YMMV / The Zombie Survival Guide

  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: For every Downer Ending and Foregone Conclusion, there are several entries where the humans kick SERIOUS undead ass.
    • The Roman Legions being able to crush zombie outbreaks for the majority of their reigning period, before there was Genre to be Savvy by! And the other best thing about them? They aren't virtually scared by zombies in the slightest-in one tale, an old legion veteran simply pushed a frightened mother and her baby aside and sliced off the zombie's head with his gladius, like it was simply a minor annoyance. They have balls. Of Tempered Titanium.
      • Even better, is that after a certain point, the Historical section just states about Roman Zombie attacks, "This was the last Roman Recorded Zombie attack of note, as others were so short or not well enough described to count." Basically, The Romans were curbstomping zombies so effectively they weren't even taking them seriously anymore. Damn.
    • Elijiah Black, a Lakota man who became a Wild West Zombie Hunter. His one entry has him pick off the entire undead populace of a small town, leaving the bewildered survivors behind to kick more undead ass.
    • The "Jan. 1993 A.D., Downtown Los Angeles, California" entry is one of the few cases of No Kill Like Overkill in favor of the humans - after two clashing gangs put their differences aside to survive, they quickly grab the Smart Ball, and manage to kill over a hundred ghouls with no losses of their own. However, they're then left with a load of apparently innocent dead bodies on their hands when the police show up...
    • The Japanese attempt to paradrop zombies on China ends before the zombies hit the ground- Communist Chinese snipers, trained to aim for the head, took them all out. The Chinese never realized that they were under zombie attack.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The book encourages you, when on the move, to keep moving. Carry as little as possible, abandon all luxuries, and don't stop for anything. Except for rescuing survivors.
    Sometimes, logic must give way to humanity.
    • This also makes sense. Humans are social creatures, and often, stand a much better chance of survival banded together than alone.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Class 4 scenario is especially frightening, as it shows how screwed we really could be if that really happened. The description of the "Total Extinction" scenario is especially chilling. Not to mention the recorded attacks. Worst is the one on the Portuguese Slave Ship.
    • The Recorded Attacks companion comic manages to illustrate some of the recorded attacks, including the Portuguese slave ship. The incident with the Portugese Slave Ship had a slave ship, with all of the slaves chained in the hold as tightly as possible. A sailor got infected and somehow only bit a few of them. Those ones died and reanimated, but were too constrained to do more than nibble on the guys next to them. 24 hours later, the guy getting nibbled on reanimates. Rinse and repeat. Imagine, for a second, being the guy on the end...
    • Speaking of Recorded Attacks special mention has to be given to the "1583 A.D., Siberia" entry, where a group of Cossacks completely devour a small village's food supplies, before killing and eating several of the villagers as well. The part the "zombie outbreak" starts - where they try to eat a zombified corpse - can easily be considered Laser-Guided Karma at it's finest.
    • The concept of "Devil Dance", a game played underground in parts of the French empire in the 17th century. One man enters a pit, armed with a very small knife. In the other side of the pit is one of the undead. Up above, the rich place bets on whether the man lives or, more likely, how long he'll last before being eaten. Most of the zombies used in the game are taken from former players.
    • The book was written out of Max Brook's fear of Zombies, as he notes they're not some sort of animal or creature, but a force of nature that simply cannot be reasoned with. He makes this very clear in the first few chapters, comparing zombies to a computer that is only programmed to perform one function and can never be hacked.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The more you know about biology, weapons, sociology and terrain, the less seriously you take the book.
    • E.g. if you know that Solanum is the scientific name for potato.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If any murder you hear on the news sounds just a bit fishy, get ready.
    • The whole book makes you think that zombies are real and around the corner.
  • What an Idiot!: The Chinese government's military zombie operation has slight ramifications of this, at least compared to those of Japan and Russia. For example, naming the operation "Eternal Waking Nightmare," the old Chinese name for Solanum. Were they even trying to be secretive about it? At least Japan and Russia used names that only alluded to death ("Cherry Blossom") and long life ("Sturgeon"), respectively.
    • And, of course, there are several entries where this happens in universe, such as where the Cossacks try to eat zombie flesh, and where Harland Lee tried to go One-Man Army on a zombie horde, only to die from his A-Team Firing.
    • Anyone who tries training zombies. The attempts listed are darkly hilarious.
    • The Foreign Legion spending three years besieged by the zombies and no one figured out that headshots are the only way to kill them. While civilians can give a pass due to their blind panic but these are trained soldiers! The comic based on the recorded attacks Handwaves this as strict rules to aim center at mass.