The Brain Eaters Bible – Sound Advice for the Newly Reanimated Zombie

By J. D. McGhoul with Pat Kilbane, Brian Ulrich, Dean Jones, Neil D’Monte & others (St. Martin’sGriffin)
ISBN: 978-1-250-02401-5

Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: an ideal antidote for adult over-indulgence… 8/10

With the world in the dry, dusty grip of a Zombie Apocalypse and at least oneAmericanUniversityoffering Zombie Studies as part of its curriculum, it was only a matter of time before the perhaps misunderstood flesh-addicted revenants gained their own advocate for their particular post-lifestyle.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of zombie stories but occasionally something really tasty comes along and I’m forced to re-evaluate my position. Such an item is this wryly outrageous almanac from comedian, author and actor Pat Kilbane (Mad TV, Seinfeld, Semi-Pro, My Name Is Earl), a vast production team of artists, designers, photographers, make-up and FX folk, actors, models, martial artists, stuntmen and armourers, and ex-lab technician J.D. McGhoul who, since his passing, has worked tirelessly as an activist and educator for the burgeoning population of meat-seeking martyrs whose only hope is for a little piece – preferably of frontal, temporal or parietal lobe…

Together this dedicated group have merrily compiled a deliciously morbid foundation class in everything the newly-infected but so much more than brain-dead “walker” needs to keep unfit, unwell and full…

Although nobody living really knows the origins of the PACE (Postmortem Ambulation with Cannibalistic Encephalophilia) virus – the unsavoury savant here attributes it to stem-cell research gone wonky – the effects are obvious, apparent and permanent.

Thus there are plenty of sagacious asides about the worthlessness of moisturisers but extreme necessity of Febreze™, the commonsense of keeping your head covered, the pros and cons of working in groups and the necessity of never, ever underestimating the cunning and nastiness of the “Freshies” who constitute your preferred fodder…

Following the introspective Introduction and ‘Mouthful of Mud’ – the first of seven insightful Journal Entries about the unlife of the undead from Mr. McGhoul – the first comprehensive chapter Eat Brains describes in piercing detail ‘A Way of Life’, the ‘Reasons for Eating Brains’, ‘Only Live Brains; Only Human’, mind you, and then advises ‘Listen to your Cravings’, ‘Types of Brains’, ‘A Tough Nut’, ‘Brain Bits for the Connoisseur’ and ‘Health Concerns’ before discoursing ‘On Cannibalism’ and recommending ‘Just Love It’

Know Your Body deals with ‘A New You’, ‘The PACE Infection’, how ‘A Plague is Born’, ‘Infection’, ‘Zombie Organs’, ‘Bodily Capacities’ and ‘Other Anatomical Facts’ whilst Hunt deals with ‘Brain Acquisition’, ‘Our Right to Make People Extinct’, ‘Pack Hunting’, ‘Ambush Hunting’, ‘New Principles of Combat’, ‘Close Combat Attack Techniques’, ‘Using Firearms’, ‘Using Other Weapons’ and offers some ‘Final Thoughts on Hunting & Combat’.

Interspersed with and following more plangent Journal Entries‘Hell’s Ragged Edge’, ‘Bitter and Raw’ and ‘Headhunter Laureate’, chapter 4 details how to Know Your Enemy: categorising the types and tactics of ‘Your Opposition in War’, ‘Sizing Them Up’ and pictorially detailing ‘Human Weaponry’‘Handguns’, ‘Submachine Guns’, ‘Rifles and Carbines’, ‘Shotguns’, ‘Bows and Arrows’, ‘Thrown Weapons’, ‘Swung Weapons’ and ‘Thrusting Weapons’, before demonstrating ‘Human Combat Training’, ‘The Human Fear Response’, ‘Human Vulnerabilities’ and how in the end they are ‘Their Own Worst Enemy’.

‘Whom Shall I Fear’ is another inspiring extract from the author’s Journal Entries after which Move Your Head offers ‘A Defensive Mantra’, ‘Protective Stances’, ‘Self-Defense Techniques’, what is best when ‘Fighting Multiple Foes’, the merits of ‘Zombie Headgear’, ‘Serpentining’, ‘The Invisible Hunter’, how to be ‘The Elusive Traveller’ and why one must learn to ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Smell’, ‘Destroy Captured Assets’ and ‘Leave No Witnesses’

From the Journal Entries comes the philosophy of ‘Self-Knowledge’ whilst the spiritual aspect and overarching mission of the Zombie Way is detailed in Infect Others as ‘The Four I’s’‘Ingest’, ‘Infect’, ‘Inject’ and ‘Instruct’ before the final Journal Entry‘My Brother’s Maker’ reveals the aspirational hope that one day the world can be theirs…

Ostensibly written by erudite undead philosopher J.D. McGhoul, and with a savagely detached tongue firmly embedded in a torn and ragged cheek, this tome delivers a devilishly sly and hilarious fresh take on the undead, told with devastating, deadpan delivery and Goriously illustrated with photos, diagrams and drawings: a uproarious, marvellously authentic treat for every mordantly shambling horror fanatic and bleakly black humourist…

And if you can’t sleep at night just wear a steel crash helmet and keep telling yourself “Zombies don’t exist”.  You’ll be fine.

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