So someone went and wrote a literary novel about the zombie apocalypse. Kind of the Ulysses of flesh-eating fiction.

The plot is sparse. Such as it is, the narrative follows a young man called Mark Spitz and the two other members of his survivalist unit as they comb through lower Manhattan killing straggler zombies in an effort to reclaim the city, or at least safeguard Zone One. But we see much of the world through flashbacks which take us from First Night to the present day. The longer we stay with Spitz and his company, the more we learn about their past.

I guess the chief complaint from bloggers about this book is how it constantly jumps from this present to flashback, sometimes mid-paragraph–and it can be jarring at times. My wife is a serious fan of post-apocalyptic novels and she gave up after twenty pages. Partly because of the non-linear structure, but also because this story is DENSE. Colson is a word fetishist and does not make it easy for the reader. The dude would be no fun to play Scrabble with.

I LOVED the book, though. LOVED it. It’s dreamy. It’s stream-of-consciousness almost. A fever dream of a vision of our nightmares. Mark and his friends are fully formed and we learn a lot about the human condition (and the message, here, is strangely hopeful) in the little scenes when death approaches in the form of the endless undead army.

Take your time with this one. It’s worth it.