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Twelve

McDONELL, Nick

3,532 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 184354072X / ISBN 13: 9781843540724
Published by Grove Press, NY, 2002
Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Ken Lopez Bookseller, ABAA (Lopezbooks) (Hadley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The uncorrected proof copy of the 17 year-old author's first book. Fine in wrappers. Unless otherwise noted, our first editions are first printings. Bookseller Inventory # 915321

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Twelve

Publisher: Grove Press, NY

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Nick McDonell's electrifying novel tells the story of a fictional drug called Twelve and its devastating effects on the beautiful rich and desperate poor of New York City. A bleak Manhattan midwinter and a group of wealthy teenagers, left to their own devices by disregarding parents, delve into the excesses of drugs, sex and the most chilling acts of violence imaginable. Hunter ----- falsely accused of murder after a fight on the basketball courts; White Mike - a straight-A student who makes a fortune selling illegal substances; Laura - gorgeous but obsessed with a fabulous new designer drug called 'twelve'; and Claude - whose trips into the shadier corners of Chinatown have fuelled a macabre fascination with deadly weapons...From page one, this novel pulsates towards its apocalyptic climax. Cool and cruel and utterly compulsive, TWELVE is the debut novel of 2002.

Review:

On the surface, Nick McDonell's debut novel Twelve (written when the well-connected former prep-schooler was 17) feels like an East Coast Less Than Zero: the laconic style and episodic plot; the privileged ennui, drugs, and pop culture sensibility (with sprinklings of Prada, FUBU, North Face, and Nokia replacing Zero's Armani, English Beat T-shirts, Wayfarer sunglasses, and Betamax); the Christmas break setting; even the italicized flashbacks--it's all there. But Twelve also shares its casual, youthful arrogance with the jaded aggressiveness and jagged style of Larry Clark's Kids.

McDonell has crafted a pulsing narrative that clips along at an after-hours pace, pulling the reader along like an ominous rip tide, shifting easily from the Upper East Side to Harlem to Central Park to introduce a cast of loosely connected characters. White Mike, Twelve's clean-living, Cheerios-loving, milkshake-drinking drug dealer, drives the majority of the barely-there plot. ("Mike uses a teaspoon to eat his cereal, not a big soup spoon, because he likes to have less milk in his mouth with each bite" is about as deep as it gets.) Character development is limited to an easy shorthand ("Long legs, large breasts, blond hair, blue eyes, high cheekbones.") that results in a simple surface-skimming, leaving one too many caricatures of the very youth culture McDonell is writing about. Readers will see the blood-spattered, penultimate set piece coming down Fifth Avenue from page one, but any potential shock value or drama is immediately deflated in Twelve's head-scratching hangover of a denouement. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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