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Zone One

Zone One In this wry take on the post apocalyptic horror novel a pandemic has devastated the planet The plague has sorted humanity into two types the uninfected and the infected the living and the living dea

In this wry take on the post apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet The plague has sorted humanity into two types the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuilding civilization under orders from the provisional government based in Buffalo Their top mission the resettlemIn this wry take on the post apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet The plague has sorted humanity into two types the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern ment based in Buffalo Their top mission the resettlement of Manhattan Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street aka Zone One but pockets of plague ridden squatters remain While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a innocuous variety the malfunctioning stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work ing in lower Manhattan Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world And then things start to go wrong Both spine chilling and playfully cerebral, Zone One bril liantly subverts the genre s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty first century.

  • Å Zone One ☆ Colson Whitehead
    154 Colson Whitehead

About Author

  1. Colson Whitehead says:
    I m the author of the novels Zone One Sag Harbor The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN Hemingway award John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award I ve also written a book of essays about my home town, The Colossus of New York, and a non fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle A recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, I live in New York City.My latest book, The Underground Railroad, is an Oprah s Book Club pick.

Comment 513 on “Zone One

  1. Stephen says:
    Attractive, well dressed writing and some buxom, sexy phrase turning make this novel s surface shiny and pretty However, its hollowness, lack of depth and monotone emotionlessness make the interior a soulless, vacuous fail It s prose porn with no emotional money shot, and like traditional porn Zone One dispenses with plot, character and any hint of deeper meaning in favor of excessive, gratuitous word humping The language is technically proficient and has an appealing shape, but inside is shallo [...]

  2. karen says:
    AHHHHHHHH jesus christ, but colson whitehead can write i read the intuitionist way back when everyone was praising it to the moon as the masterpiece of the next great american writer, but that book didn t really do a lot for me, while this one keel hauled me it was strolling along at a solid four stars until the ending, which just reached in between my ribs with insistent fingers and squeezed and squeezed and squeezed the last 100 pages or so just blew me away and it s not even a long book, 259 [...]

  3. Carol. says:
    Oh dear Is it possible to make flesh hungering zombies seem dull While I never thought so, AMC and Whitehead have both been giving it their all by enveloping them in navel gazing Philosophy 101 monologues and odd series of pastoral flashbacks in the midst of life or death situations Whitehead, at least, delivers his philosophy with amazing prose, while the writers at The Walking Dead season two rely on repetition of words like humanity times than Hobbes could shake a stick at We get it apocalyp [...]

  4. Will Byrnes says:
    Start spreading the news I m leaving today There is a lot to sink your teeth into in the latest book from MacArthur Genius grantee Colson Whitehead The nation has pretty much collapsed, with the implication that things are no better elsewhere in the world But there is still some hope A provisional government has been set up in Buffalo, and some organization is returning The government wants to clear Manhattan of undesirables, in order to repopulate, in order to show that there is a future, that [...]

  5. mark monday says:
    FRIDAYmark monday got up at his usual hour, in his usual bed, and after leisurely winding his way through his various morning routines, made his way to work, to perform his usual functions it was a friday, a day where most of his colleagues found reasons to be elsewhere appointments and such and so this was mark s favorite work day to be in the office the lack of potential irritation meant work could be accomplished on some level, he realized that this was perhaps a rather uncharitable perspect [...]

  6. Trudi says:
    Damn, this book is cold Like, really, really, C O L D The language is magnificent there is no doubt Whitehead can write, but he writes with no heat His writing here is like a perfect, shiny new Cadillac but with no engine Without the engine, what s the point You can sit and look pretty all the live long day, but you re not gonna get anywhere worth talking about or remembering Whitehead s problem here seems to be that he gets so caught up in delivering the goods on literary stylistics and gymnast [...]

  7. Kemper says:
    When the zombie apocalypse comes there ll be a lot of inconveniences The breakdown of society, lack of electrical power, no hot showers and undead cannibals trying to eat your brains will definitely suck, but I always figured that the trade off was that at least there d be no paying bills, standing in line at the DMV or having to tolerate corporate buzz words and slogans But in Zone One not only are there plenty of zombies, there s still silly bureaucratic rules and paperwork as well as a gover [...]

  8. Jeffrey Keeten says:
    He hooked up with strangers for a while, exchanged a grimy jar of cranberry sauce or a juice box per the new greeting ritual, and swapped information on the big matters of the day, like dead concentrations, and small things like the state of the world A few months into the collapse, only the fools asked about the government, the army, the designated rescue stations, all the unattainable islands, and the fools were dwindling every day He hung with them until they decided on divergent destinations [...]

  9. Kelly (and the Book Boar) says:
    Find all of my reviews at 52bookminimum After having my morbidly obese patootey pretty much blown away by The Underground Railroad, I knew Colson Whitehead was an author I wanted to read of When attempting unsuccessfully, natch to get a library copy of Isaac Marion s latest, this one popped up on the sorry we didn t have the fluffy zombie romance you were hoping for, maybe you would like to read a super smart zombie book instead window Zone One is a story many of you have read before Something [...]

  10. Navidad Thelamour says:
    The dead had paid their mortgages on time graduated with admirable GPAs, configured monthly contributions to worthy causes, judiciously apportioned their 401 k s and superimposed the borders of the good school districts on mental maps of their neighborhood, which were often included on the long list when magazines ranked cities with the Best Quality of Life In short, they had been honed and trained so thoroughly by that extinguished world that they were doomed in this new one Zone One is full of [...]

  11. Patrick Brown says:
    Does it ever seem to you like everything sucks Not just your own life with its minor setbacks and Pyrrhic victories but the entire existence of mankind You know, all of humanity I think that sometimes When I m filling up my car with gas, for instance, and I see a guy wearing scarves as shoes And then later that day, the person in front of me orders a coffee drink with than two modifiers half caff and no foam and part skim Or whenever I accidentally listen to sports talk radio for than ten minu [...]

  12. Francine says:
    There is a reason I hate stream of consciousness novels I can t follow it I like my novels to travel down a path it may veer off every now and then, and that s okay because those little detours may prove to be wonderful, terrifying, heart stopping, mysterious or whatnot, but they are almost always revelatory Sometimes immediately, sometimes long after the fact that you need to really remember and say Oh yeah, I remember when that happened Huh That s what that meant Either way, it doesn t matter [...]

  13. David Brooke says:
    Below is the review, but I ve also made it fight with another book at this site adventuresinpoortaste A pretty terrible experience No, not a zombie outbreak, this book There are flashes of interesting in this book, but overall you just want to skip ahead The book utilizes stream of consciousness to express the protagonist s detachment from reality, which is interesting and a probable way of someone in a zombie apocalypse coping, but it s a horrible way to tell a story Told in first person, the p [...]

  14. Brett Talley says:
    In an addendum to my original review, I initially gave this book three stars Then I watched the mid season finale of The Walking Dead, and it struck me that if a television show can display complex human emotion and interaction while simultaneously incorporating what is expected of the genre, this book should have been able to do the same thing If you think that is ridiculous, so be it In the interest of full disclosure, Zone One is one of the books that beat out my novel, That Which Should Not [...]

  15. Brian says:
    Second Reading June 30 July 4, 2013We are studied in the old ways, and acolytes of what s to come.I was a young teen 13 14 when I first watched Romero s classic Night of the Living Dead Watching with my two friends, we vocalized our response to the undead onslaught advice on which windows needed better fortification, admonitions on how to deal best with the character that s losing his her shit, and the most expedient way of dispatching a ghoul all of the responses in no way unique to a typical h [...]

  16. Melki says:
    A powerful, thought provoking oddball of a book How to even categorize it I suppose it is a thinking man s zombie novel, though it is lacking in the required skin ripping, intestine chomping, walking dead action that would hold most zombie aficionado s interest The living ARE hunted by the dead, but Whitehead does not linger on the messy details.A team arrives in New York City to clear out areas for possible reclaimation when the crisis has ended The city looms large in this book, pulsating in b [...]

  17. Nikki says:
    After reading this article in the New York Times, I had to try reading this I mean, I love genre fiction and I have a degree in English Literature, so you d better hope I ve got the intellectual side down since that s about all my degree seems to be good for demonstrating Surely I d get the best of both worlds out of this.And, you know, apparently that degree doesn t say a damn thing, because I just found Zone One boring I read the first twenty five pages rather hopefully something about the pro [...]

  18. Joe says:
    Zone One bats clean up after Shaun of the Dead in the ironic zombie literature line up Where Shaun wanted to show how easy and delightful it is to have fun with this seemingly essential genre, Colson Whitehead s novel endeavors to explore the materialistic aspect of humans losing their humanity Wandering through an empty city in Zone One, Whitehead forces us to stop and look at every little organic bath product and focus grouped chain restaurant in confessional detail as Mark Spitz, the main zom [...]

  19. Semjon says:
    Wenn ein renommierter Harvard Absolvent sich aus den vertrauten Gefilden der Hochliteratur in die blutbesudelten Niederungen der Genreliteratur, in diesem Fall ein Zombie Roman, begibt, dann darf man echt gespannt sein Als ich die vielen schlechten Kritiken der offensichtlich Genrefans auf las, die selten so etwas langweiliges gelesen hatten, war mir schon klar, dass hier der Autor nicht versuchte, den Stil dieses Genre zu kopieren, sondern wohl etwas ganz eigenes daraus geformt hat Und ich habe [...]

  20. Alex says:
    Manhattan was the biggest version of everywhere Up and down the island the buildings collided, they humiliated runts through verticality and ambition, sulked in one another s shadows Inevitability was mayor, term after term This is a New York book you can tell by how much shit it talks about Connecticut Abominable Connecticut abhorrent Connecticut Accursed, repulsive, maddening, degenerate Connecticut with its pustulant hordes, Bad News, repugnant, loathsome, mephitic fucking Connecticutis is th [...]

  21. Aubrey says:
    3.5 5I like horror Rather, I like what I most recently expanded on in a piece about Coleridge s Christabel written for class the evolution of narrative when it comes to scaring the living shit out of us The aforementioned composition is a narrative poem, and within it you can see the crossroads of Le Morte d Arthur and Carmilla in ways I, personally, am very much intrigued by Whereas vampires and the seductive guest are meant to stand for the aristocracy assuming I have my recollected tidbits ri [...]

  22. Maciek says:
    The problem of this book is that it doesn t really know what it wants to be Is it genre fiction Literature Social commentary Speculative fiction It tries to be a bit of everything, but doesn t really succeed What really brings it down is absolutely glacial pace, and almost complete lack of plot Even the action scenes are narrated in a way reminding one s grandfather sitting in his old chair and lazily reminiscing about his war experiences and going on all these tangents in a way which only retir [...]

  23. Jason Pettus says:
    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally As regular readers know, there s a special quirk to CCLaP s 10 point rating system that maybe a lot of other places don t have that no matter how good a genre book like science fiction or crime thriller actually is, in terms of sheer quality, it s not allowed to score in the 9s or above unless it somehow transcends [...]

  24. Stephen M says:
    This is my favorite kind of book Yes, of course, it is a lit zombie novel that features both Melvillean poetic digressions, as well as zombie shotgun carnage That is almost what makes this my favorite kind of book literary pulp doesn t even begin to describe it.No, my favorite kind of book is the marketed as pulp genre book that is actually quite dense, difficult, and often challenging that finds a wide audience, usually unfamiliar with the author s work It means a slew of negative reviews on , [...]

  25. Snotchocheez says:
    Whoa What a way to be introduced to a gifted author s work I was half listening to NPR s Fresh Air when Terry Gross was introducing Colson Whitehead who I d never heard of as a novelist whose previous offerings had been short listed for Pulitzer Prizes and PEN Faulkner awards my ears pricked up , who recently released his zombie novel Zone One WTF Full Attention Mode paid therewith He read an excerpt and I was just blown away Terry asked him what his inspiration was for this novel, and Colson re [...]

  26. Asghar Abbas says:
    I must say I really enjoyed reading this Dictionary masquerading as a Novel If it were a little concise and actually about zombies, I d have loved it But the Wordlings are amazing So Bravo for that.

  27. 11811 (Eleven) says:
    This audiobook book experience was like firing up crushed Ambien in a crack pipe Highly recommended to anyone who has trouble falling asleep.

  28. Obsidian says:
    I read this for the Diverse Voices square Zone One by Colson Whitehead Whitehead is an African American author I read one other book by him The Underground Railroad and decided that if that book was fantastic, this would be too Unfortunately that wasn t true This book was divided into three parts and the only part that became mildly interesting was the Saturday section Sunday was the shortest and for that I m thankful Though the writing was top notch, the flow was off and I was bored Maybe if th [...]

  29. Crowinator says:
    I sleep read the first 40 or so pages of Zone One, unintentionally I had the television on in the background, or music I liked too much to ignore, or I was on my lunch dinner break from the ref desk, with one ear tuned to the conversations of coworkers Even if it was quiet while I read, I was thinking of other things without being fully aware of it, like berating myself for not going for a run instead or reminding myself for the millionth time to take the clothes out of the dryer I would read a [...]

  30. RubyTombstone [With A Vengeance] says:
    Holy Fucking WOW.Review to come Cut to the next day Okay, I ve recovered my senses enough to put together a review now I m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is the pinnacle of post apocalyptic zombie fiction I didn t think it was going to be I was than 60pages into the book before I realised what I was reading was pretty special but in all the PA fiction I ve read, I can t think of a nuanced, realistic, humorous, cynical, horrific and poignant approach to the apocalypse This man [...]

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