Friday, March 17, 2017

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

1 Star

After having my morbidly obese patootey pretty much blown away by The Underground Railroad, I knew Colson Whitehead was an author I wanted to read more of. When attempting (unsuccessfully, natch) to get a library copy of Isaac Marion’s latest, this one popped up on the “sorry we didn’t have the fluffy zombie romance you were hoping for, maybe you would like to read a super smart zombie book instead?????” window.

Zone One is a story many of you have read before. Something happened that caused an event now known only as “Last Night” which created a new population of humans . . . .

“All over the world this was happening: a group of them hears food at the same time and they twist their bodies in unison, that dumb choreography.”

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In turn another new population was created – those known as “sweepers.” This is the story of a sweeper known to his comrades as “Mark Spitz.” Sidenote: Although it took about 14 years, the nickname Mark Spitz eventually was explained. I was highly disappointed when I found out it wasn’t due to him having an awesome pornstache . . . .

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However, to Whitehead’s credit, the actual reason was pretty amusing, despite the reaction it would probably garner from some readers . . . .

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Mark Spitz and his fellow sweepers have been assigned the task of clearing (or sweeping, duh) Manhattan block by block in order to prepare it for re-habitation by the “pheenies” (what survivors of Last Night are now known as – being that they rose from the ashes like a Phoenix and all that jazz). While not battling “skels” (or their more disturbing counterparts, the “stragglers”), the pheenies battle through their PASD (Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder). Zone One tells the story of three monumental days, as well as flashbacks of how it all went when “Last Night slammed down.”

I truly feel terrible giving this 1 Star because Whitehead most definitely proves that . . .

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Need an example? Here ya go . . . .

“A beat-up telephone trailed its umbilicus, caught mid-crawl from the premises. The copy machine dominated the back room, buttons grubbed by fingerprints, paper tray sticking out like a fat green tongue.”

That being said, I have never NOT finished a book before, but good godamighty did I want to throw in the towel here. If you think it’s probably because I’m stupid, you’re partially right. There were many a time where I thought to myself . . .

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But the main reaction I had while slogging through Zone One??????

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It’s a G.D. zombie book. Being boring is 100% unacceptable.

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