Going Zero: A Novel (Paperback)

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Going Zero: A Novel By Anthony McCarten Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

This book is a love story, a mirror, and a wake-up call. It is fascinating and terrifying, tragic and yet not without hope. The plot is addictive and keeps you on the edge of your seat, while the philosophical and moral questions it inevitably poses punch you right in your gut. It makes you look at things you know to be true but ignore and push to the periphery of your mind because they are inconvenient and unpleasant. It is not just a great thriller, but an important book everyone should read. It raises important questions about privacy, technology, data, surveillance, government, and corporations in a way that I think will circumvent people's defense mechanisms and really have an impact. The twists and turns will keep you guessing, and the characters will keep you invested. Reading this book is like eating a delicious shepherd's pie and then finding out the mashed potatoes were mashed cauliflower and the meat was vegan; an enjoyable fulfilling experience that's good for you too!

— Allie





Ten Americans have been carefully selected to Beta test a ground-breaking piece of spyware. FUSION can track anyone on earth. But does it work?

For one contestant, an unassuming Boston librarian named Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are far higher than money, and her reasons for entering the test more personal than anyone imagines.  When the timer hits zero, there will only be one winner…

From four-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten comes a breakneck, wickedly entertaining thriller for our times, a twisty, action-packed novel reminiscent of the best Michael Crichton technothrillers.

About the Author

Anthony McCarten is a New Zealand-born novelist, playwright, journalist, television writer and four-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker. He is best known for writing the biopics The Theory of Everything (2014), Darkest Hour (2017), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) and The Two Popes (2019), and producing motion pictures that entertain and inspire through the examination of some of history’s most interesting people. He received Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Theory of Everything and The Two Popes, and won two BAFTA awards for the former. Notably, the first three of these films won consecutive Oscars in the Best Actor category (for Eddie Redmayne, Gary Oldman and Rami Malik). Bohemian Rhapsody is the second highest grossing box-office drama of all time, after Titanic. His non-fiction work, Darkest Hour, was a Number 1 Sunday Times Bestseller. He lives in London. 

Praise For…

Going Zero is the first novel I've read in years that speeds the pulse as much as it challenges the brain. That can-you-beat-the-system hook recalls the juggernaut likes of Ready Player One and Lost, but Going Zero outpaces them both, and dives deeper: it's a speculative-fiction classic in the vein (and even in the league) of I, Robot and Jurassic Park—a thriller you can gobble down with a bucket of popcorn, and also feel smarter for having read. Provocative, perceptive, and—no other word will do—ingenious.” — A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“Crackling . . . Shimmers with alarming portents about the state we find ourselves in” . . . . How can some random 'unsavvy citizen' . . . outwit the world’s sharpest spyware experts? The answer is more tangled than you might think, and a great deal of fun.” — Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review

“This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time, although the word 'thriller' doesn’t quite capture the sheer pleasure of reading this story, with its wickedly clever set-up, its unassuming librarian protagonist, its twisty plot and surprise ending. Beyond pure entertainment is the truth this novel speaks about the disturbing times we live in. I highly, highly recommend this book.” — Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cabinet of Dr. Leng and The Lost City of the Monkey God

“As fast-paced as it is timely…Anthony McCarten shoots a bullet through contemporary America with this wickedly taut conspiracy thriller. I'll never look at my phone the same way again.”  — Graham Moore, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Days of Night and The Sherlockian

"Going Zero starts out as an action adventure thriller—part The Amazing Race, part Hunted USA, part Michael Crichton technothriller . . . .  But it’s not all action: McCarten is a screenwriter, and knows just when to pump the brakes to let the characters shine through, and the plot thicken. Ultimately, if the prospect of a digital Big Brother wasn’t terrifying you up until now, allow Going Zero to rectify that." — Amazon Books

“A story that is timely, frightening, exciting, suspenseful, and surprising . . . .There are a lot of well-crafted characters . . . and secrets and neck-wrenching plot twists abound . . . The subject of high-tech surveillance has become a hot-button issue, and McCarten cleverly and plausibly extrapolates from today’s technology to what we may well see tomorrow. An outstanding thriller.” — Booklist (starred review)

". . . an edgy, compulsively readable thriller." — Publishers Weekly

"This well-written yarn proves that you don't have to have a blood bath to have an engaging thriller." — Kirkus Reviews

"Going Zero is clever, intelligent, action-packed, exciting and full of surprises. This novel belongs on top of your TBR list!" — BookTrib

“[A] relentless new nailbiter from novelist and playwright Anthony McCarten. It is a speculative thriller very much in the vein of a top-ranked video game or, believe it or not, of our current daily news coverage. . . . . It’s all intended to be a cautionary tale, and it is awfully good as such, but McCarten’s genuine skill lies in the sleek, cunning way he relishes pulling the rug out from under us time and again.” — Anniston Star

“In a world grappling with cell phone tracking and AI overreach, this is a timely and absorbing tale.” — Audiofile Magazine

"Fast-paced and shrill, Going Zero will find plenty of fans." — Reviewing the Evidence

"This is a great action-thriller, with major twists and turns, and you will not want to put it down. It will be one of the best books of the year." — RedCarpetCrash

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063227064
ISBN-10: 0063227061
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 9th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English