Three hours into the story and I have yet to hear anything that compells me to keep listening. The only reason I listened for that long was because I was traveling and I had not downloaded another audiobook. Too much description, not enough action. I have no idea what the protagonist's goal was, and I never will. I gave up.
I really wanted to like this book. Rarely have I struggled this much to get through an audio book. The story is all over the place and I found myself just not caring what happened to the characters as I never became invested. This author's style is just not for me, if you decide to buy this audio book don't listen while driving.
Interesting story but the verbose, overdone, descriptions really made finishing this story HARD. By the time the author completes a sentence I have forgotten what it was about. I make it a point to always finish a book I pay for but I really regret picking this one.
Skip this one. The author takes a good setting and plot, and kills it with his wordy, tedious style. It literally takes effort to get through this thing. The plot would make a halfway decent short story if it had an ending and wasn't inflated with wandering, overly-introspective babble. This author should be charged with genre-murder and criminal abuse of a thesaurus. Do NOT waste your credits on this.
Colson Whitehead is that kind of writer. I roam the aisles of stale used book stores buying up old copies of his previous works, JHD, the Intuitionist, and Sag, I have given John Henry Days away so many times I can't count. I listened to this book while driving a rented car through the wastelands of Orange County. The trouble with most books is predictability, the author has never heard the word and certainly does not employ it in Zone One. Mark-spits is a compelling vehicle and witness. This book is a metaphor not an episode of a video game, the author spins it out like a composer writing an opera. If you have preconceived notions, or like to have endings that wrap up your emotional investment than click the next button. If you want to care and spend days thinking about your own ideas of now, then buy this book written by one of the best living authors, because in my opinion he can't write them fast enough. Side note Mr. Bennett was the right choice of Narrator, I would listen to him read anything including but not limited to, cookbooks, phone-books, and ingredients labels.
Colson Whitehead is a great writer. His fabulous turns of phrase kept this snoozer alive. The issue is not with his craft. It's with his subject. Honestly, I don't get the current obsession with zombies. They're a pretty dull subject when you get down to it. We got the metaphors about "we are all zombies", spawned from a Walmart-based culture back in the late 70's when Romero created "Dawn of the Dead". There's not a lot more to say after that, and while Whitehead makes the same point with expert grace, it's still the same point.
For a much better listen, check out Whitehead's "The Intuitionist". This subject lives up to his great gifts as a writer. Zombies, not so much.
Oh. When an author turns a phrase so perfectly that your heart sings in the most terrible way. When you realize that the main character you identify with totally has been slowly, carefully revealing the monster within the entire time, and yet you identify with that, too...
I couldn't past the first 15 minutes of the book, and I tried twice. It was too difficult to keep track of what was going on with the excessive descriptions of the most mundane things. I might try it in print form, but listening while driving was too confusing.
This book is like taking a trip you have made hundreds of times and never want to make. The story is a bland conversation (all the time, with every character) that never progresses into a plot. Characters are put in interesting situations that aren't utilized and are actually unwound into boring scenarios. This is the 4th book I have left unfinished since I was 9 years old, I just couldn't choke it down.
He just needed something better suited to his style. Not to mention... this book wouldn't do anyone justice.
It needs a total rewrite. Liven it up and give it some depth, characters that draw the listener in as opposed becoming "background music".
I am a fan of the post apocalyptic, zombie, last man on Earth genres. It was that interest and the numerous positive Audible reviews which led me to purchase this book.
On a positive note, the story is set in a time which is not typically featured in stories in this genre, i.e., after the zombie apocalypse has run it's course and a previously collapsed human society has revived enough to be organized to support a zombie clean-up effort and restoration of organized human society with bureaucracies and institutions. This period known as "the interregnum" is a word that the author introduced me to, over and over again.
I listened to roughly 2/3 of the book before I finally gave-up,... why? Well, I really had difficulty staying focused on the story (something which is not common for me) because the stream of consciousness nature of the story. It jumps from the present to the past and back again all in a few minutes of listening while at the same time using literary illusions that constantly took me out of the story and made me suspect that the author was showing-off his vast vocabulary. After hours of listening I didn't feel like I knew the characters and worse... I didn't care to. Perhaps my experience was doomed in the telling? The reader had a way of reading that really grated on me (a lilt at the end of his sentences perhaps?). Listen to a sample before you purchase!
Wait for the "Zone One" movie featuring Brad Pitt, I suspect the movie will be more entertaining than the book.