Safe Zone: A Novel of Intimate Intrigue

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He was berefit of attractive propositions, constitutionally unaccustomed for enthusiasm, and generally malleable Hence, law. Living characters are suspiciously similar to zombies. Gary, on Mark's team has "fingernails which were seemingly constructed of grime as if he had clawed out of a coffin," and Kaitlyn, the leader, is a clear "grade grubber before the disaster Technically brilliant, structurally competent and ultimately both cynically distancing and ironic, it lacks the heart and characters that truly engage me on a deeper level.

Two stars for personal enjoyment, problems with world building which, in fairness, I believe weren't meant to be resolved as it is meant more as a metaphorical tale , four stars for deft use of language and general conception, and one star for it's dim view of human nature.

View all 30 comments. Oct 29, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves: nyc , horror , fiction , fantasy , new-york-city. Start spreading the news. The nation has pretty much collapsed, with the implication that things are no better elsewhere in the world. But there is still some hope. A provisional government has been set up in Buffalo, and some organization is returning. The government wants to clear Manhattan of undesirables, in order to repopulate, in order to show that there is a future, Start spreading the news.

The government wants to clear Manhattan of undesirables, in order to repopulate, in order to show that there is a future, that there is hope. Mark Spitz, a nom de guerre, is a sweeper. Manderley had nothing on this place. Maybe you have been around long enough to remember a day which will live in infamy? Fight or flight. Time to wonder if your loved ones had succumbed and decision time re whether you would risk your life to try saving or finding them.

From Colsonwhitehead. Whitehead loves New York. He is the author of The Colossus of New York , a love song to the city, and one of my all time favorite books. Other kids did sports; I liked to hang around watching The Twilight Zone and various movies about the end of the world, whether it was Planet of the Apes, or Damnation Alley.

And so that's part of the city I carry with me from my childhood. In doing this book, I was trying to pay homage to certain cinematic depictions of a ruined New York. From NPR interview CW did not have a lot of trouble imagining NYC as a wasteland, noting that in the wee hours parts of the city that never sleeps are remarkably unoccupied, desolate. All the buildings are closed and no one's on the street.


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It's as empty as it's described in the book. He sees the accretion of the new atop the old, the replacement of the current with the new, then the replacement of the new with the newer. So is everybody else. And we superimpose that ruined city over what's here now. So it's cleaned up, but we're still seeing that old shoe store, dry cleaners, that old apartment where we used to live. So, any street you walk down in New York is a heap of rubble because that's sort of how we see it if we've been here a while.

I moved from the Bronx to Manhattan in , shared an apartment on the Upper West Side before it became an unaffordable yuppie apocalypse zone.

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I was on 81st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam. It was widely assumed that landlords were having their properties torched to evict the current residents and get insurance money with which to re-build, renovate and return to business with rentals several multiples of what they had been. So it is quite understandable how one could take the reality of that era and build on it to flesh out a flesh-eating landscape. Was this skel a native New Yorker, or had it been lured here by the high jinks of [a TV personality] and her colorful roommates.

One of those seekers powerless before the seduction of the impossible apartment that the gang inexplicably afforded on their shit-job salaries, unable to resist the scalpel-carved and well-abraded faces of the guest stars the characters smooched in one-shot appearances or across multi-episode arcs. Struck dumb by the dazzling stock footage of the city avenues at teeming evening. Did it work, the hairdo, the bleached teeth, the calculated injections, did it transform the country rube into the cosmopolitan?

Mold their faces to the prevailing grimace? There are plenty of folks who might pass for undead in the city, even now: the city had long carried its own plague. Its infection had converted this creature into a member of its bygone loser cadre, into another one of the broke and the deluded, the mis-fitting, the inveterate unlucky.

He had seen them slowly make their way up the sidewalks in their woe, nurse an over-creamed cup of coffee at the corner greasy spoon in between health department crackdowns.

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It was a matter of percentages. There are plenty of landlords who would like nothing more than to have armed groups evict anyone not paying market rates, so they could bring in new prey to gouge. No zombie apocalypse needed for that. It is extant reality here. CW does not expect that, whatever disaster may arrive, those at the extremes of the human bell curve will be the likely remnants: In the apocalypse, I think those average, mediocre folks are the ones who are going to live," he says. The C-minus personalities will probably be killed off very quickly.

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But it's the mediocre folks that will become the heroes. Anyone who survives will be a hero. There is particular poignance for this native in scenes of a zombie crematorium creating mass quantities of gray ash that fall like snow on the city. I worked and have played in the area called Zone One for many years. To see it brought to life in these pages is a remarkable experience for me. As if someone had written a biography of your child and got all the facts and feel right, even about the aspects you do not admire.

Whitehead has a remarkable gift, his writing rich with insight and observational acuity. The magic of power, lights, glitter and energy has its dark side, when the lights go out, the sparkle fades and security is no longer up to the task of keeping that which menaces at bay.

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This is not a story where this happens and then that happens. It offers a novel format as a structure within which Whitehead can relate what he has seen and felt about his beloved city. And to seriously bitch about Connecticut. Dude, did Connecticut shoot your dog? If a few characters become fodder for roving people-eaters, like so many large hot dogs on the hoof, then so be it. There are elements of Zone One that reminded me of Gary Shteyngart, and Max Headroom a twenty-minutes-into-the-future feel to his social satire. A remnant coven of lawyers who are looking for actual pounds of flesh.

Corporate sponsorship is alive and well in the world of the zombie apocalypse with wonderfully cute corporate armadillo logos finding their ways onto a wide range of official items. The new national Anthem is "Stop! Can You Hear the Eagle Roar? Theme From Reconstruction. And as a portrait of New York, it is dead on.


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View all 23 comments. Sep 29, mark monday rated it really liked it Shelves: world-of-insects , mnemonic-devices , unstablenarratives , unicorn , horror-modern , super-private-journal. FRIDAY mark monday got up at his usual hour, in his usual bed, and after leisurely winding his way through his various morning routines, made his way to work, to perform his usual functions. Mark Spitz finds this haunting of old places to be both sad and predictable. Mark contemplated the connection he had to his unit and the inevitability of that connection coming to a close.

Mark was a kind of zombie himself, mark supposed. Colson Whitehead was proving to be a somewhat aggravating author and mark dismissed him as well. Mark shed no tears. Mark Spitz realizes that as a mediocre person, he is ideally suited to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Mark then runs.

White got himself into such a situation, contemplated the chain of events that had led the character to his new role in life. View all 39 comments. Nov 04, Trudi rated it it was ok Shelves: apocalyptic-types , dystopia , the-big-letdown , on-my-kobo , not-for-me , zombies , , survive-this.