TEotWaWKI Book Review: Zombie CSU

Zombie CSU by Jonathan Maberry

Zombie CSU by Jonathan Maberry

by Jonathan Maberry

This is an odd reference book that was apparently rushed into publication just as the outbreak became known to the world at large, presumably to take financial advantage of the situation. I say odd because it is both an examination of the pre-SHTF cultural obsession with zombies as well as speculative conjecture about the origins of the outbreak and how to combat the undead. And I say rushed because of the number of typos and factual errors. I am fairly certain that the First Amendment was not signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Perhaps the author is referring to the Freedom of Information Action, which was signed by Johnson, but in 1966. My first inclination is to rate this low because of the amount of incorrect advice. However, if you take into account the speculative nature of the piece and filter out what is obvious wrong, in the absence of other books, you have a reference for dealing with TEotWaWKI situations that is good enough.

The practical sections of Zombie CSU seek to convey advice through a criminal justice context: What would the police reaction be to the first call received and how would they handle the undead? I find it interesting that biting is a common reaction even among the living, so the police were psychologically equipped to handle this event, at least in the short run. Alas, his optimism that the police response should keep the outbreak in check was misplaced. True, the severity of the outbreak was postponed where the authorities put up a solid defense, but just as with New Orleans during the Katrina disaster, the thin blue line was not alway solid.

Ultimately, its this unfounded confidence in society’s ability to handle the outbreak that keeps this from being an excellent reference. You need to know more than just tactical details in order to fight the undead. You need a solid strategy that takes into account food and shelter, psychological well being. The assumption that the wave will not carry away life as we know it means that you don’t have to delve into those topics. You would be better off, as much as this pains me to say it, with Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide if you’re looking for TEotWaWKI advice.

What I value in this book, though, are the leads the author provides to relevant books and movies (I will pretend not to notice the inclusion of the so-called author David Moody). I will track down what I can and review them for you. In the meantime, I recommend this book to expand your understanding of the undead zeitgeist, but not for the practical TEotWaWKI advice.

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~ by Bill Drinkmore on August 11, 2009.

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