Getting to Know Max Brooks and The Zombie Survival Guide

Max Brooks is a Dark Fantasy/Horror writer and is the New York Times bestselling author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide.”

Below is our day by day recap of Max Brooks
and The Zombie Survival Guide:


For our thought of the day, Max Brooks reminds readers that when they are faced with Zombies, they must resist the urge of just running into the nearest building and first consider what the best refuge might be.


“Remember; no matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.”

In order to survive a zombie attack, there are 10 crucial steps that need to be followed:

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.”
― Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead


9781400049622The Zombie Survival Guide is a key to survival against the undead. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Did you know there’s an app for identifying Zombies! Developed by the noted zombieologist, Max Brooks, the Zombie Survival Guide Scanner iPhone App is the ideal zombie detector tool. Use your camera-enabled iPhone to scan friends and neighbors and determine their level of infection.


Our trivia of the day tested your general knowledge of how to avoid zombies.

zombiedw923According to “The Zombie Survival Guide,” which of the following are Zombies NOT capable of doing?

A. Walking underwater
B. Climbing ladders
C. Climbing stairs
D. Communication among each other

The correct answer was C. Climbing ladders

Zombies possess absolutely zero intelligence, and cannot figure out how to climb a ladder. If you were to place a ladder on the side of a building and climb to the roof leaving the ladder in place, you’d be safe (until thirst/hunger/exposure sets in). Technically, zombies cannot even climb stairs but considering the fact they never cease pursuing a human target once identified, they are capable of eventually crawling their way up the stairs.

Zombies require no oxygen, so they can amble about underwater… tirelessly searching for human prey. Their lungs will fill with water causing them to sink to the bottom of a body of water. There, they will “walk” about.

Although zombies are incapable of speech and are otherwise silent, once one spots a living human it begins to moan. This moaning sound is instantly heard by other zombies in the area and they will follow the moaning sound to the victim.


Author Max Brooks talks about Zombies and the publication of his book:

max-brooks“During Y2K, there were all these survival guides coming out. And I thought, what about a survival guide for zombies? I went looking for it as a reader, not a writer. And I couldn’t find it. And I thought, I’m into zombies, I’m OCD and I have a lot of free time…”

“I remember when the book came out they put it in the humor section. The Onion loved it. Publisher’s Weekly loved it. They called it an outrageous parody, but I kept telling them, “Guys, I’m not as cool as you think I am. I’m really not.” I’m not that hip. I’m not that witty. I’m just a zombie nerd.”

“You know when you go to the movies and there’s always some nerd bag in the group who won’t let you enjoy the movie because he’s trying to deconstruct the reality of it? Well, that’s me. I’m the movie ruiner for my group of friends.”

“Zombies are apocalyptic. I think that’s why people love them because we’re living in, not apocalyptic times, but I think we’re living in fear of the apocalyptic times.”

-excerpts taken from “I’m Just A Zombie Nerd” The Max Brooks Interview, Part One by Allie Townsend, 2010


After writing The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks wrote World War Z which became a movie in 2013. Hollywood, however, deviated very far from the contents of the book and Brooks response to it was “..As I’ve said many times, they didn’t ruin my book, they ignored it.” and “…do I wish that a different team would come in and give it another try? Honestly, when it comes to Hollywood, I try really… really hard to manage my expectations.”

When brooks published his third novel, The Harlem Hellfigters, he initially wrote it as a screenplay but decided to switch to a graphic novel format after being told so many times how it was just ‘not bankable’.  The Harlem Hellfigters is Brooks dramatization of the struggle of an African-American infantry regiment that fought in World War I.  As far as not being able to make it in Hollywood, Brooks reaction was, “If they had been a white unit, we would be on the third remake of their movie.”

-excerpts taken from reddit and ‘World War Z’ author Max Brooks on his new book ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ by Margaret Eby, New York Daily News, Wednesday, April 2, 2014)


Zombie novels written by Max Brooks includes The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks and Closure Limited which is actually a collection of stories.Untitled-1 copy

All of these books and other books written by Max Brooks is available for purchase at Thanks for tuning in! And remember to follow us on Facebook and Google+ to get our daily “Getting to Know” feed as we introduce well known authors and their books. Up next we’ll be taking we’ll be discussing author Joe Abercrombie and The First Law books.

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