I'm not afraid of zombies, but I do have a feeling of high anxiety about them. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't watch zombie films, even during the daytime, without going into a state of paranoia about the iminent zombie uprising.
Part of my anxiety comes from a legitimate (I feel) concern about a fast spreading viral pandemic. I think we kind of tune out just how many people there are in the world milling about to spread diseases around. The zombie craze feeds into this fear of the unstoppable virus that overwhelms vast populations in a short amount of time.
I had been eyeing this book on the store shelves for some time but didn't buy it because I told myself it was silly. But when Lisa gave it to me a few days ago I was actually releived to have it in my hands. At last I would know what to do when Z-day arrives! I knew pretty well what not to do from watching movies. Anything those guys did ended in disaster.
This book really helped dispell those lingering anxieties I'd had about the zombie invasion. Author Max Brooks' treatment of his undead subject is so clinical and matter of fact, you almost forget that the topic is quite grotesque. He demystifies the zombie myth, even going so far as to name the virus which causes zombification. This guy wrote a whole book about zombies and he isn't worried, so why should I be? It's a bit like when you were a kid and were scared of garden snakes until your dad got out the encyclopedia and made you read whole entry on garden snakes. Or maybe that was just my childhood. The point is that once you know all the details, whatever you were scared of isn't so frightening anymore.
Brooks' tips aren't all practical for immediate application, though. I won't be building a ten foot high concrete wall around my yard any time soon. That isn't a huge problem, though, because Brooks offers several options and scenarios for self defense against the living dead. He goes through weaponry, travel, home defense, and many other issues that may arise with the undead.
If you, like me, get uneasy on the topic of zombies and are the type to peek out the window to check for zombies in yard before letting the dogs out at night, then this book may help to relieve some fears. The textbook style of the book may be a turnoff for some readers. The book doesn't revel in its subject, but rather takes a distanced and decidedly unfunny perspective. You may want to flip through it first before making the purchase.