Travel Reads: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zombies

This basic guide to all things zombie in fiction, film and other media, is part of the Complete Idiot’s Guide series of books. It is a thin, easy-to-read volume written by the same person who brought you The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Werewolves and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the ParanormalNathan Robert Brown.

From Voodoo zombies to the modern viral zombies, this little primer covers it all. You’ll learn about the evolution of zombies in fiction and film and how they’ve made the transition into other forms of media and, shall I say?, rabid fandom.

As with other books in The Complete Idiot’s Guide series, each chapter starts with a list of what you’ll learn in that chapter, and ends with a summary of what was covered. So there is a lot of repetition for increased learning.

White Zombie starring Bela-LugosiWhat Worked for Me
Not being a zombie fan in general, this book gave me a crash course on all things zombie. I had no idea how prevalent they truly are in the world of horror story telling.

The book is written in simple, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand terms. The author wrote in an authoritative manner, which gives me the confidence that this book is an excellent start for anyone who wants to cultivate an interest in zombies.

I especially liked the history section on Voodoo zombies and how that concept evolved into what are commonly considered proper zombies today. The summaries of key zombie films were also very good.

What Didn’t Work for Me
That said, some of the information is a little dated. Although the book is copyrighted in 2010, it is clear the content was written earlier due to mentions of films that were already released as if they hadn’t come out yet.

Alas, that is a pitfall of writing about a topic that is actively growing and expanding as you write about it. So I wouldn’t hold it against Brown.

Zombie from AMC's The Walking DeadConclusion
I really enjoyed learning all about zombies from this book and will proudly add this to my book collection. (I usually let go of the books I get for review.) I think if you’re a budding zombie-phile, this book will give you an excellent start. And, if you just want to understand your friend’s or child’s fascination with the walking undead, this book will give you a foundation from which to have intelligent conversations on the topic of zombies. And at less than 250 pages, it is a fairly quick read, too.

SCORE: 5 Palm Trees out of 5 Possible

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NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books I’ve received for free and you’ll know I don’t hold my punches.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.