Review: Zero K

Zero K

Zero K
By Don DeLillo
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501135392, May 2016, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Death is inevitable but some choose sooner, rather than later.

The Rest of It:

This is the second book I’ve read this year about cryogenics. I’m not sure why my attention flits over to that subject every now and then but when it does, I find myself fascinated by the topic and this book was no exception.

Jeffrey finds himself supporting his stepmother’s decision to be cryogenically preserved. You see, Artis is dying anyway, but she’s chosen to give her body to science and unfortunately for Jeffrey, Jeffrey’s father has decided to join her in death.

This story explores the idea that there is a purity in death that cannot be achieved in life. For me, the purity aspect is further supported by the clinical nature of the procedure itself. There is a starkness to it, a coldness if you will. Everything is sterile and clinical and without fanfare. The body stripped of clothes is just a body. No longer father or mother but just skin and bones and a glimmer of what used to be.

This book reminded me a lot of Never Let Me Go.  I felt somewhat detached while reading it but it’s not nearly as depressing or dark. This has a much more positive feel to it, although you have a dig to find the positivity within it.

Some of the writing really made me think about civilization as it stands now. How do the events of the past shape the future? How can the decisions we make as a society today, impact us later in life?

Overall, this was a good, interesting read but it’s a little deep and I may not have gotten all of the meaning behind it. There were times where I could not tell if something was happening for real or if it was in a dream or some created reality. It’s that kind of book.

Have you read it?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

15 thoughts on “Review: Zero K”

  1. I have not read this. But I have heard a lot about it. I love your honesty. I wish I had time to read it. But you have given me a very good picture of what I am missing.

  2. I have this one on my kindle, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what it was about until reading your post. I think I will definitely find it an interesting read. Sounds pretty good to me. Loved your post!

  3. I planned to read tis one (it’s not very long) but from your review it might m=not be a ME book after all.

    1. It’s not a book you’d normally read but it’s good. If you don’t mind stepping out of your zone and pondering death for a little while, that is 😉

    1. I’d have to read more than one of his books to really say but his writing is a little “cold” for lack of a better word. I felt as if I was on the outside, looking in. Someone else said his books are like that.

  4. I wonder if this book might go over my head. I have read only one DeLillo book before Libra from 1988. But I’m not totally sure if his books are really for me.

    1. I did get the feel that some of it went over my head but there was much of it I could relate to. I’d have to read another book by him to know for sure if his writing is for me.

  5. Sounds like an interesting premise, and one I could find myself liking, if not enjoying. I’m in love with the cover.

    1. I thought the writing was pretty good. The topic is a little heavy with it being death and all but not nearly as heavy as Never Let Me Go which I found incredibly depressing.

  6. Hmmm…it sounds like it would be a book I would enjoy, but your hesitation makes me hesitate. In other words, I am still on the fence about it. I don’t think that bodes well.

  7. I haven’t read it, but it sounds interesting. I’m not sure I would manage to get invested in it, giving the nature of the subject and the coldness, but I’d like to try. Probably won’t get half of it, lol 😀 Thanks for putting it on my radar, Ti ❤

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