3 out of 4 stars
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The Ultimate Guide to Zombies is a short but thorough guide to all things zombie. Robertson traces the history of zombies from the original Haitian voodoo zombies, through to the Romero creation we know today. He discusses the anatomy of the zombie brain, how to destroy a zombie, and what best to destroy it with.
To begin with we are given a brief introduction to the book, but not to the author. Robertson is a writer, but not a writer of zombie fiction. This being the ‘ultimate guide’ it would have been a smart choice for Robertson to establish his credentials as either an expert through his work, or at least a big fan.
This initial problem is swept away by the first few chapters. Robertson’s passion for all things zombie is evident. His tone is very casual and informal, it feels at times that you are talking about your favourite films with a fellow fan. I feel this was a wise choice as the subject isn’t all that serious, it wouldn’t be appropriate to take on a formal tone of voice.
After each chapter of the book the author points the reader to related media that has either been mentioned, or would be of further interest. After the pop culture section there is a list of culturally significant movies/shows/games to check out. After a section on zombie themed weddings he provides a list of websites for the readers’ entertainment. This again displays Robertson’s obvious love of the genre and his willingness to get more people involved.
Robertson takes his guide even further. Once establishing the history of zombies there is a chapter on anatomy. He discusses what parts of the brain are most likely to be re-animated when one becomes a zombie, and of course how best to destroy it. He goes on to write about weapons and weighs the pros and cons of a variety of styles. He takes us through zombie themed events that are happening all around the world including weddings, fun runs, theme park attractions and so on. While I would have been content to stay on the topic of zombies in pop culture, I found expanding the focus to be both interesting and informative.
The only major fault I felt brought the quality down was the amount of lists used. The chapter on memorable zombies read almost as a Buzzfeed listicle. There is a pretty lengthy list of all the different names that have been used for zombies. These didn’t read very well within the overall context of the book.
I give this a strong 3 out of 4 stars. Strong recommendation to any fans of the zombie genre.
The Ultimate Guide to Zombies
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