Max Brooks and How to Survive a Zombie Attack

Zombie Survival Guide Cover
M. Brooks Famous Zombie Survival Guide

I managed to catch most of a session with Max Brooks, bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide, who shared “10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack” with the audience. Tonight’s session was part of the Fairfax County PL’s Meet the Author program, which I enthusiastically endorse. The session was very amusing, and I’m glad I dropped in to see this.

Max Brooks at the Fairfax County Government Center, 10/25/11
Max Brooks at the Fairfax County Government Center, 10/25/11

For the most part the talk was an amusing rambling about the subject of the modern American and preparing for something really, really bad affecting all of society.. in a nutshell, disaster planning. Mr. Brooks is quite funny, and had the audience laughing and clapping for most of the evening.

I own a copy of the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE, and I can attest that the author did his homework on the idea of a catastrophe, considering things most movies and books overlook, like the problem of fresh water and potable food after production and purification has ceased.  Or what you do when you run out of bullets, or gasoline.

My only disappointment was that Mr. Brooks seemed genuinely hesitant to speak about the upcoming WORLD WAR Z movie that is filming with Brad Pitt as I write this.  Apparently he was cut out of the production process and although he is impressed with the production (and Brad Pitt, who held an umbrella over M. Brooks during a sudden rainstorm during filming), my impression was that he wasn’t ecstatic about being uninvolved with the final production of his novel.

Here’s Max Brooks on improvising melee weapons on a modern society:

(Direct Youtube Link for FB users)

His point being– don’t rely on your replica sword to fight zombies with, improvise something out of construction tools: they are made better, more durable, plentiful, cheap and most of all, legal.

At the very end of the evening, Mr. Brooks demonstrated his personal response to imminent Zombie grappling:

(Direct Youtube Link for FB users)

Thanks to the FCPL for a wonderful evening and to Mr. Brooks for visiting Northern Virginia.


  1. I agree he did his homework. When my agency was putting together a disaster survival guide I recommended the working group look at his book, which was more comprehensive and well thought out than what they were coming up with.

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