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Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Some nice phrases and imagery but I found my mind glazing over far too often.

Our protagonist Mark Spitz is part of a civilian clean up crew in New York. The only slight difference here to a regular cleaning job is that it is zombies that he is cleaning up rather than dirt. What follows occurs over the next week or so with constant flashbacks to how it started and how he survived as long as he has.

I definitely struggled a fair bit with this book. There were parts I enjoyed and I did like some of the imagery and language used but most of it is in such a dry tone that I blanked out far too much. For a zombie apocalypse the writer made it all sound rather boring to be honest. I’m sure there is higher meaning behind the book and the vignettes inside but I probably missed them.

It didn’t help that I found it hard to connect to our main character and sole POV. Due to what he’s experienced he’s kind of like a zombie himself, understandable but it makes it hard to care. I’m sure there were parts where I was supposed to be tense or care what happened to Mark and the people he interacted with but I didn’t. I went through the book, much like the main character, taking most of it in but not really interacting with it. Honestly it sent me to bed early on more than one occasion.

It wasn’t all bad, the story was good and interesting enough but I guess it wasn’t the main focus of the book. I did finish it eventually so in that respect it had something going for it. Will I read it again? No. Will I read something else by this author? Not sure.

2.5 stars rounded up

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