Pulitzer-nominee Colson Whitehead's Zone One tells the story of a ferocious virus that laid waste to civilization, killing many but also turning the infected into wildy dangerous zombies. Yet Zone One doesn't deliver the story of the outbreak of the virus and the consequent infection of most of humanity; rather, it tells the story of the survivors of the virus (called "sweepers") who roam the streets of New York City, killing the zombies with the hopes of making the city inhabitable again.
Upon release, the novel was met with critical and financial acclaim, earning a spot on the New York Times best-sellers list for several weeks. Writing for Esquire, Tom Chiarella notes that “Whitehead brilliantly reformulates an old-hat genre to ask the epidemic question of a teetering history—the question about the possibility of survival” and called the book ““one of the best books of the year.” Additional praise was directed towards Whitehead's prose, rich themes, and the novels originality.
Interestingly, Whitehead has said the novel was partially an attempt to return to his adolescent fascination with horror writer Stephen King and science fiction icon Isaac Asimov. While Zone One will perhaps not be remebered as Whitehead's best, it will certainly be remembered as a novel of immense quality.