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Kate Merriman has commented on (6) products.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Zone One

Kate Merriman, August 7, 2012

If you were to say to me, "Hey, Kate, I suggest you read a post-apocalyptic zombie novel," I would have a) laughed b) explained that I wasn't laughing AT you, but at how unlikely it was that I'd ever get to a zombie novel when so many enticing non-gimmicky and rich novels awaited me and then c) tried to think of a zombie joke to ease the awkward tension between us.

So what the heck happened here? I seem to have read this book and then given it five stars?

That naughty monkey Terry Gross is to blame. Her interview on Fresh Air convinced me that Colson Whitehead had some amazing writing chops and that the subject was something I should not allow to deter me.

I agree with an earlier reviewer that although this book is not long, it bears slow and careful reading and that the beauty of the sentences is densely packed. The sense of humor feels freshly minted and the main character's ruminations on how all of his photographs and emails and memories are lost in "the cloud" of the (now destroyed) Internet was especially topical.

I love how Colson frames his "hero" as the individual whose skills hadn't been so rewarded in the pre-apocalyptic world but are exactly what is needed for surviving this fictional world's zombie plague.

I was also intrigued that initially Colson had wanted to write the "black Day of the Dead" or "black Zombie Apocalypse" but then ultimately didn't emphasize race in Zone One. But I also wanted to see what kind of zombie novel an African American writer would create.

Beautifully written and can't wait to check out The Intuitionist.
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Finding Pegasus
Finding Pegasus

Kate Merriman, August 7, 2012

If you'd like to experience what it would be like to go back in time and work directly with the now-passed Tom Dorrance, this book is for you. Terry takes the time to set the scene and let us walk in those shoes so that I can perfectly imagine the master at work and start soaking up some of his wisdom.

I would love to wave a magic wand and change the narrator to a first-person account since the third-person narrator seemed somewhat off and stilted. But the experiences the author shares are so specific and clearly described that I found great value in most of this writing and could easily overlook some parts that seemed overwrought.
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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Kate Merriman, January 19, 2012

Beautiful and engaging blend of Murakami's intellectualism and dream-like complexity with enough mystery and clever pacing to keep me up way too late to find out what will happen next! Or in other words, good think-y stuff matched well with "feet on the ground" action! And truly an original story with characters I want to spend time with.
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Bright before Us (Tin House New Voice) by Katie Arnold-Ratliff
Bright before Us (Tin House New Voice)

Kate Merriman, May 11, 2011

There were some very interesting and compelling things going on in this little book, and I had read glowing blurbs about it, having received this as part of the monthly "Indiespensable" program.

The good: wonderful sense of place, interesting plot, intriguing working of threads of the story back and forth.

The distractingly not-good: I just could not accept the narrator's voice as that of a young straight man. The floaty, self-indulgent and weepy interior tone kept telling me that either a) I was supposed to be understanding my narrator and protagonist as unlikeable or b) the young author couldn't convey a male voice.

So, a little disappointing after all the hype.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)

Faithful Place by Tana French
Faithful Place

Kate Merriman, January 1, 2011

Tana French's books continue to be completely absorbing and insightful, rich and twisty, full of fascinating and well-developed characters. I never want to leave the world she creates, despite all the human frailty she artfully reveals to us.
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