Zone One by Colson Whitehead
A Novel

70%

13 Critic Reviews

Colson Whitehead's zombie novel set in plague-infested Lower Manhattan is a rich mix of wartime satire and darkly funny social commentary.
-LA Times

Synopsis

In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.

Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.

Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work­ing in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world.

And then things start to go wrong.

Both spine chilling and playfully cerebral, Zone One bril­liantly subverts the genre’s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century.
 

About Colson Whitehead

See more books from this Author
COLSON WHITEHEAD is the author of the national best seller Sag Harbor and the novels The Intui tionist, John Henry Days, and Apex Hides the Hurt, as well as The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays. A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in New York City.
 
Published October 18, 2011 by Anchor. 338 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 06 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Zone One
All: 13 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Good
on Oct 28 2011

...cool, thoughtful...strangely tender novel, a celebration of modernity and a pre-emptive wake for its demise.

Read Full Review of Zone One: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Excellent
on Oct 13 2011

It's not just the song, it's how you sing it. This is a familiar tune, to be sure, but Colson Whitehead is in fresh, appealing and often very fine voice.

Read Full Review of Zone One: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Good
on Aug 19 2012

...Colson Whitehead’s offering is not your ordinary zombie novel. It’s a thoughtful monster story that stands out from the crowd.

Read Full Review of Zone One: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Good
on Jan 16 2012

...a beautifully-written, thought-provoking, and ironic look at the life of a grunt in the world after zombies.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
on Oct 11 2011

Whitehead picks at our nervousness about order's thin grip...

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LA Times

Good
on Oct 30 2011

Colson Whitehead's zombie novel set in plague-infested Lower Manhattan is a rich mix of wartime satire and darkly funny social commentary.

Read Full Review of Zone One: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Dallas News

Good
on Oct 14 2011

...a beautifully written tragi-comic cultural critique about New York, disaster and America’s living dead.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
on Oct 23 2011

Mirthless, I'm afraid, is the operative word here for this zombie imitator in a long parade that celebrates the genre.

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Chron.com

Good
on Oct 23 2011

...Zone One is a sharp commentary on the rat race of contemporary life.

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SF Signal

Below average
on Mar 02 2012

“Genre-slumming” is a term invented to attach stigma to a book like Zone One and it’s an unfortunate tag.

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Time Out New York

Above average
on Oct 19 2011

...the reader will at least be satisfied that zombies can sometimes stimulate brains just as well as they eat them.

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Geeks of Doom

Below average
on Apr 23 2012

...I didn’t feel very emotionally connected to the main character.

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io9

Excellent
on Dec 29 2011

...the book has a knife-gouging, horrifying ending that makes the whole thing absolutely worthwhile.

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Reader Rating for Zone One
55%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 781 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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