Review * Zone One by Colson Whitehead

November 26, 2011 Reviews 0 DNF

Review * Zone One by Colson WhiteheadZone One by Colson Whitehead
Published by Doubleday on October 18, 2011
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 259
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
n 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. 

What I Thought…

I just couldn’t read any more.  I really hate to not finish books, even if they are bad, but I can’t make myself push through this any longer.  I have a few reasons why, and it’s probably the combination of them as a whole that makes me unable to continue this book.

#1 I don’t watch zombie movies and I’ve never read a zombie book.  A lot of people rave about zombies so I thought I would give it a shot.  I picked up this book cause of the end of the world theme (I LOVE end of the world themes) mixed with the zombies.  This is probably a big reason why I didn’t like the book, I just don’t like zombies.

#2 It only has 3 chapters!  This is a big pet peeve of mine.  When I am reading a book and need to stop I like to stop at the end of a chapter because it’s a natural stopping point.  I hate stopping in the middle and this book leaves you no choice.  I don’t mind having a few long chapters in books, but 90 pages is a bit ridiculous.

#3 I didn’t care for the way he wrote the book either.  I found his present day/past back and forth was very clear cut and it was sometimes confusing.

#4 The main character, Mark Spitz, was always referred to in the book as Mark Spitz.  It drove me nuts that he wasn’t just Mark.  Or just Spitz.  Or anything but his whole name.

All in all, this book just wasn’t for me.  I read the first chapter and I’m done.  Unless you REALLY love Zombies, I would stay away.


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