Sunday, October 2, 2011

The 31 Days of Halloween: Day 2

Halloween is the best time of the year. It's a wonderfully indulgent time, where your inner ghoul is given societal license to be put on display. To celebrate it to it's wicked fullest, the Midnight Cheese will be posting every day in October with excellent ways to enjoy the season. Whether it's horror films, video games, books or activities, check back every day for some new Halloween fun.

Book: The Zombie Survival Guide

By Max Brooks

This book lives right next to my official U.S. Army Survival Manual in my library. It's that important. There's an interesting and quite telling story about the placement of this book at retailers, which I'd heard years ago: Max Brooks (son of Mel) heard the booksellers placed his work in the comedy sections of their stores. He immediately contacted his publisher and demanded it be moved to the self help/non-fiction section, as surviving the zombie apocalypse is no laughing matter. I love this guy.

True to his stance in this story, Brooks considers everything from a realistic point of view. What weapons are best due to ease of use, availability and durability, what mode of transportation should you use (noise attracts the undead and cars require fuel), even where you should flee to depending on what size classification of outbreak you are stuck in. It's all here, all of those nerd-case-scenarios that you and your friends discuss ad nauseam, here and scientifically dissected for reliability and survivability.

Brooks came to the idea of writing this guide after touring colleges as a public speaker, with real weapons as examples. And his book even follows the expected guide formula. There is an outbreak journal in the back, where you can record all the historically important details for posterity, in case you don't make it (you probably won't). There's also a fantastic appendix which details all suspected recorded outbreaks throughout history. As you might have expected, a Roman Legion had the most success in putting down a larger scale outbreak, due to their extreme regimental training and tactics. You'll see this again if you read his followup book World War Z. In it, the most effective tactic for armies is to form into outward facing squares, with replacements behind for breaks.

With Halloween being the most likely time for the dead to walk the earth, I figured you deserved a chance to live. Pick this up, zombie hunters, and live to fight another day.


  1. You know, I have this book, but I haven't read it yet. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year.

    When the zombie apocalypse comes, they'll find my rotting corpse clutching it with the book open to the introduction chapter.

  2. Well, Scott, you aren't dead yet-so there's still time!