Echo Dot countdown boutiques-francophones Introducing Fire 7 tablet, starting at $59.99 WFM Furniture Kindle Paperwhite Explore the Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools

Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Zone One: A Novel
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$26.10+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on September 8, 2016
Good, exciting read. Feels more like a literate, combat memoir than a typical horror novel. Think Jarhead meets The Walking Dead. The main character is compelling with his virtues and limitations presented honestly and unsentimentally.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 5, 2012
Based around the remaining civilization's attempts to clear Manhattan of zombies as a first step to reclaiming New York City. The storyline is well thought out, the characters are interesting and the mental side of the situation is explored at perfect length. I just wish the ending could have been different.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 12, 2017
Imagine your favourite holiday dish is stuffing. You go to Grandma’s every year for Thanksgiving, suffer through the brussels sprouts and bean salad, because there is stuffing to make it all better.

This year, you go to Grandma’s and learn that since she’s getting on in years, she’s enlisted the help of others to prepare the meal. As you sit next to your pretentious uncle who waxes on about the issues with Socrates’ theories of existentialism, your prim-faced aunt passes you the beloved stuffing - and you catch a scent. Anise. And there’s raisins.

That’s this book. Lacking onions and poultry seasoning, and smells like licorice.

I’m going to air out a couple of biases I have here:

1) I don’t traditionally enjoy anything zombie related.
2) I find in modern literature, too many authors focus on being wordsmiths and forget to write an actual story.

I wish I was joking when I said that it took me 250 pages to even discover the plot in this book. This is very “stream of conscious”, which in some cases works, but there are moments of jarring jumping around that just don’t make sense. Mid day Saturday he references “that last Sunday” with the current characters that left me flipping back and forth wondering if I’d missed anything. It took 32 pages to portray the main character as a “normal” guy.

Taking all the unneeded adjectives and sentences out, this story could be written in a page an a half. There’s a lot of filler here, but it definitely needs more onions for me. And hold the raisins.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon January 17, 2012
It must be the overwhelming volume of extremely poor apocalyptic zombie novels that are to blame for the shock one experiences when you find one of real quality. Whitehead is an accomplished author who turns his talents to the genre arguably with similar impact as McCarthy had with The Road. The story has us join this shocking new world more than a year after the outbreak. The main character, Mark Spitz (a name given during apocalyptic events), once worked in "Customer Relationship Management, New Media Department, of a coffee multinational" which is one small example of Whitehead's humour and jaded outlook of current society.

The tale is centred during reconstruction efforts in Manhattan when the threat is still real but there is an organized effort to return to the way things used to be. It employs flashbacks of Spitz's previous life, his and other survivor's "Last Night" stories, and vignettes of survival. But what Whitehead does extremely well is he challenges the boring repetition of conventional zombie fiction often framed in what he calls "that interregnum cliche". At various points throughout the book he destroys the recurring myths that have been advanced in so many of these books, such as:

- "The new micro-societies inevitably imploded, on the island getaways, in reclaimed prisons, at the mountain top ski lodge accessible only by sabotaged funicular, in the underground survivalist hideouts finally summoned to utility." (this actually made me laugh when I thought of how many zombie novels involve prisons)

- Inbound lanes to large cities are free of paralyzed vehicles (think of The Walking Dead) while in this "particular apocalypse, the human beings were messy and did not obey the rules, and every lane in and out, every artery and vein, was filled with outbound traffic."

- Gone are the usual archetypes and characters of survivalist heroes, mad military men, marauding gangs, redneck rapists, the rich who try to buy their survival, etc.

In essence, the book asks what if our cozy world of consumerism was jarred irreparably? What would we miss? The author definitely eschews capitalism, materialism, and shallowness as evidenced by the following descriptions:

- "run-down waterfront districts of fabricated historical import that had been tarted up into tourist mills."

- "He had been here before and not been here before. That was the magic of the (restaurant) franchise."

- "The thing about these boutique hotels is that you can be anywhere in the world. They really had it down before the plague - the international language of hospitality."

- "He missed the stupid stuff everyone missed, the wifi and the workhorse chromium toasters, mass transportation and gratis transfers, rubbing cheese-puff dust on his trousers..."

He seems to suggest that our world is experiencing a vacuous, economic apocalypse of sorts right now. Characters in the book offer many reasons for why the dead came back to life altering world order. The most clear supposition is summed by a survivor as, "The dead came to scrub the Earth of capitalism and the vast bourgeois superstructure, with its doilies, helicopter parenting, and streaming video, return us to nature and wholesome communal living." Cleverly, Whitehead refers to one type of zombies called stragglers, those trapped in an unexplained paralysis, as an "aberrant one percent" compared to deadly skels comprising the other 99% of the zombie population. One character muses that it would be a different story if the percentages were reversed.

But do not let me imply that this is a thinly veiled rant against this world's economic 1%. The book provides action and scenarios that are riveting and sure to thrill fans of the genre. And at its core are the efforts in Manhattan. Given it was an island with streets in clear grids, the new authorities thought "It could be subdued and understood." They knew it would be great 'P.R.' to resettle Manhattan for morale amongst the survivors in the U.S. and to brag to other nations struggling to return to order. They set out to do so through a systematic reclamation commencing with Zone One (think Bagdad Green Zone). Then these efforts and others in America experience "reversals, complications" which add an unexpected dimension to the story.

Many of the reviews I have read on Amazon seem to support my theory that given there is so much bad zombie fiction out there that when we actually are given a good one, we may be incapable of recognizing it.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on November 30, 2011
Though the book was a fun ride, I found myself wanting more. I understand that there was a minimalist approach to the themes of this book - both in the past and the present - to let the reader imagine the scenarios on a personal basis, but I found myself wanting more action and a more complete conclusion; but I do understand the ending, as there really is no ending in an 'End of the World' scenario.

I did enjoy the ties made to modern consumerism and trends in North America throughout the book, a very good reflection of soicety.

I would recommend the book, though it would not be number one on my list.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 18, 2016
Really excellent book. If you ever got to the end of a disaster story and thought, "Then what happened?", this is the book for you. I always want to know about the rebuilding more than the destruction.

The characters are intriguing and deeply real. The story itself is compelling. Don't read this book while trying to fall asleep unless you want to sit up all night reading and be late for work the next day.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items

Need customer service? Click here