Where I Got It: Review copy via the publisher & Netgalley (thanks!).
Publisher: BenBella Books (2014)
Length: 339 pages
This book is one of the funnest and most informative cookbooks I have laid my hands on in some time. And it is way more than recipes for the those with a short list of items to pick from during the apocalypse. It is also full of info on how to build small ovens, fire pits, where to scavenge for food, and thinking outside the box (insects rolled in kelp and smoked over an open fire?). There’s also a list of tools for various projects (like setting up traps for game), how to clean your game before cooking, and even some basics on edible wild plants. And then it goes a step further and provides info on what to do after the initial apocalypse stage, once things settle down and you can too. This info includes such things as setting up a compost pile, shellfish gardening, and more. And there are recipes! Lots of very interesting and tasty (yep, I tried a few myself) recipes.
The book is full of illustrations, both comical (vacant eyed zombies wandering around) and useful (animal track identification). There’s plenty of illustrations of the recipes too, so you have an idea of how your food should look just before consuming it. I especially liked the Zpoc Food Pyramid! The illustrations really made this book a fully visual experience.
The accompanying text has a touch of snark to it (which I loved), plenty of humor, and heaps of practical advice. Let me point out that I live on a farm, so many of the things in this books were not new ideas to me. And yet this book had more than the basics; it had some innovative ideas on ovens (that I hadn’t seen before) and some food ideas that had not occurred to me (such as the kelp and seaweed as a major source of nutrients). I live in a land-locked state, so I hope you will forgive my ignorance on such things. But if the zombie apocalypse ever comes to pass, I will be sure to toss this book into my backpack to provide me guidance as I navigate my way through the turmoil.
OK, now that I have gushed about this book, let me tell you about how I got my copy of the book. Initially, I was cruising around on NetGalley and saw this book. It was the cover that caught my eye and then the description. Zombies, cooking, survivalist theme – how could I not request it? Well, I was turned down by some sort of autofilter. But I pulled my courage together and sent a polite email to the publishers asking why I was rejected. They immediately unblocked me and I downloaded a copy. Alas, this NetGalley copy was pretty scant, a mere preview of the full-fledged awesome book I was expecting. And there was some serious formatting issues. So, I contemplated and then decided to contact the publisher again. I thought perhaps they would email over a full ebook version for me to review. But they went above and beyond that folks, they sent a physical copy! And it is a beauty of a book! I am so glad I had the chance to read and review the full version instead of the meager NetGalley version. Just an FYI (since I was unaware as well) – NetGalley has upload size limits on books and due to the numerous (and awesome) illustrations in this book, the publisher was forced to go with a much reduced, preview version of the book for NetGalley.
So, there you have it. This book is perfect for your zombie enthusiast, your adventurous cook, and your organized survivalist. Rarely have I seen such a useful book filled with so much humor!
What I Liked: The cover; the illustrations; the sheer usefulness; the light snark and pervasive humor; the accommodating publisher!
What I Disliked: Nothing to complain about – excellent book!
What Others Think: