ZOMBIE SURVIVAL MANUAL

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Written by Sean T. Page from the “Ministry of Zombies” in London, the Zombie Survival Manual informs us in its (not entirely serious) introduction that in a recent international survey, more than 63% of people believed that within the next ten years the world will face a zombie apocalypse and humanity will be overwhelmed. We all love a good, bad or even indifferent zombie movie and The Walking Dead is still on our ‘series link’, but the Zombie Survival Manual seriously tests our tolerance for all things undead and, despite running to just over a hundred lively, colourful pages, it’s a book best dipped into as its relentlessly simplistic lowbrow humour, however well-meant, can quickly get a bit wearing.

But if you genuinely are worried about the possibility of an outbreak of what the book calls “zombic behaviour” (and we’re not here to judge you) then Sean T. Page’s daft book is probably the one you’ll be wanting to get your hands on. It covers, with commendable enthusiasm if not searing wit, just about everything you could reasonably want to know about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, detailing the different types of zombie you might encounter, how best to dispatch them (the ‘head bash’ is still the best recommended technique) and all points in between and thereabouts. The science of zombiology is considered in some depth (we will admit to smirking at a description of ‘the four stages of transformation’ where we’re told that by stage three – clinical death – symptoms will include slow heart beat and the cessation of pulse and respiration and the observation that ‘Facebook activity will tail off.’) Sadly, most of the humour which characterises the book isn’t quite as sharp and you’re more likely to find yourself rolling your eyes and groaning like one of the undead at the thudding gags and clumsily-worded comedy which ooze through the pages like congealed blood.

The Zombie Survival Manual is nothing if not comprehensive, though. Page covers accounts of (alleged) historical zombie risings, how to become a survivalist, home preparation and defence, weapons and tactics and offers hope to the disabled and the aged with illustrations of a souped-up, machine-gun bedecked wheelchair and walking sticks and zimmer frames turned into handy anti-zombie implements. Poor taste? Yeah, very probably…

Achingly silly and utterly fatuous, the Zombie Survival Manual is a nicely-designed and illustrated volume but it’s not really sharp enough or funny enough to work as a comedy book and as a ‘survival’ guide it’s not really likely to come in especially handy. Books don’t come much more throwaway than this one but, after due consideration, we’ll probably just slip it onto our bookshelves out of harm’s way. You know, just in case…

ZOMBIE SURVIVAL MANUAL / AUTHOR: SEAN T. PAGE / ILLUSTRATOR: IAN MOORES / PUBLISHER: J H HAYNES & CO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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