By Jess Walter
Harper, Hardcover, 9780060898656, 336pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
The Zero is a groundbreaking novel, a darkly comic snapshot of our times that is already being compared to the works of Franz Kafka and Joseph Heller.
From its opening pages--when hero cop Brian Remy wakes up to find he's shot himself in the head--novelist Jess Walter takes us on a harrowing tour of a city and a country shuddering through the aftershocks of a devastating terrorist attack. As the smoke slowly clears, Remy finds that his memory is skipping, lurching between moments of lucidity and days when he doesn't seem to be living his own life at all. The landscape around him is at once fractured and oddly familiar: a world dominated by a Machiavellian mayor known as "The Boss," and peopled by gawking celebrities, anguished policemen peddling First Responder cereal, and pink real estate divas hyping the spoils of tragedy. Remy himself has a new girlfriend he doesn't know, a son who pretends he's dead, and an unsettling new job chasing a trail of paper scraps for a shadowy intelligence agency known as the Department of Documentation. Whether that trail will lead Remy to an elusive terror cell--or send him circling back to himself--is only one of the questions posed by this provocative yet deeply human novel.
From a novelist of astounding talent, The Zero is an extraordinary story of how our trials become our transgressions, of how we forgive ourselves and whether or not we should.
“This is political satire at its best: scathing, funny, dark. Grade: A.”
Praise for Citizen Vince:“Wonderfully written… compelling.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Perceptive, ingenious satire…fascinating and important”
“Exquisitely written . . . Like a paranoid Being There, The Zero is suspenseful, satisfying and unforgettable.”
-“Galley Talk” Publishers Weekly
Praise for Land of the Blind:“Absorbing… Walter renders his blind land with clear-eyed, compassionate wisdom.”
“A brilliant tour–de–force that’s as heartrending as it is harrowing…the breakout novel of a brave and talented young writer.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Aa satire/tragedy that Franz Kafka and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. might appreciate.”
Praise for Over Tumbled Graves:“Riveting… An outstanding mystery debut.”
-Washington Post Book World
“A ridiculously talented writer.”
-New York Times
Praise for Over Tumbled Graves:“Suspenseful, challenging and intelligently written.”
-Dallas Morning News
Praise for Citizen Vince:“Entertaining… refreshing… [with] very wry precision and expert timing.”
-New York Times
Praise for Land of the Blind:“Walter is at his incisive best. …hypnotically compelling.”
Praise for Citizen Vince:“Citizen Vince is fast, tough, thoughtful and funny. I loved this novel.”
-Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity and A Long Way Down