- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 40 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 25, 2006
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000JBWV20
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Zero Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Remy can't figure out what's happening to him, and it's nearly impossible to what's real and what's not. Every time things he begins to understand what's going on, he blacks out; and so does the reader. This leads to what is possibly the most introspective novel written in the past ten years. THE ZERO will knock you off your feet. Walter's writing (in the tradition of Kafka) is precise, beautiful, destructive, and even mesmerizing. If this novel doesn't make it into the canon of great American literature, it'll be a crying shame.
THE ZERO: A NOVEL, however, is nowhere near as good as CITIZEN VINCE.
Why not? Let me list the reasons:
(1) THE ZERO has no coherent plot. Brian Remy is a heroic 9/11 cop who suffers frequent "gaps" in his memory after the terrorist attack. As a result, he drifts through the entire story of this novel without really understandng why he is doing what he's doing. This leads to a large number of disjointed scenes with almost no context provided. As a result, this novel has no narrative thread, which makes for a rather disorienting (and ultimately tedious) read. Put bluntly, this novel was very hard for me to finish.
(2) THE ZERO has no likable central character. Who is Remy? What is he doing? What are his motivations? Why is he torturing terror suspects and cheating on his girlfriend? The reader never knows, because Remy himself does not know, due to his frequent memory loss. As a result, the central character of this novel is remarkably vacuous and impossible to identify with. This book has a hollow center.
(3) THE ZERO has cartoonish supporting characters. Pretty much all the supporting characters in this novel are exaggerated stereotypes. We have embarssingly macho, stupid police characters. We have extremely cynical politicians and greedy businessmen. We have Remy's pseudo-intellectual son, who pretends that Remy died at 9/11. None of these characters is even remotely believable. All of the dialogue is stilted and unrealistic.Read more ›
So the story revolves around the fact that he's in a constant struggle to figure out what he's up to -- helping a government agency infiltrate a terrorist cell? tracking down a woman who may or may not have died in the attacks? -- and we're as much in the dark as Good Remyis. "...and Remy found that he was smiling, not exactly remembering, but wanting to, and thinking there's not much difference, that the best memories might be those you don't remember."
Much, much more than just a study of a fascinating character, though, Jess Walter's novel The Zero looks at the absurdity of the culture and paranoia in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and how frequently the focus was removed from the victims and their families -- for selfish gain, for politics, or for any other reason. Remy's affable partner Paul explains, even though he knows he shouldn't mention it, how awesome it is that 9/11 happened because he is treated as a hero and gets to show celebrities around Ground Zero. Paul even gets to appear on a box of cereal -- "My agent says I was lucky to get the marshmallows," he tells Remy.
Remy and his struggle with his fractured memory are really a symbol of the underlying post-9/11 fractured culture (even though 9/11 appeared on the surface to be a unifying event).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Maybe it's me.... but I missed on this book. Did not feel any connection to the characters.Published 2 months ago by Jonathan Esteve
An artful blend of the grit and horror of 9/11 and one officer's PTSD, overlayed with gentle humor...a seemingly possible combination. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!Published 5 months ago by Desert Rose Author
The zero is challenging, illuminating, and very funny. It's well worth reading. While it's not to the level of Beautiful Ruins, The Zero sucks you in at the start and proceeds to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lou Kotler
I've enjoyed several books by Jess Walter but not this one. I never developed any sympathy for the characters. Read morePublished 9 months ago by thewayne
Do not know if this is too profound for my mind or just confusingly rambling.Published 10 months ago by Barbara Oberg, Sr
Very entertaining book. The jumps have you guessing to fill the gaps as the next "adventure" takes place.Published 11 months ago by James Walsh
Yesterday afternoon I finished reading The Zero by Jess Walter. This was one of those rare books that had me mesmerized, almost like I was living in the book (a very few movies are... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Harry Wingfield
Amazingly well crafted surreal look at our culture, vengeance, the craziness that overtook the national psyche after 9/11. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kate