Zone One by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mark Spitz is working with his unit to clear out the left over undead in Manhattan so that the American government can finally reclaim it and begin returning to normal. Over a couple of days, Mark Spitz shares his memories and knowledge in flash backs and conversational narrative. It’s a very interesting read for sure, a bit World War Z, in a good way.
It has its predictable ending, but because of certain aspects of Mark Spitz character, it’s still worth reading. Because Mark Spitz is mediocre, never the best, but never the worst, and somehow he survived the plague so far out of sheer unremarkable-ness. The author has also added in PASD, like PTSD but the apocalypse version, which makes sense yet has not been a common theme in the genre.
The writing can be a bit difficult at times, with some sentences needed to be reread to get the right cadence/flow, and the language is certainly more mature in the intellectual sense.
One of the things I liked about the story is that characters generally made sense in their actions and choices. Some people are idiots and get themselves in trouble of course, but a lot of them don’t fool around, and there is a reason they made it so long.
Nothing negative stood out, and it was a refreshing take on a plot that has become almost boiler plate. The story may be the same, but its execution is what makes it great.
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