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The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

Written by Stephen Kurczy

Narrated by Roger Wayne


The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

Written by Stephen Kurczy

Narrated by Roger Wayne

ratings:
3.5/5 (31 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 3, 2021
ISBN:
9780062945525
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

"Captivating." —Kirkus | "Fascinating, deeply reported, and slightly eerie." —BookPage (Starred Review) | "The Quiet Zone will live on in your memory." —Bill McKibben

A stunning portrait of an Appalachian community, the people who call it home, and the enduring human quest for quiet

Deep in the Appalachian Mountains lies the last truly quiet town in America. Green Bank, West Virginia, is a place at once futuristic and old-fashioned: It’s home to the Green Bank Observatory, where astronomers search the depths of the universe using the latest technology, while schoolchildren go without WiFi or iPads. With a ban on all devices emanating radio frequencies that might interfere with the observatory’s telescopes, Quiet Zone residents live a life free from constant digital connectivity. But a community that on the surface seems idyllic is a place of contradictions, where the provincial meets the seemingly supernatural and quiet can serve as a cover for something darker.

Stephen Kurczy embedded in Green Bank, making the residents of this small Appalachian village his neighbors. He shopped at the town’s general store, attended church services, went target shooting with a seven-year-old, square-danced with the locals, sampled the local moonshine. In The Quiet Zone, he introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters. There is a tech buster patrolling the area for illegal radio waves; “electrosensitives” who claim that WiFi is deadly; a sheriff’s department with a string of unsolved murder cases dating back decades; a camp of neo-Nazis plotting their resurgence from a nearby mountain hollow. Amongst them all are the ordinary citizens seeking a simpler way of living. Kurczy asks: Is a less connected life desirable? Is it even possible?

The Quiet Zone is a remarkable work of investigative journalism—at once a stirring ode to place, a tautly-wound tale of mystery, and a clarion call to reexamine the role technology plays in our lives.

Publisher:
Released:
Aug 3, 2021
ISBN:
9780062945525
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Stephen Kurczy is an award-winning  journalist whose work has appeared in  The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other outlets. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a 2016-2017 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism. Kurczy has lived without a cell phone for over a decade. 


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What people think about The Quiet Zone

3.6
31 ratings / 1 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    "What if there was a place where people weren't constantly scrolling? Where forest hikes weren't tainted by a ringtone? Where getting lost meant really getting lost? These questions led me through rugged Appalachian backcountry and into the heart of ... The Quiet Zone."-- Stephen Kurczy.I had watched a news feature about The National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) and was fascinated by the idea that there was a town that was just 'turned off'. By choice? Well, in Green Bank, West Virginia, radio transmissions are restricted by law "to facilitate scientific research and the gathering of military intelligence." Kurczy spent a lot of time in Green Bank over the course of a couple of years. Rather than just accepting what could be seen on the surface (which the news feature I had watched did), Kurczy took the time to meet and interact with many residents of the Quiet Zone. Those born there, the electrosensitive - those who are escaping radio frequencies for health reasons - and those just looking for a quiet place to live. But is it really quiet? Kurczy's investigation takes an in depth look at Green Bank. What he finds is fascinating, including unsolved deaths, hippies, a nearby Neo-Nazi compound, many opinions … and noise.There's lots of food for thought in The Quiet Zone. I couldn't help but stop and ponder what it would be like to just turn off my devices. To live more 'in the moment'. To be more conscious of the time spent on aimless scrolling. Kurczy himself does not have a cell phone. His reasons are compelling and thought provoking. I enjoyed Kurczy's writing style. This was his debut book and I would happily pick up his next. Here's the ironic bit - I chose to listen the The Quiet Zone - and did so on my iPhone. The reader was Roger Wayne. He has worked as a broadcast journalist in the past and that experience adds much to his reading. His voice is clear, easy to understand, has a nice gravelly undertone and is quite pleasant to listen to. He brings Kuczy's work alive with his pacing, intonation, emphasizing. His reading matched the subject and I felt like I was listening to an investigative show. His presentation easily held my attention.