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Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuilding civilization under orders from the provisional government 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 more 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 working 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 brilliantly subverts the genre’s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Annie on 01-06-12
Tomorrow needs a marketing rollout.
Everything they say about this book is true. It is slow, confusing, and lacking action...AND it is funny as hell and breathtakingly beautiful.
I don't want to get into a "literary fiction" vs. "mass market fiction" argument here. This book is just not going to do it for a lot of people, and it has nothing to do with education, intelligence, status, etc.
I was almost one of those people. I have a Master's degree in English Lit., but I gave up most serious literature years ago for good, pulpy fun. I spent much of the first two hours listening to Zone One while secretly composing in my head a scathing review about how dull and pointless it seemed.
Then something happened. I got it. I went back to the beginning and listened again. When I got to the end, I went back to the middle for yet another go.
What I found was a moving story, excellent character development, sharply written lines (like the one I used for my headline above), some social commentary (though perhaps a bit obvious...yes, we know, modern folk DO act like the walking dead much of the time), and a different way of looking at the zombie apocalypse.
So I loved it, but you may not. Still, I believe there is room in the genre for Zone One.
24 of 27 people found this review helpful
By phillip on 08-17-12
Will make you feel like the undead.
If you like alot (and I mean alot!) of good descriptive prose that makes a comment on the frivolity of modern society pointing out how we are all hopelessly doomed, and want a zombie twist on that, this may be the book for you. I like descriptive prose (even good descriptive prose) only if it flows naturally with the story and helps to move the plot along. If I find myself thinking "Boy.... that sure is ALOT of good descriptive prose." It's at that point my eyeballs roll back in my head and the zombie like moaning begins.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful