Disclaimer: I have not read the Zombie Survival Guide. Neither has Mike. He read World War Z awhile back, sparking (or renewing) a zombie obsession which means he now watches The Walking Dead. I recently read World War Z, which made me realize I totally would not survive if I didn’t stick with Mike.
I mean, I appreciated the novel’s artistry and everything. Mike was impressed with the military detail. I was impressed by the author’s knowledge of international politics. Even though the book is episodic (composed of individual interviews), I couldn’t stop reading. This novel is the reason I started staying up until 2am again. There are also flaws. Many of the characters interviewed are unapologetically villainous. I don’t see too many people being that candid about royally screwing people over to a UN investigator they just met. Also, it did tend to fall into stereotypes a bit (Spoilers! The wannabe terrorist Muslim, the blind Japanese nature-lover who becomes proficient at killing zombies, the Japanese otaku who becomes his disciple.)
The novel is less about zombies than about what happens when a zombie epidemic is unleashed upon humanity. I came away from the novel with the conviction that zombies (at least the type in the novel) are not really dangerous. People are dangerous. So if zombies ever swarmed the area I was in, this would be my plan:
Step 1: Barricade myself and my loved ones securely and shut up until the zombies and people moved on (with a lot of food and some weapons–preferably a relatively silent baseball bat, but also a gun just in case. Mike knows how to shoot guns.)
Step 2: Start a garden. After emerging into a desolate wasteland, of course, where all the food has already been looted. I think an aquaponics system would be best since it saves water and provides you with edible fish. Mike would very useful here because he took a commercial gardening class in high school and researched aquariums with his usual intensity when he actually had an aquarium. Of course, this is all assuming that we could get our hands on the equipment and Monsanto hasn’t totally destroyed all viable food-producing seeds. If not, Mike’s skills makes us great candidates for citizens in a post-Apocalyptic government that’s focused things such as food distribution and sanitation.
Step 3: Learn a skill. Because I didn’t go to medical school, I don’t really have any “hard skills” (Damn! Should have listened to my parents!) I guess therapists would also be in demand, but I don’t have any actual training in that. I would seriously be useless in a zombie apocalypse with my lack of gun-shooting and food producing skills. Also, I’m not that good at cleaning (again, that’s Mike’s specialty). I guess I could cook. I also have some skills at gauging distances for close-range attacks due to karate, so I might be pretty good at hitting zombies in the head with something heavy. But that would still take some training.
The novel does show that it’s a matter of luck more than anything, though the above plan would increase our odds. Well, at least there’s no zombie apocalypse yet. I can continue living my privileged, first-world life.