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The Zombie Survival Guide

Published by Three Rivers Press

Written by Max Brooks

Illustrated by Max Werner

272-page b&w softcover; $12.95

The Zombie Survival Guide is not a roleplaying game sourcebook, but it reads like one. It describes a detailed setting complete with enough plot hooks to hang a campaign on. The setting is Max Brooks' interpretation of the zombie horror story. His premise? The world has been infested with a virus that turns the living into the living dead. The governments and population of this setting are mostly unaware of the danger. Ancient stories of corpses reviving, attacking, and consuming the flesh of their victims are regarded as folklore. Modern reports of outbreaks in remote areas are dismissed as the product of overactive imaginations. The threat of civilization being overwhelmed by the living dead is growing and only the prepared will survive.

The book is presented as a parody of military survival manuals. The layout and illustrations are done in the same, simple style. It covers the subject of surviving zombie attacks using a dry and technical tone. This tone is important to the mood of the work and is maintained throughout it. This is the Zombie Survival Guide's strength and weakness. Max Brooks uses a particular blend of dark humor and horror. There are no laugh-out-loud comments or tongue-in-cheek passages. He treats the subject with such an earnest and serious tone that the book becomes believable at times. This tone also gives the . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: April 2, 2004

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