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Zone One (2011)

Zone One (2011)

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3.25 of 5 Votes: 5
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0385528078 (ISBN13: 9780385528078)

About book Zone One (2011)

I'd probably give this a 3.5 (I should re-scale my reviews, because if something is a one-star, I don't finish it, and thus I have no one-star reviews) based on the writing, but it falls in the category of something I really have no interest in reading again, one of my personal criteria for a 4/5 star book. About everything written on Zone One talks about it subverting genre literature and bringing zombies into literary fiction, which is true. The literary-ness of Z1 is a bit disarming, as the flashbacks and mental diversions make it hard to keep your bearings as a reader. I found it very difficult to track the passage of time and hold together a coherent narrative, which may have been intentional, giving the reader the same wandering feeling found in Mark Spitz, Z1's protagonist. That said, the middle third of this book felt dense and slow for me, and the beautiful words and images Whitehead dropped on the page tended to feel more like sludge and less like rich and complex prose. Still a fun and smart read, nothing is handed to you as a reader, which I like. I would say I wanted more narrative direction, but I'm not sure it is what I needed. I was never a huge fan of zombie movies even when I was more into horror movies, so I approached this novel with a little bit of a misgiving. The author is brilliant and I've loved everything else I've read by him, so that gave me less reason to worry.This is a great book and zombies are really only a small fraction of what the book ends up being about. It is more about modern society and what we would do without it and coping strategies and the psychology of minimizing consequences and emotionally not reacting. With various social media quizzes like "how long would you survive a zombie apocalypse?" people tend to think they would be very good at surviving in an end of the world scenario, but I think people frequently misunderstand what skills and what kind of a mindset they would need to be able to deal with the end of the world. The protagonist of this novel, the long surviving Mark Spitz, has the skills that are necessary which are not Rambo-like in any way. An interior novel for long stretches, Zone One tends to double back on itself and in the midst of shooting a pack of zombies in the head, the author will have the protagonist revisit some memories, think back through various scenarios pre-and post apocalypse that are related to what is currently taking place. This kind of narrative boxing up of incidents is a mirror to what is most likely one of the most necessary survival techniques/strategies in a post-apocalyptic world: mental compartmentalization.Recommended, even if, like me, you are not a big fan of zombies.

Do You like book Zone One (2011)?

Brilliant prose and so dark. So dark in fact that I couldn't truly enjoy it.

Whitehead will blow your mind while he's blowing everyone else's.

Flashy vocabulary but lacking substance. Disappointing.

Tedious at best

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