Breaking-down "Zoo" by James Patterson, The Premise

"Zoo" by James Patterson is a bestselling book series, a graphic novel, and a successful television series. I would like to know more about why. Let's look at the premise of the story.


The descriptions on Amazon and on James Patterson's website are basically the same, so let's use the ones from Amazon. First, the book.

A CBS-TV SERIES LAUNCHING JUNE 30, 2015!

Once in a lifetime, a writer puts it all together. This is James Patterson's best book ever.

Total
For 36 years, James Patterson has written unputdownable, pulse-racing novels. Now, he has written a book that surpasses all of them. ZOO is the thriller he was born to write.


World
All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.


Destruction
With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide. With wildly inventive imagination and white-knuckle suspense that rivals Stephen King at his very best, James Patterson's ZOO is an epic, non-stop thrill-ride from "One of the best of the best." (TIME)



"Zoo" is a thriller, which is what Patterson normally writes. A lot of the praise is obviously for marketing reasons, and Patterson was a marketer for most of his life, and his sales numbers show that he is very good at it. There are actually 5 sentences here that deal with the story, so I am going to look at those.

All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities.

This could be interesting, depending on what the attacks are. This could also just be a news report from every day since the modern media has come into existence, and probably before.

Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread.

Alright, we know who the main character is going to be, but why should I care? Are there people that don't dread Total World Destruction?

When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.

This is something. Coordinated is the key word, the one that catches my attention.

With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late.

He's warning world leaders about coordinated lion attacks?

The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.

They are growing in planning? I like that, a bunch of lions planning on taking over the world? That could be interesting.

That's it, obviously there is a play on Total World Destruction, and I like the fact that it is implied that even James Patterson's greatest work isn't as good as Stephen King (serious? humor? I can't tell).

I watched the first season of the show, and I think this is a bad hook. The premise is actually better than this. Let's look at what they say about the show and see if it's different.

Based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson, ZOO is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet. Jackson Oz, a young, renegade American zoologist who spends his days running safaris in the wilds of Africa, notices strange behavior of the animals. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, he is thrust into the race to unlock the mystery of the pandemic before there's no place left for people to hide.

This seems much better to me. It's a mystery thriller. Why is this happening? And, now I don't think it is only lions, it's all kinds of animals all over the place. Image the destruction that dogs and cats could cause if they were thinking it through.

Based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson, ZOO is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet.

Isn't that kind of a normal thing? There must be a whole lot of them to make it more interesting.

Jackson Oz, a young, renegade American zoologist who spends his days running safaris in the wilds of Africa, notices strange behavior of the animals.

Okay.

As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, he is thrust into the race to unlock the mystery of the pandemic before there's no place left for people to hide.

That is where it gets interesting, this is a pandemic, and they are coordinated attacks. How and why is this happening? It's a mystery, now I understand.

Then, of course, there is the graphic novel.

The latest graphic novel by renowned author James Patterson leaps off the page and goes straight for the jugular! 

Animals the world over are setting their sights on fresh prey - man. Only biologist Jackson Oz has recognized the patterns in an escalating chain of violent attacks by animals against mankind, and these incidents are just the prelude to something far, far more terrifying. Now Oz is in a race against nature to try to warn humanity about the coming catastrophe, but is it already too late?!


I think this is the best of the three. Animals all over the world are hunting people, only this guy knows what's going on, and it is leading to something bigger.

Animals the world over are setting their sights on fresh prey - man.

Animals hunting humans, it can just be one on one, I'm interested.

Only biologist Jackson Oz has recognized the patterns in an escalating chain of violent attacks by animals against mankind, and these incidents are just the prelude to something far, far more terrifying.

Only this guy can save the day, and something worse is coming. That sounds like an interesting story.

Now Oz is in a race against nature to try to warn humanity about the coming catastrophe, but is it already too late?!

He's trying to warn people instead of solving it? He kind of sounds like a wimpy hero looking for the real hero. Maybe it's already too late? If humanity is already destroyed, why am I reading this?

I don't think the marketing was geared towards me, but millions of other people seem to really like it.

It has been awhile since I watched the show, but from what I remember there is something about a gene that is a mutation and it is spreading through different species by some sort of pheromone in the air. It links all of the animals minds to make them a super organism, and realizing that humanity has enslaved and abused them, they decide to destroy humanity. Maybe they wanted to stay away from that to preserve the mystery, or maybe it is a little too science fiction for James Patterson's normal crowd, but I think the actual idea is more intriguing.

I am going to look at the opening of the book in a following article. I haven't read Patterson before, but I am interested in his writing style because it sells so well. I am not sure I will like it, so it probably won't be my writing style, but it will be interesting to look at nevertheless. You are welcome to take a look with me at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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