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"Zone One" A Novel by author Colson Whitehead.

, Star Tribune

Excerpt from 'Zone One

  • October 26, 2011 - 7:38 AM

"In Mark Spitz's particular apocalypse, the human beings were messy and did not obey rules, and every lane in and out, every artery and vein, was filled with outbound traffic. A disemboweled city, spilling its entrails, will tend to the disorderly side. If you want to fight against the stream of common sense, noble protagonist, you are going to have some trouble. For a time, the frenzied evacuees hack out precious distance between themselves and the blight. The cars and vans jerk forward, stop, stutter, a line makes a break for the shoulder and then there's a new lane, premium guzzlers with four-wheel drive ditch the roads altogether and tromp over the semi-landscaped greenery at the edge of the highway, mowing down the sign informing them THIS MILE OF ROUTE 23 MAINTAINED BY THE MORTVILLE SENIORS CHOIR. The drivers and passengers don't want to die. They have witnessed the grisly denouements of others, are panicked and shamed by how quickly they have jettisoned the props of civilization. A certain percentage will make it through, will escape to one of the rescue stations they've been hearing about on the radio, we have to, and hey, is it just me or have the announcers stopped mentioning Benjamin Franklin Elementary, do you think it's still operational?"

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