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The Zero: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – August 7, 2007
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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 ›
The whole plot was overly pretentious in an effort towards mysteriousness that never went anywhere. It was such a waste of time reading this. I got absolutely nothing but a headache from trying to follow the meaningless plot. It just felt like you put all this time in to getting to what was actually going on, only to find out that not much was really actually going on, that was just a good hook to make you buy it. Ugh. Annoying!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not an easy book to follow as other reviewers have noted. It reminded me of Nick Harkaway's "The Gone-Away World," in that the reader has no more information than the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Azima
OK - I'm confused.
The author signs himself as Jess Walter, but prima facie seems to be a pastiche of Hunter Thompson, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Rod Serling. Read more
As one of my colleagues said about this book, the trauma-resulting-in-fractured-narratives is getting really old, really quickly. Actually, it was old back in 2004. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JMC
Maybe it's me.... but I missed on this book. Did not feel any connection to the characters.Published 7 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 10 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 11 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 15 months ago by thewayne
Do not know if this is too profound for my mind or just confusingly rambling.Published 16 months ago by Barbara Oberg, Sr