The Zombie Survival Guide

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The Zombie Survival Guide
The cover to The Zombie Survival Guide
AuthorMax Brooks
Cover artistMax Werner
CountryUnited States
GenreHumor,[1] Horror, Informative
PublisherThree Rivers Press
Publication date
September 16, 2003
Media typePrint (Paperback), Ebook
Followed byWorld War Z 

The Zombie Survival Guide is a humorous book by American author Max Brooks and published in 2003. It 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 Colony. The Zombie Survival Guide was also featured on The New York Times Best Seller's list.[2] Brooks' inspiration for The Zombie Survival Guide was his childhood interest in zombies, sparked by the first zombie movie he ever saw, circa age 10: Revenge of the Zombies (1943).[3]


The book is divided into six separate chapters, followed by a list of fictional attacks throughout history and an appendix. The first chapter, "The Undead: Myths and Realities", outlines Solanum, a fictional and incurable virus that creates a zombie, along with details on how it is spread (such as through an open wound, or contact with infected blood or saliva), and treatment of the infected (such as suicide or amputation of the injured limb, though the latter rarely works). The middle of this chapter explains the abilities and behavioral patterns of the undead, and the differences between "voodoo" zombies, movie zombies, and zombies created by Solanum.

In subsequent chapters, the book describes weapons and combat techniques, places of safety, and how to survive a zombie-infested world. In the section describing weapons, Brooks writes about the human body: "If cared for and trained properly, is the greatest weapon on earth".[4] The guide concludes with a fictional list of documented zombie encounters throughout history. The oldest entry is 60,000 BC, in Katanda, Central Africa, although the author expresses doubt about its validity. Instead, he presents evidence from 3,000 BC in Ancient Egypt as the first verifiable instance of a zombie outbreak. The most recent entry is 2002, in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of these encounters make reference to historical events, such as Roanoke Island.


This is a sample "outbreak journal": the author notes covered-up zombie outbreaks seen on the local news as well as the preparations he recommends in the event that the outbreak worsens. The following pages are blank entries, for the reader to use as a basis for his or her own notes on surviving zombies.

Card deck[edit]

Random House released a deck of flash cards containing the same information as the book. It was released on July 22, 2008.[5]


Random House published The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, a tie-in comic written by Brooks. This book illustrates some of the recorded attacks, but not all. It was released on October 6, 2008.[6][7] Brazilian artist Ibraim Roberson illustrated the book.[8]

Film adaptations[edit]

The Zombie Survival Guide, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, and World War Z have been confirmed to be produced as live-action films.[9][10] Brad Pitt, who stars in World War Z, also confirmed that the producing studio, Paramount, has also been given rights to The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks and are planning on adapting both of them as movies after World War Z is released.[11] World War Z was released in theatres on June 21, 2013,[12] The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks currently have no release dates set.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide". Random House. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  2. ^ "Best Sellers.". The New York Times, 21 March 2010.
  3. ^ Knowles, Harry. "Max Brooks and Quint discuss his ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE follow-up novel, WORLD WAR Z!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ Brooks, Max (2003). The Zombie Survival Guide. Google Books. p. 30.
  5. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide Deck". Random House. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  6. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks". Random House. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
  7. ^ "Max Brooks Zombie World". Random House. 2008-09-17.
  8. ^ Langley, Nick. (November, 2008). Max Brooks, Mao Tse Tung, and the Mystery of the Missing Snapple. Retrieved March 15, 2009 from Rocket Llama World Headquarters
  9. ^ "Max Brooks talks The Zombie Survival Guide, Recorded Attacks and World War Z movies". 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  10. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide on The Internet Movie Database". Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  11. ^ "Max Brooks confirms The Zombie Survival Guide movies!". 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  12. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (2011-04-07). "It's too loud daddy!". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  13. ^ "The Zombie Survival Guide on The Internet Movie Database". Retrieved 2014-03-05.

External links[edit]