Jennifer's Reviews > The Zero

The Zero by Jess Walter
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's review
Jul 12, 2011

liked it
Read from July 12 to 14, 2011

I loved moments of this book, but didn't really love it as a whole.

It was reminiscent of Catch-22 in parts, which I really did like (I love Catch-22). But I don't know if its because 9/11 is still too recent or what, but some of the more cynical parts just didn't strike the right chord, in my opinion.

Still, I enjoyed the book for its subject and the fact that it didn't treat it in the way you might expect. The people were not all heroes and everything was not all about tragedy. It seems somewhat like a frank look into human nature.

I almost think I need to read it again. I think I might like it better the second time around.

And there was a quote in the book that I just adored.

"The ground is where history lay. They didn’t put the Gettysburg memorial somewhere else. They put it at Gettysburg, or some version of that place, of that ground. They were the same: ground and place—plowed and scraped and rearranged, sure, but still you knew that in this place the soil was tamped with bone and gristle and bravery. That was important. The ground was important, imprinted with every footfall of our lives, the DNA of the profound and the banal, every fight, chase, panhandle, kiss, fall, dog shit, con game, stickball hit, car wreck, bike race, sunset stroll, fish sale, mugging—the full measure and memento of every unremarkable event, and every inconceivable moment. Remy turned from side to side, taking the whole thing in, feeling incomplete, cheated in some way, as if they’d taken away his memory along with the dirt and debris. Maybe his mind was a hole like this—the evidence and reason scraped away. If you can’t trust the ground beneath your feet, what can you trust? If you take away the very ground, what could possibly be left."

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