Sean T. Page set up the Ministry of Zombies in 2010 as an information resource for those who shared his concern that the zombie apocalypse was just around the corner. ‘Zombie Survival: Owners’ Apocalypse Manual’ is his most ambitious book yet, an attractive, full colour A4 hardback from the ever-expanding range of manuals from Haynes. This one won’t enable you to service a Ford Capri but repeated close readings may help you to avoid becoming just another statistic when the dead rise again.
The book is divided into eight chapters with two exam papers at the back to check whether you’ve been paying attention.
The first four chapters are all quite short and address the most basic questions that any aspiring zombie survivalist is likely to ask. Topics covered include what a zombie is and how you identify and then kill them, what causes the zombie condition and what happens when someone gets infected, when and where in history have zombies appeared and how were they defeated and, finally, what does it take to survive the zombie apocalypse? Highlights of these early chapters include a hilarious cutaway guide to the perfect secret laboratory for researching a cure for zombiedom, along with a rather droll description of the members of a typical zombie survivalist group.
The heart of the book lies in chapters five and six which cover home preparation and defence, then zombie combat and weapons. These two chapters cover all the stuff you’d expect, plus quite a lot you might not, including a snazzy guide to the perfect anti-zombie home, extracts from a ‘Janet And John’ style zombie-spotting instruction book for young children and a laugh out loud crash course on how elderly survivors can use their zimmer frames to battle the undead!
The final two chapters address the challenges that are likely to arise if you survive the first three months after Z Day. Eventually, you will need to leave your safe house and travel, whether to replenish food supplies, find other survivors or identify a suitable location to build a large, permanent camp for housing your growing community. Highlights here are the cutaway of an ideal anti-zombie 4×4 and a comprehensive classification of the other types of survivor groups you may encounter, setting out how to distinguish friend from foe.
There is a lot to like in this book. The material is nicely presented with each double page spread of text accompanied by clear and colourful pictures and diagrams. Page walks the line between serious and slapstick at every turn and some of his gags are laugh out loud funny. Best of all, the use of the time-honoured ‘Haynes’ approach ensures that by the time you get to the end of the book, you’ll see yourself as a fully qualified zombie survivalist. I certainly do.
Sean T. Page has achieved a remarkably rare thing, producing a comprehensive and well thought through guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse that is also hilarious. When the end of the world finally arrives, my copy will be one of the first things I sling in my backpack. If you don’t want to end up as a tasty snack for the first undead monster to shamble past, you’d do well to invest in a copy, too.
(pub: Haynes. 128 page illustrated hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-85733-473-2)
check out website: www.haynes.co.uk and www.ministryofzombies.com