Book Review: Zona

| Mon Feb. 20, 2012 6:00 AM EST

Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room

By Geoff Dyer

PANTHEON BOOKS

Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 sci-fi film, Stalker, left such an impression on Geoff Dyer that he felt obliged to pay it homage decades later. The film—not a prerequisite for the book—follows three men through a postindustrial paradise toward a room where one's ultimate wish is granted. Even if Stalker bored many observers ("Tarkovsky is the cinema's great poet of stillness"), Dyer's musings on everything from on-set disasters to his desire to join a threesome make for a rich and wacky sojourn. At its heart, Zona is about how art changes perceptions: "If I had not seen Stalker in my early twenties, my responsiveness to the world would have been radically diminished."