Maggie's Reviews > The Zero

The Zero by Jess Walter
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's review
Mar 02, 2010

it was ok
Read from March 02 to 10, 2010

You spend about 85% of the time reading this book having no idea what's going on because the main character suffers from gaps in his memory and constantly blips out mid stream from one scene to the next.

He's a cop who was on the scene of 9/11 and actually ran into one of the towers, but doesn't remember what happened after that. Publicity around his heroism puts him in a special task force that basically involved a bunch of different US government agencies sending in guys undercover to infiltrate a Middle Eastern terrorist group in New York. Turns out, though, that the all of the gang members are under cover guys and none of them are real, but an awful lot of time and energy is spent setting up the idea that there is a real threat.

Perhaps I was supposed to appreciate more of the satirical commentary of the American reaction to 9/11... which I guess I can concede. It was surreal and Kafka-esque and some of America's political response did just seem to be muscle flexing and posturing.

But reading this book wasn't at all enjoyable. The constant interruption was distracting. And it seemed like Brian Remy suffered more from Multiple Personality Disorder than from memory gaps, as he's horrified when he learns about the things that he's done during some of the gaps. We see him as the guy he is as he narrates to us, and as an entirely other guy as we learn what he's done in the other times.

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Reading Progress

03/02/2010 page 20

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