Zombie Survival Manual - Archieved Post

October 21, 2013 - 7:37 pm No Comments

Haynes Zombie Survival Manual
Author: Sean Page
Publisher: Haynes
Page count: 128pp
Release Date: 10th Oct 2013
Reviewer: Adrian Middleton

Haynes Manuals seem to be carving out quite a niche for themselves in terms of the novelty guidebook. Their latest offering, from Sean T Page and the Ministry of Zombies is the Zombie Survival Manual, which enters an already crowded marketplace dominated by Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide.

However, the Haynes format, with its uniquely colourful and instructive style is perhaps ideally suited for this kind of product, and the care and attention taken (including a brief stay by the author in an underground bunker) shows on every page. Whether your zombie of choice is from Shaun of the Dead, The Walking Dead, World War Z or Zombieland this book seems to capture the spirit of them all.

The illustrations (which seem mostly to be of the author and his girlfriend “in costume”) are both credibly placed and amusing as, like the best of these books should always be, the manual brings a smile to the reader’s face and can be read in bite-sized chunks for comedy value or in depth as a serious genre resource, providing the kind of easy reference guide that is perfect for writers, reader and players of zombie-based games. It certainly feels like the sort of thing that, if zombies existed, would take pride of place in every survivalist’s library.

As a companion to Sean Page’s other Ministry of Zombies books it is crying out to be accompanied by the ultimate Ministry of Zombies role-playing game, and until then this book is perhaps the ultimate companion volume for the would be survivalist/hunter.

Downsides? Well, the book covers so much detail that it makes certain real-world elements feel like they are missing. I’m used to Haynes Manuals having a few photographs (which would have been a nice touch), and The Zomb-Chair, the Jordanian anti-zombie truck and Chinese anti-zombie policy all had me heading for Google where I found things I really wish had been mentioned in the book (such as Japan’s anti-zombie fortress and the 2012 Zombie Apocalypse training exercises in San Diego). Also, the friendly green cover perhaps gives away that the book isn’t as real as it pretends, favouring a grasping zombie over something more technical and nondescript. That slight detail might boost sales to the detriment of its overall suspension of disbelief.

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