Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: The Zombie Book (Nick Redfern and Brad Steiger)

About a year ago, I received a new book from my good friend Nick Redfern, who has written over thirty books on monsters, cryptids and cryptozoology, UFOs, government cover-ups, conspiracy theories, and just about every conceivable mix of these subjects. The book in question is The Zombie Book: The Encyclopedia of the Living Dead, and it happens to be one of the most comprehensive works available on zombies today! People today are utterly fascinated by the concept of the flesh-eating walking dead, but most of them don't realize that this phenomenon is much older and goes much deeper than the majority of these people are inclined to believe. The phenomenon itself actually goes back to ancient Sumeria and the world's oldest known literary work, The Epic of Gilgamesh. In a fit of anger, the goddess Ishtar declares:

"Father give me the Bull of Heaven, 
So he can kill Gilgamesh in his dwelling. 
If you do not give me the Bull of Heaven, 
I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld, 
I will smash the doorposts, and leave the doors flat down, 
and will let the dead go up to eat the living! 
And the dead will outnumber the living!"

This is where the modern concept of the zombie originates. Getting back to the review, this book treads into some truly strange territory and covers just about everything, from Vodoun, diseases that might be capable of creating a zombie plague, zombielike monsters and entities, Nazi reanimation experiments, and the 2012 MacArthur Causeway Incident, to the Wendigo, zombies in popular culture (there are a multitude of entries devoted to zombie movies and literature), zombie preparedness, the apocalypse, zombie folklore and mythology, zombies and extraterrestrials, death and burial practices, and cannibalism. There are even some thought-provoking parallels presented to the reader regarding the Lord Jesus Christ and zombies. Nick's co-author Brad Steiger also presents some great material from his book Real Zombies, the Living Dead, and Creatures of the Apocalypse (2010). The only issue that I have with this book is that there seems to be no entry in the book that is specifically dedicated to how to destroy or otherwise kill a zombie other than an entry on Decapitation and Reattachment. But then again, any hardcore zombie fanatic should automatically know that the only real way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain. Consequently, this isn't a huge deal if you know your stuff.

Overall, this book is fantastic! The amount of detail and research in this book is simply amazing, and I cannot recommend it more. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a copy if the need should arise, and neither should any of you, my dear readers. I would like to take this opportunity to give my sincerest thanks to Nick Redfern for being kind enough to send me an autographed copy of this book, for putting up with my seemingly endless questions, and for helping me with my own research. Nick, you are a true friend, and I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and your kindness! Thank you for all that you've done for me, and I hope to repay you for that someday. Thank You!!

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