December 9, 2011

The Art of Zombie Warfare (Review)


The Art of Zombie Warfare:
How to Kick Ass Like 
the Walking Dead

By Scott Kenemore

Skyhorse Publishing: 2010


4.5 / 5 zedheads

In William Shakespeare's Richard III, King Richard finds himself at the losing end of a severe military ass kicking. "A horse!" he famously exclaims as he searches desperately for an exit strategy."A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Perhaps, if Richard had taken the time to read Scott Kenemore's The Art of Zombie Warfare he could have enacted a swift and merciless victory by having the foresight to shout, "A zombie! A zombie! My kingdom for a zombie!"

In The Art of Zombie Warfare, Kenemore (writing in the persona of a hawkish jarhead) sets forth a sure-fire strategy for military victory: fight like a zombie. Whether you're commanding your own horde of zombie soldiers or responsible for issuing marching orders to mortal men, Kenemore argues that victory is as close as the nearest mouthful of brains..... if you train your soldiers to fight exactly as zombies fight.

In Kenemore's guide, rules of engagement, human rights, complex wartime strategies, and POW protocols are all obstacles to success. Instead, he advocates that military leaders teach their soldiers to fight the zombie way: always just walk straight ahead and kill everybody. Everybody. Well, the philosophy is a bit more complex than that, but essentially the book advocates (with tongue firmly in cheek) that if you can't have genuine zombies on your side then you need the next best thing: merciless, thoughtless soldiers with no regard for human life and no interest in glory -- only total decimation of the enemy by any means necessary followed by a nice hot steaming bowl of brains for their troubles.

Kenemore's previous zombie-themed guide to business, Z.E.O, tended to get a bit dry. Thankfully, The Art of Zombie Warfare is written in a much more concise and punchier style. The chapters are short and sweet, making Zombie Warfare a brisk read. It's thoroughly entertaining and gleefully sociopathic in its military philosophy.

Each chapter features illustrations by Adam Wallenta that are far more polished than the art in Kenemore's previous guides, yet Wallenta's zombies look more like a cross between Dracula and Frankenstein's monster than typical flesh-hungry undead.

If you find yourself shipping out to fight in a foreign war, joining a band of guerrilla fighters, or considering the necessity of launching a full scale attack on your neighbors, put aside those moldy copies of Sun Tzu's Art of War and those dogeared issues of Terrorism Weekly you get in the mail. The only things you need to ensure success is a copy of Zombie Warfare and a steady supply of cannibalistic corpses or, at the very least, a platoon of living soldiers willing to sacrifice their humanity and fight like the living dead.