A novel by Colson Whitehead set during the Zombie Apocalypse
. Humanity is trying to wipe out the remaining zombies while restarting civilization, with the impromptu government based in Buffalo. The main character, Mark Spitz, is a "sweeper" in a reclaimed section of lower Manhattan, called Zone One
. His job is to clear stragglers out of buildings within the safe zone so that new tenants can eventually move in.
This book provides examples of:
- Action Survivor
- A House Divided: happens to assorted groups of refugees.
- Driven to Suicide: the Lieutenant
- Downer Ending: The zone gets overrun by skels.
- Infant Immortality: Averted
- Named After Somebody Famous: This Mark Spitz is not related to the famous Olympic swimmer.
- Not Using the Z Word: The undead are called "skels" because the years of plague have reduced them to little more than skeletons
- No Zombie Cannibals
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Mark Spitz (nicknamed for the Olympian after claiming he can't swim), the Quiet Storm, and No Mas
- Our Zombies Are Different: In addition to the usual flesh-eating, plague-bearing kind, there are also "stragglers", which seem to be frozen mid-action and do not move, notice people, or bite (at first)
- Purple Prose: As a "literary" zombie novel, Zone One strays into this territory frequently.
- Mark Spitz, as The Narrator, often goes into a flashback...and stays there for a long, rambling monologue.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Although there is occasional mention of soldiers shooting fresher skels in the torso, Mark Spitz makes a point of sticking to head shots.
- Room Full Of Zombies: The sweepers, like Mark Spitz, are charged with clearing buildings of these. A couple are turned up, with varying consequences.
- Running Gag: "Accursed Connecticut."
- Safe Zone Hope Spot
- The Plague
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Zombie Infectee: Mentioned more than seen; some of the bitten think that anticiprant, if administered quickly enough and in a high dose, will prevent their undeath.