Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ZOO by James Patterson

His name is Jackson Oz, but there’s no yellow brick road back to sanity in ZOO by James Patterson. As a biologist, Oz seeks help from a ecologist named Chloe in what has been adapted by CBS for a television mini-series. Animals in Los Angeles and elsewhere are going feral and attacking humans for inexplicable reasons, and most of the book is an attempt at discovery and containment, while the military and government officials try to shoot the animals, or, at one point, discuss using napalm. Despite the scientific jargon applied to the situation, most are stymied by the reason, and postulate everything from solar radiation to cell phone towers changing chemicals in the atmosphere. The main point here is that mistreated animals (not just lions, bears, apes, and tigers, but cats and dogs) are now dealing revenge on the naked apes (us.) So it’s a kind of cautionary tale (like THE BIRDS) in which we are forced to reconsider our own supremacy and possible extinction (ego being mankind’s fatal flaw.) The best thing about this 8 hour audiobook is the narrator, Jay Snyder, a talented Broadway and film and voiceover actor who manages to maintain listener engagement by being totally believable (as opposed to corny), with the appropriate mood setting evolution of tone required to keep things rolling. 

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