|The Zombie Survival Guide|
|Cover artist||Max Werner|
|Genre(s)||Humor, Horror, Informative|
|Publisher||Three Rivers Press|
|Publication date||September 16, 2003|
|Media type||Print (Paperback), Ebook|
|Followed by||World War Z|
The Zombie Survival Guide, published in 2003, is a survival manual dealing with the potentiality of a zombie attack by American author Max Brooks. 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 Island.
The book is divided into six separate chapters, a fictional list of attacks throughout history and an appendix.
Specific ground rules that are referenced repeatedly in the book are laid out. The first of these describes "Solanum", the fictional virus that creates a zombie, along with details on how it is spread (such as through an open wound, when coming in contact with infected blood or saliva), and treatment of the infected (suicide or amputation of the bitten/scratched limb, though amputation rarely works). The middle of this chapter explains the abilities and behavioral patterns of the Undead and the differences between "voodoo" zombies and zombies created by "Solanum." The end of the chapter discusses the levels of zombie outbreaks and how severe of a threat each is to humankind.
The weapons at the average reader's disposal are discussed and weighed against the various threats that may be faced during confrontations with the undead. The M1 carbine and the machete, as portrayed on the cover of the book, as well as the crowbar and Shaolin Spade, receive the strongest recommendation.
This section focuses on how to turn residential or public buildings into a base. It discusses the pros and cons for each different type of building, what supplies to gather, where to find a new shelter and maintain a new one should it ever be over-run or ruled.
The rules and necessities of traveling through zombie-infested territory are covered. It also discusses types of terrain and the pros and cons of different types of transportation.
While all previous chapters emphasize avoiding zombies at all costs, this section specifically deals with engaging ghouls to ensure their destruction. It discusses the strategies and tools to eradicate zombies from an area.
Survival during a doomsday scenario that would see zombies becoming the dominant species on Earth is examined. Advice in this section is adapted from previous sections by referring to a more serious Class-4 outbreak (previous chapters discussed a less widespread Class-3 outbreak). Brooks explains the separate chapter is only useful in the case of a nearly-impossible outbreak, and primarily focuses on creating a new civilization as far away from current civilizations as possible to avoid all contact with zombies and a new threat: marauders and bandit tribes.
The guide concludes with a fictional list of documented zombie encounters throughout history. The oldest entry is 60,000 BC, in Katanga, Central Africa, although the author expresses doubt to its validity. Instead, he presents evidence from 3,000 BC in Hieraconpolis, Egypt as the first verifiable instance of a zombie outbreak. The most recent entry is 2002, in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
This is a sample "Outbreak Journal", with the author noting a covered-up zombie outbreak being seen on the local news and the preparation steps he takes in the event that the outbreak worsens. The following pages are blank entries, for the reader to use as a basis for their own notes on surviving zombies.
Random House published The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, a tie-in comic written by Brooks. It was released on October 6, 2009. Brazilian artist Ibraim Roberson illustrated the book.