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Are You Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

So you’ve seen Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and Zombieland. You’ve even read Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. And by now you consider yourself a kind of zombie expert. But are you truly prepared for the zombie apocalypse? Read these classic zombie stories to be sure! And then come to your local St. Louis Public Library branch for Zombie Dice!

(Warning: zombies can be creepy as all get out, and these books all include violence. Approach with caution.)

World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Some claim that this book is the one that started the whole zombie literature craze. And now it’s being made into a movie! Beginning with twelve-year-old Patient Zero in the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, a deadly epidemic has spread over the globe. Those infected who didn’t die became zombies, and the resulting Zombie War nearly eradicated all humanity. Having traveled the ruins of human civilization to find the few remaining survivors, Max Brooks collects the testimony of those who witnessed the Zombie War first-hand. Bear witness to their stories and learn how they survived.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Robert Neville is the last human on Earth. A vicious plague has killed everyone else…killed them or turned them into monsters. By day, Neville hunts these monsters – part blood-sucking vampire, part shambling zombie – as they sleep and searches for a cure. By night, he barricades himself inside his home while they struggle for a way in. How has Neville been able to survive alone so long? Read to find out.

Despite the fact that Matheson called his monsters vampires this book is a classic in zombie fiction, and it is known for being the first to popularize the idea of a zombie apocalypse caused by a virus. It has inspired 4 movie adaptations, including the recent movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith and the most famous of all zombie flicks, Night of the Living Dead.

The Walking Dead, Book One

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard.

Rookie cop Rick Grimes wakes from a coma to find the hospital deserted and his town filled with walking corpses! He soon learns that an epidemic has swept the globe, either killing the infected or turning them into shambling zombies hungry for human flesh. Having never before fired a gun, Grimes must now battle his way through the world of the dead to reunite with his family.

This is a more recent classic in the zombie genre, but it is probably the most popular zombie graphic novel. It also inspired the popular TV show “The Walking Dead,” whose success has in turn inspired a full-length prequel novel. Grimes certainly has some zombie fighting tricks up his sleeves. He wasn’t voted the 26th Greatest Comic Book Hero of All Time in 2011 for no reason! Read his story to find out how he manages to survive.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
Finally, this practical guide covers everything you’ll need to know for when the zombies attack, including Brook’s “Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack”:

  1. Organize before they rise!
  2. They feel no fear, why should you?
  3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
  4. Blades don’t need reloading.
  5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
  6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
  7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
  8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
  9. No place is safe, only safer.
  10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.
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