Survival Nerds (and they do exist).
The Zombie Survival Guide is entirely based on the premise of 'Zombie attacks, both massive and individual, are highly plausable. Here is how you survive.'

This is a wonderful premise. It is a wonderful book. Because of this book, I feel that I have a better chance of surviving a zombie attack if/when it does occur.

If you want to be in my roving troupe of refugees then there will be some required reading and this book will be on the list. Also, don't think you can read this after the outbreak - I
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We've been having fun with this insomuch as zombies, apparently, don't jump. So future stuga visitors will be asked the question "do you, erm, play netball at all". If there is a failure to answer in the affirmative we will, as a family body, exit rather promptly.

It's rather fun to have 'Thriller' as low background noise during the Voodoo Zombie chapter. One good piece of advice is this ... heads that have been severed from their bodies can still bite one to death so get yourself an anti ghoul a
Rebecca McNutt
A lot of trendy stuff, a lot of which just seemed to be corresponding to The Walking Dead more than anything else. I think this book could have been better, but fans of the zombie sub-genre will likely enjoy it more than I did... I'm more of a slasher film and nostalgic old-school horror kind of person than a zombie apocalyptic person. :)
I am woefully underprepared for the zombie apocalypse. If you have a suitable fortress and/or roving group that I can join, please let me know. I can dress out game and make soap. You know you'll be wanting food and soap, right? Let's talk.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
I'm thoroughly prepared.
Kimberley doruyter
i can't take it seriously and even if i did it would only help if i lived in the us.
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this book of zombies 17 147 Feb 04, 2015 11:26AM  
BDCHS Advanced Re...: Fiction 1 4 Nov 12, 2014 10:39AM  
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Max Brooks is The New York Times bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. He has been called ”the Studs Terkel of zombie journalism.“

Brooks is the son of director Mel Brooks and the late actress Anne Bancroft. He is a 1994 graduate of Pitzer College. His wife, Michelle, is a screenwriter, and the couple have a son, Henry.
More about Max Brooks...

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“Use your head; cut off theirs.” 187 likes
“Often, a school is your best bet-perhaps not for education but certainly for protection from an undead attack.” 162 likes
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