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Zone One

by

Zone One Cover

ISBN13: 9780385528078
ISBN10: 0385528078
Condition: Student Owned
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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

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 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.

Review:

"While the revolution will not be televised, the apocalypse and what comes after, at least according to Whitehead (Sag Harbor), will have sponsors. It will even have an anthem, the brilliantly self-referential 'Stop! Can You Hear the Eagle Roar?' (theme from Reconstruction). As we follow New Yorker and perpetual B-student 'Mark Spitz' over three harrowing days, Whitehead dumpster dives genre tropes, using what he wants and leaving the rest to rot, turning what could have been another zombie-pocalypse gore-fest into the kind of smart, funny, pop culture — filled tale that would make George Romero proud. While many stories in this genre are set in a devastated nowheresville, Whitehead plants his narrative firmly in New York City, penning a love letter to a Manhattan still recognizable after the event referred to only as 'Last Night.' Far from the solemn affair so often imagined, the apocalypse in Whitehead's hands is filled with the kind of dark humor one imagines actual survivors adopting in order to stave off madness. The author sometimes lets the set pieces he's so good at run long, but otherwise succeeds brilliantly with a fresh take on survival, grief, 9/11, AIDS, global warming, nuclear holocaust, Katrina, Abu Ghraib, Pol Pot's Year Zero, Missouri tornadoes, and the many other disasters both natural and not that keep a stranglehold on our fears and dreams. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"The best book of the fall...provides the chilling, fleshy pleasures of zombies who lurch, pursue, hunger...while brilliantly reformulating an old-hat genre." Esquire

Review:

"[Whitehead] takes the genre of horror fiction, mines both its sense of humor and self-seriousness, and emerges with a brilliant allegory of New York living." New York Observer

Review:

"Highbrow novelist Colson Whitehead plunges into the unstoppable zombie genre in this subtle meditation on loss and love in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, which has become the city that never dies." USA Today

Review:

"For-real literary — gory, lyrical, human, precise." GQ

Review:

"A satirist so playful that you often don't even feel his scalpel, Whitehead toys with the shards of contemporary culture with an infectious glee. Here he upends the tropes of the zombie story in the canyons of lower Manhattan. Horror has rarely been so unsettling, and never so grimly funny." The Daily Beast

Review:

"Whitehead's uncommonly assured style and his observational gifts make the book a pleasure to read." Newsweek

Review:

"Colson Whitehead's Zone One isn't your typical zombie novel; it trades fright-night fodder for empathy and chilling realism...yielding a haunting portrait of a lonely, desolate, and uncertain city." Elle

Review:

"This diabolically smart, covertly sensitive, ruminative, and witty zombie nightmare prods us to think about how we dehumanize others, how society tramples and consumes individuals, how flimsy our notions of law and order are, and how easily deluded and profoundly vulnerable humankind is. A deft, wily, and unnerving blend of pulse-elevating action and sniper-precise satire." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"[Whitehead] sinks his teeth into a popular format and emerges with a literary feast, producing his most compulsively readable work to date...Whitehead transforms the zombie novel into an allegory of contemporary Manhattan (and, by extension, America)." Kirkus (starred review)

Review:

"Zone One is not the work of a serious novelist slumming it with some genre-novel cash-in, but rather a lovely piece of writing...Whitehead picks at our nervousness about order's thin grip, suggesting just how flimsy the societal walls are that make possible our hopes and dreams and overly complicated coffee orders. Pretty scary." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"What's most surprising about Zone One is how subtly [Whitehead] reanimates those old body parts for a post-9/11 world. Although the ambling, rotting hordes are still here, this is a night of the living dead lit by melancholy and nostalgia rather than violence and terror. Horror fans hungry for new thrills may find too little meat on these bones...but now that zombies have infected everyone from Jane Austen to the above-average folks at Lake Wobegon, perhaps quieter reflection is in order....Readers who wouldn't ordinarily creep into a novel festooned with putrid flesh might be lured by this certifiably hip writer who can spin gore into macabre poetry." Ron Charles, The Washington Post

About the Author

Colson Whitehead is the author of the national best seller Sag Harbor and the novels The Intui tionist, John Henry Days, and Apex Hides the Hurt, as well as The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

lukas, January 7, 2013 (view all comments by lukas)
Other reviewers have called this a "realist" post-apocalyptic novel and if by realist, they mean dull and meandering, than they are correct. It's become moderately fashionable for so-called literary writers to dabbled in genre fiction, but Colson Whitehead, the author of "Sag Harbor," reveals that he doesn't really understand the genre and that it's harder than it looks because it requires structure, action and tension, things he doesn't do well. If you want a "realist" post-apocalyptic novel, try "The Road" or any number of novels by J.G. Ballard, a vastly more talented writer. Heck, you'd be better off settling down with a season of "The Walking Dead."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kate Merriman, August 7, 2012 (view all comments by Kate Merriman)
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
AB, December 5, 2011 (view all comments by AB)
The first realist zombie novel! Which makes the thing all the more frightening. Colson Whitehead creates a full portrait of what it might actually be like to live on in a time when life on Earth must be reconstructed and reconceived, post-plague. Zone One reads like the inverse of The Road, answering all of the questions of what happened and what life was like before and just how does one get through the day when your life alternates between killing "skels" and doing not much at all...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385528078
Author:
Whitehead, Colson
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.51 x 6.4 x 1 in 1.22 lb

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Zone One Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385528078 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "While the revolution will not be televised, the apocalypse and what comes after, at least according to Whitehead (Sag Harbor), will have sponsors. It will even have an anthem, the brilliantly self-referential 'Stop! Can You Hear the Eagle Roar?' (theme from Reconstruction). As we follow New Yorker and perpetual B-student 'Mark Spitz' over three harrowing days, Whitehead dumpster dives genre tropes, using what he wants and leaving the rest to rot, turning what could have been another zombie-pocalypse gore-fest into the kind of smart, funny, pop culture — filled tale that would make George Romero proud. While many stories in this genre are set in a devastated nowheresville, Whitehead plants his narrative firmly in New York City, penning a love letter to a Manhattan still recognizable after the event referred to only as 'Last Night.' Far from the solemn affair so often imagined, the apocalypse in Whitehead's hands is filled with the kind of dark humor one imagines actual survivors adopting in order to stave off madness. The author sometimes lets the set pieces he's so good at run long, but otherwise succeeds brilliantly with a fresh take on survival, grief, 9/11, AIDS, global warming, nuclear holocaust, Katrina, Abu Ghraib, Pol Pot's Year Zero, Missouri tornadoes, and the many other disasters both natural and not that keep a stranglehold on our fears and dreams. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "The best book of the fall...provides the chilling, fleshy pleasures of zombies who lurch, pursue, hunger...while brilliantly reformulating an old-hat genre."
"Review" by , "[Whitehead] takes the genre of horror fiction, mines both its sense of humor and self-seriousness, and emerges with a brilliant allegory of New York living."
"Review" by , "Highbrow novelist Colson Whitehead plunges into the unstoppable zombie genre in this subtle meditation on loss and love in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, which has become the city that never dies."
"Review" by , "For-real literary — gory, lyrical, human, precise."
"Review" by , "A satirist so playful that you often don't even feel his scalpel, Whitehead toys with the shards of contemporary culture with an infectious glee. Here he upends the tropes of the zombie story in the canyons of lower Manhattan. Horror has rarely been so unsettling, and never so grimly funny."
"Review" by , "Whitehead's uncommonly assured style and his observational gifts make the book a pleasure to read."
"Review" by , "Colson Whitehead's Zone One isn't your typical zombie novel; it trades fright-night fodder for empathy and chilling realism...yielding a haunting portrait of a lonely, desolate, and uncertain city."
"Review" by , "This diabolically smart, covertly sensitive, ruminative, and witty zombie nightmare prods us to think about how we dehumanize others, how society tramples and consumes individuals, how flimsy our notions of law and order are, and how easily deluded and profoundly vulnerable humankind is. A deft, wily, and unnerving blend of pulse-elevating action and sniper-precise satire."
"Review" by , "[Whitehead] sinks his teeth into a popular format and emerges with a literary feast, producing his most compulsively readable work to date...Whitehead transforms the zombie novel into an allegory of contemporary Manhattan (and, by extension, America)."
"Review" by , "Zone One is not the work of a serious novelist slumming it with some genre-novel cash-in, but rather a lovely piece of writing...Whitehead picks at our nervousness about order's thin grip, suggesting just how flimsy the societal walls are that make possible our hopes and dreams and overly complicated coffee orders. Pretty scary."
"Review" by , "What's most surprising about Zone One is how subtly [Whitehead] reanimates those old body parts for a post-9/11 world. Although the ambling, rotting hordes are still here, this is a night of the living dead lit by melancholy and nostalgia rather than violence and terror. Horror fans hungry for new thrills may find too little meat on these bones...but now that zombies have infected everyone from Jane Austen to the above-average folks at Lake Wobegon, perhaps quieter reflection is in order....Readers who wouldn't ordinarily creep into a novel festooned with putrid flesh might be lured by this certifiably hip writer who can spin gore into macabre poetry."
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