Author tells students: Beware of zombies

Lisa Hlavinka

If you want to survive into the next century, read this story.

But it’s not about a terrorist or nuclear threat.

It’s about a zombie threat.

“If you see a zombie and you’re totally unprepared, it’s too late,” said Max Brooks, author of “The Zombie Survival Guide.”

“You have to be prepared before you see one,” he said.

Brooks spoke to group of 150 in the Carol Cartwright Auditorium last night. During the event, which was sponsored by the All Campus Programming Board, Brooks also talked about his latest book, “World War Z.”

The author is only son of Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, who, among other classic films, produced “Spaceballs”.

“World War Z” was inspired by “The Good War,” an oral history of WWII by Studs Terkel. Like Terkel’s book, “World War Z” features several first-hand accounts from people who survived the war, only in this book the war is a “future” conflict – the “Zombie War.”

And although it’s meant to be a parody, the book does have underlying themes which apply to real world conflicts.

“There are definitely some hard-core social/political themes in World War Z,” he said. “Every incident in the book has happened, just not with zombies. It has happened in some course of human history. So everything you read and think ‘that could never happen,’ it has.”

So how can you tell a zombie apart from a healthy human being walking down the street?

“If he tries to eat you, that’s pretty much a red flag. If he just stumbles on by, he’s just wasted,” Brooks said.

The fictional monsters carry a virus called solanum, he said, and can only be killed by destroying the brain. The best way to avoid the virus is to not get bitten by a zombie, and the best way to prevent an all-out zombie war is to spread the word of the zombie threat.

Brooks said the zombie threat to Kent State will only be as big as students allow it to be.

“Be vigilant. Be aware,” he said. “Talk to one another. Start studying now, start preparing now, start organizing now.”

Brooks’ slogan is “Organize before they rise”.

“We have to unite. We’re all in this together. The slogan ‘Organize before they rise’ has to be everywhere. That’s gotta be the slogan for Kent State and the United States.”

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Lisa Hlavinka at [email protected].