Lori Anderson's Reviews > Zone One

Zone One by Colson Whitehead
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's review
Mar 25, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: dystopia-post-apocalyptic
Recommended for: no one
Read from March 25 to 28, 2012 , read count: 1

This book has an post-apocalyptic setting -- a mysterious illness creates zombies out of many people, leaving others untouched, and after the unidentified plagues starts to wind down, causes survivors to form enclaves in decimated cities.

I expected more. I started out eagerly expecting a story that would tell the why and wherefore, like Stephen King's "The Stand", Justin Cronin's "The Passage" (who ironically loved the book), Robert McCammon's "Swan Song" or even Robert Matheson's "I Am Legend". At least I wasn't naive enough to expect a "Hunger Games".

My problems were the unanswered questions:

~Why was Connecticut always called names?

~What was the best guess for the "Last Day"?

~The relentless mentioning of the character with his first and last name -- "Mark Spitz", never just "Mark", or even "Spitz". I'm sure Whitehead had a reasoning for this but it irritated me and made the flow of the book falter.

Lots of questions a reader may have are just never answered. It's more a story of survival than how come they HAVE to survive -- what put them there in the first place. While Whitehead is certainly very well educated with an amazing vocabulary, the book seemed tedious and took me too long to read -- I kept having to go back to reread what Whitehead wrote, wondering what he was on about. There also seemed to be a marked lack of plot.

I'm rating this squarely in the middle with Three Stars because there were some very good parts, but overall, the book isn't my favorite of this genre.

Lori Anderson

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