Did you watch Fear the Walking Dead last night and are freaking out a little bit about your zombie plans? Wondering how you would deal when the virus finally hits and causes chaos? Who you could trust? Well, maybe Dr. Travis Langley and his book, The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead can help calm some of those fears.
Dr. Langley might be a familiar name to you if you’ve ever attended a convention. He regularly speaks on the subjects of heroism and pop culture and writes the online column, ” Beyond Heroes and Villains” for Psychology Today. His recent publication, The Walking Dead Psychology is his latest foray into a pop culture juggernaut. The book is a collection of essays from numerous experts in the field of psychology that Langley reached out to. They each took a stab at answering questions fans have about the infamous series and it’s beloved and hated characters.
The book is separated into five sections: Waking, Responding, Dying, Walking, and Living. So you can always jump around in the book depending on what’s slowly chewing away at your brain. Want to know more about the neurobiology of the walkers? Go to Waking. Interested in delving more into the characters’ guilt? Go to Walking. Want to understand why some characters turn into sociopaths? Go to Dying. Want to understand what fear does to people? Go to Responding. Wonder what you would do when the zombie apocalypse comes? Go to Living.
I’m a fan of the series and there are times where would I get frustrated by a character’s actions. I couldn’t understand why the others could turn on Rick so quickly. Or why the Governor had a weird sentimental side but was a cruel dictator. But what I found while I was reading some of the essays, was a new way to look at the characters and what drove their actions. It gave me a completely new understanding for the series and made me really appreciate the work the writers put into truly developing these characters. Now I won’t scream at the television when I’m unhappy with how a character is reacting. I can just refer to this book and find the essay that correlates to what that character is experiencing and reexamine the scene.
Don’t stress out thinking that you need to know a good bit about psychology before picking up this book. I pretty much know next to nothing about psychology. Thankfully, each contributor is great at breaking down their topic in understandable terms. And it helps that The Walking Dead is their example.
So Walking Dead and Fear the Dead fans, this book should be next in your to To-Read list. It’s an enjoyable and informative read. And once your finished reading the book, you can go back to your zombie survival plans.
The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead is available now from Sterling Publishing.
Feature image: 92kqrs