Zombies: A Hunter’s Guide
by Joseph A. McCullough
“This book is dedicated to the men and women who have lost their lives defending our right to rest in peace.”
So begins this volume dedicated to “educate people about the true horrors of the zombie menace.” The book treats zombies as a historical fact, and shows how each type of zombie have influenced historical events from the Second Battle of Gettysburg through Chernobyl and beyond. It shows the various types of zombie (while making brief mention of other undead threats, its focus remains on zombies). It outlines the origins of each, as well as how to eradicate each threat. It then focuses on those who have dedicated their lives to fighting the zombie menace, mentioning prominent organizations, their weapons, and their tactics.
McCullough has written a delight. Yeah, that’s not normally a word associated with zombies, but I continually found myself grinning at his wit and creativity. He slips so many Easter eggs into the text! And while this book is clearly not comedy, it entertained me in a solid way.
The opening chapters on the various types of zombies are well conceived. McCullough examines everything from necromantic to voodoo to nuclear to viral zombies, and many other types as well. He clearly defines each subset. Publisher Osprey offers a number of books aimed at role-players; this section would provide plenty of grist for those who wanted to run a zombie-hunting campaign. In fact, I’ve thought up a few using this book as a springboard that I’m eager to try out.
The latter half of the book focusing on zombie hunters less grabbed my attention, but it’s still well-conceived and written.
I know I’ve not always enjoyed or gotten McCullough’s writing, but this particular book was just plain fun for me. I’m not even a huge zombie fan; I don’t think I own a single zombie movie and I’ve never watched Walking Dead (though I do own the first several collections of the comic). Until I cracked the cover, I wasn’t even looking forward to reading this particular volume. Once I started, though, it sucked me right in.
I want to also give attention to the real dedication. “I would like to thank my beautiful wife, Stephanie McCullough. It takes a wonderfully patient woman to support her husband in writing a book about walking, flesh-eating corpses.”
Like I said: fun.