... [a] fascinating, deeply reported and slightly eerie look at an unusual corner of America ... Ultimately, Kurczy realizes Green Bank is not as silent as the media portrays it, but he brings to life other facets of this town that are even more intriguing. Kurczy becomes embedded in the community, and with compassion and a journalist’s eye he delivers a compelling portrait of a town where people struggle with the same issues as the rest of America, just a little more quietly.
The most memorable characters in The Quiet Zone pathetically search for peace in a physical place ... The Quiet Zone offers a sober portrait of people stumbling their way into an uncertain future. Readers looking to confirm their conviction that disconnecting is a cure-all will be disappointed. Those needing a reminder of the simple pleasure of reconnecting with real people in real life will enjoy the journey.
... intriguing ... What makes this book formidable is Kurczy’s relentless investigating, though readers will occasionally feel exhausted by his tendency to over-interview, over-detail and over-report. Yet, where Kurczy most impressively goes down the rabbit hole is in his persistent investigation of The Quiet Zone’s neo-Nazi white supremacist presence.
... the rather unexceptional narrative of a lagging technological enclave choosing to close the digital divide under its own steam ... the saga of The Quiet Zone soon becomes a catch-all quest for parallel indicators of all manner of psychic and criminal distemper lurking beneath the surface calm of life ... What does all this rural gothic arcana have to do with the Quiet Zone and its slow-motion deterioration under the pressures of modernity? Very nearly nothing, but that doesn’t prevent Kurczy from delivering [a] creaky, cliché-ridden rationale ... Kurczy’s just getting warmed up as he scours the Pocahontas terrain for anything of remote narrative interest ... By the time Kurczy does return to the book’s ostensible theme, the clichés are coming fast and furious ... the real vice among writers professing to uncover the true character of our rural interior is dark-side porn.
Although Kurczy recognizes that various viewpoints exist within the community and includes them in the text, the narrative also includes some physical and cultural clichés frequently found in works related to rural Americans. Nonetheless, the story remains captivating. A multilayered illustration of a unique community where things aren’t always what they seem.