Clearing Out Zone One

zone one

How do you like your zombie stories?  If your answer is moody, atmospheric, and oozing with metaphors then add Zone One to your reading list.

Colson Whitehead tells the story of Mark Spitz, a sweeper working for the cleanup of lower Manhattan, designated Zone One. Once they clear out the zombies in that area, they can move to Zone Two, Midtown South.

The Marines have already been through Zone One and cleared out the rampaging hordes. Spitz and his unit are cleaning out stragglers who got trapped behind locked doors and barricades. They also have to deal with the small set of zombies who seem to be stuck in time reliving some moment from their pre-zombie life. One sad creature is still trying to run the office copy machine.

Instead of the mortal terror of being killed by zombies, there is much more fear of the loss of humanity and the loss of civilization. Of course, there is some biting and zombie hordes. Spitz flashes back to his life before the Last Night and his journey from survivor camp to survivor camp.

This is much more of a literary novel than a page-turning thriller. The story is light, but the prose is deep.