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BOOK REVIEW: Only Dead on the Inside by James Breakwell

BOOK REVIEW: Only Dead on the Inside by James Breakwell

Atlantic Books
November 2017
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Humour / Non-Fiction / Survival Guide

8/10

 

 

The Twitter sensation with 900K followers provides the perfect Christmas gift for parents.

Raising kids can sometimes feel like society has ended, so why not go one further, and actually plan for it? From James Breakwell, who Buzzfeed called ‘the funniest dad on Twitter’, this hilarious book will help you through the rise of the undead, with helpful hints and tips on raising healthy, entirely human, offspring.

So, hunker down, stock up on supplies (alcohol, primarily) and get ready for the long haul. Or alternatively, take the more proactive approach. Ransack your kid’s toy chest/weapons locker for zombie lacerating objects, bear arms with a terrorising umbrella stroller, or (not recommended) use your baby as a human missile. With kids and with zombies, the possibilities are truly endless. And with parenting in a Zombie apocalypse, the rules change.

Bursting with twisted logic, questionable data, badly drawn cartoons and frank parenting advice, this is the witty gift book that everyone will be talking about this year. And who knows? It may even help you survive everyday life as well.

 

I’ve long been a fan of the @XplodingUnicorn twitter account, where Breakwell shares anecdotes of discussions with the five women who outnumber him at home (his wife and four daughters aged seven and under), and I have an unhealthy obsession with zombies. So when I found out about this book I had no choice by to fight anyone to the death who would try and get between myself and the book, despite my not being a parent to anyone except a fur-child.

And now, with thanks to the book, I have even more ideas for how to survive whenever zombies happen.

Breakwell’s dry, sarcastic sense of humour makes the journey from twitter account to zombie guide well, and there is no stone left unturned. The book includes chapters on how to tell whether the apocalypse has started, gathering supplies, the penchant kids have for putting themselves in danger, teaching your kids how to hide properly from zombies, and what to do if you’re bitten on a non-vital limb.

There is plenty here that is laugh out loud here, and some tips that might actually come in handy, but for the most part this is a sarcastic look at the battles of parenting with the added dose of awesomeness that is zombies. The end result is a whole lot of fun that you don’t need to have kids to enjoy properly, though some familiarity with their tendencies is bound to help. 

There are many times this book taps into the kind of moments that only parents (or those who work with kids) will fully relate to and understand.

Swinging the Umbrella Stroller Like a Club

1. Calmly fold up the stroller.
2. If it’s still not folded up, try a little less calmly.
3. Seriously, what engineer thought this design was a good idea? Try swearing. That usually helps.
4. Okay, it’s folded up now. Did the zombie eat you yet? No? Good.

Love is good, but disposable income is better. The best compromise is to minimize the risks at nursery as much as possible while still working full time. Every day when you drop off your kids, as four life-saving questions:

1. Does the teacher have any obvious bite marks?
2. Is the play space covered in dismembered body parts?
3. Are the children trying to satisfy their unending hunger for human flesh?
4. Is anything on fire?

If the answer to even one of these questions is “yes,” keep your kids home that day – unless you’ve already paid for the whole week.

Don’t be fooled by grade inflation and participation trophies. Kids suck at everything. They’re the worst zombie apocalypse teammates imaginable. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Except for the genes you gave them. And all the parenting you’ve done. But other than that, you’re blameless.

In a world full of ravenous undead monsters, the odds of being bitten by a zombie are high. Add a distracting kid to the mix, and the chances skyrocket. It’s hard to keep an eye out for reanimated corpses while also arguing with a four-year-old about whether or not her leggings are the right shade of pink. At least you’ll die over something important.

Also, how cool is this?

 
BOOK REVIEW: Only Dead on the Inside by James Breakwell

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