The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Guide (2014, Smart Pop) is the kind of book you can reliably purchase for zombie fans for holidays and birthdays. They will like it. They will flip through it and admire the illustrations. But will it actually help them survive the apocalypse?
You might be able to hit a zombie with the book.
Though on second thought, it probably isn’t big enough. Better run.
Wilson gives book recommendations for those interested in delving deeper into things like butchering, root cellaring, canning, and container gardening, but those with a committed interest in off-grid living or outdoor survival are unlikely to learn anything new. This is Survival Lite. The n00bs and the dabblers might learn enough to get by—I wouldn’t know, I read the Foxfire books for fun. (That is to say, I am already in too deep.) I did learn some interesting things about edible bugs though. And salt.
There is solid information in this book, but would it be enough? If you were only going to buy one survival book, should you buy this book? Again: meh. But it is a good overview and beginners guide. Just don’t buy it for your crazy prepper friend.
The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is a fun book to flip through—the illustrations make it particularly enjoyable—and probably would make an excellent coffee-table conversation-starter. It offers an amusing, light-hearted-but-informative introduction to survival with a zombie apocalypse theme and a hell of a lot of laugh-groan-laugh puns. The information is solid, but I was expecting low-tech, seriously gritty apocalypse survival. I was expecting survival tips that didn’t involve dependence on the products of civilization. What I got were recipes for macaroni and cheese and jam.
What apocalyptic survivor in fiction ever stops to make some mac? What apocalyptic survivor is actually going to be able to use a fucking recipe book? I would have preferred a “here is how you invent awesome recipes with whatever you have” approach. A lot of the info was too high-tech to be believably useful in a post-apocalyptic situation.
And canning? Sure, they can in Into the Forrest, but how about you teach me how to store food without the products of industrial agricultural? Did you even read the ending of that book? Have you read any apocalyptic books? I may be able to scavenge some sugar, for a while, post-apocalypse, but you better believe I won’t be growing or processing it again in my lifetime. Canning. Pfft. FOOLS.
Yes, I think about this a lot. Obviously. It’s part and parcel of studying post-apocalyptic literature.
What I’m saying is that the book doesn’t take the apocalypse seriously enough. This wouldn’t matter—it’s not like the zombie apocalypse is real in the first place— if it didn’t throw me out of the fictional framework of this being an Actual Cookbook From a Post-Apocalyptic Future. That missing element is what would have made the Lite aspect of this guide irrelevant. Non-fiction as fiction, yo, it’s a pretty sweet trick, and this book promises it, but doesn’t quite pull it off.
Three out of seven roasted tree rats.