1 story / 4 icons

Last year I recommended Zone One for the upper school’s 2012-13 summer reading list.

cover of Zone One

Zone One cover

It did not reappear on the 2013-14 reading list.

“The kids didn’t like it,” I heard.  “Not enough zombies,” they said.  “It’s a thinking wo/man’s zombie novel.”

An owl on barbed wire. Srsly?


I don’t know what to say.  Kids these days.

I’ve been thinking about Zone One even before I realized it was pulled from the summer reading list.   I’ll probably buy my own copy to have on hand just because it’s full of things I want to consider again.  I’d like to have time to study it and annotate it.  To call Colson Whitehead’s Zone One a zombie novel, is a disservice to this book, which beautifully captures a trifecta of nostalgia, wanting, and loss.

Zone One is set a few years after the outbreak of a plague that turns the majority of the world’s population into flesh-eating zombies.  Time has passed, survivors reside in camps with names like “Happy Acres” and “Bubbling Brooks,”  militaries have regrouped, and provisional governments have seeded themselves through the world.

“Mark Spitz,” a character who prides himself on his mediocracy, guides readers through his memories of Last Night, his experiences in the wasteland, the rebranding of survival, and the rebooting of Lower Manhattan.  It’s an insightful, witty, heartbreaking novel.  It’s an existential kick in the balls guts.

To honor Zone One, I created this 4 icon challenge.

Zone One in 4 icons

Zone One in 4 icons

The iPod (designer unknown) plays prominently (I think) into Mark Spitz’s Last Night story.  The zombie (by designer Stephen Peluso)….  well, that’s obvious.  The city (by designer Juan Pablo Bravo) represents the primary setting–Manhattan.  The swimmer (designer unknown) is Mark Spitz.

All images are from The Noun Project.



1 thought on “1 story / 4 icons

  1. I think your One Story / Four Icon challenge is of a book called Zone One.

    It is too bad that he has a broken leg and a hole in his head. It looks like maybe he fell down some stairs (or something) just sayin’. The city looks nice and the man swimming is in the water going fast in an indoor pool. That is a funny little TV.

    You did a good job with the colours. It is in black and white which is good for my eyes.

    Well, Bye!

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