So I read my first zombie book, not counting Joyce Carol Oates's Zombie, which is actually about a Jeffrey Dahmer-esque serial killer. Zone One, Whitehead's new novel, takes place in New York City about the zombies have taken over. The living (as opposed to the undead) set up a new government in Buffalo and launch an offensive in the Big Apple to attempt to set up a free zone for humans. Soldiers have wiped out the aggressive, can't-be-stopped zombie hoards in zone one and mostly what remains are the anomalous zombies who just sort of short circuit and get stuck where they are when they become undead. If they were at work Xeroxing reports, for example, they're just loitering by the copy machine.
|No, not this Mark Spitz.|
I love this book. It's one of the best novels of the fall, and Whitehead's best book in years. And normally I ignore the New York Times Bestseller List because I don't care for James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks, but to see that Zone One will debut on the list next week makes me happy. Colson Whitehead deserves the critical and popular love granted to peers like David Mitchell, Zadie Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jennifer Egan, and Dave Eggers. And then he deserves the honor of becoming Mr. Liz Sullivan....awkward?