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12 October 2008

The Zero

The Zero by Jess Walter is a fictionalized account of one man's journey through a terrorist attack.

Set in the days after the September 11th attack, The Zero tells the story of Brian Remy who is an ex-cop and NYC liaison between the police and the city officials. In the aftermath of the attack, Remy's first job is to be a tour guide to all of the celebrities who want to tour the site - athletes, actors, senators.

Then Remy is assigned a more important job. A job so secret that his cover includes going on disability from the city to free up his time. He is on the hunt for a terrorist cell that may be planning another attack.

During all of the time after the attack, Remy is experiencing gaps in his memory. He forgets whole days. He doesn't know what he is doing, where he is, or why. But when he asks for answers everyone misunderstands his questions. All he can do is play along and hope to learn where his path is taking him.

Written in the style of Franz Kafka, readers are no less draw to the story by the mere fact that they are as confused as Remy for most of the book. Any NYC fans will enjoy a gritty history of crime in the city and the attitude that keeps the city alive.

One sentence review: The Zero is a Kafkaesque journey through the mind of one New York City police officer as he lives through the September 11th terrorist attack and its aftermath.

Walter, Jess. (2006). The Zero. New York: Regan.

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