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12.21: A Novel Hardcover – August 7, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; First Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Advance praise for 12.21

“Dustin Thomason, M.D., will invariably be compared to Michael Crichton, M.D., and 12.21 will be favorably compared to The Andromeda Strain. Both authors have written first-rate medical thrillers, the kind of fact-based fiction that is very scary but also very entertaining. Thomason knows his stuff, and it shows on every page. I truly could not put this book down.”—Nelson DeMille

“The most exciting novel of its kind since the days of Michael Crichton, 12.21 takes us from the frontiers of modern neuroscience to the riddles of ancient Maya texts, with nothing less than the future of our civilization at stake.”—Vince Flynn

12.21 is a brilliantly complex, outstanding, high-level thriller that mixes cutting-edge science with ancient prophecy to deliver a novel that will keep you turning the pages all night long.”—Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author of The Monster of Florence
“A fast-moving tale . . . Thomason displays an impressive depth of knowledge of both science and the ancient Mayan way of life. Along the way, he skillfully ramps up the action, one notch at a time. A winning book.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating, terrifying for its potential realism. I loved how tightly everything fit together. I had to keep reading.”—Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist
“Fast, suspenseful . . . Michael Crichton fans will find a lot to like.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Rule of Four
“Ingenious . . . The real treat here is the process of discovery.”—The New York Times
“Compulsively readable.”—People (4 stars)
“If Scott Fitzgerald, Umberto Eco, and Dan Brown teamed up to write a novel, the result would be The Rule of Four.”—Nelson DeMille
“The ultimate puzzle-book.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Dustin Thomason graduated from Harvard College and received his M.D. from Columbia University. He is the co-author of the international bestseller The Rule of Four, and has written and produced several television series, including Lie to Me. He lives in Venice Beach, California.

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Customer Reviews

This was a very fast paced read with lots of interesting detail.
Denise Crawford
I found this novel tremendously interesting as all wonder what will happen as foretold of disastrous results for the world when the Mayan calendar runs out.
B. Rackley
Additionally, as the book got nearer and nearer to the end it seemed as though the ending was pretty abrupt.
Patricia A. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Miss Barbara TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you're a fan of the medical thriller, especially the Michael Crichton exotic pandemic variety, 12.21 is the book for you.

Here's the book in a nutshell: Beautiful Guatemalan researcher of Mayan studies receives a codex smuggled into the US. Doctor who studies rare prions related to Mad Cow Disease is alerted that a case may have been diagnosed in Los Angeles. We are 10 days away from 12-21-12, the apocalyptic end of world prophesied by the Mayan Calendar.

Now, toss in a translated narrative from a scribe who lived about 935 A.D., an end day's cult, the Getty Museum and a dwarf. Mix well with a lot of good writing and you have 12.21 by Dustin Thomason. I shy away from the overused phrase "page turner" but found one here.

Except - the ending. Oh, such a disappointing ending. It's as if the dog ate the ending and a new one was quickly written on the bus ride to the publisher. Stop reading before you get there and you'll like the book. I almost did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is actually the first '2012' type story I've ever read and it truly blew me away. Look up the definition of 'page-turner' and you should see a picture of this book. It was thrilling, addicting, and I couldn't put it down. One of those that I was more than willing to sacrifice sleep so I could keep reading. 12.21 tells the story of an infection that once it starts spreading it cannot be stopped and how it could very well be the reason the Maya civilization originally disappeared.

I wouldn't consider myself a 2012 fanatic but I have seen my fair share of Mayan prophecy shows on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. I've never considered the fact that the world is truly going to end on December 21, 2012, but I think it's a fair assumption that something may very well indeed happen that changes the world we live in. Or it could be like every other normal day, who knows. I guess we'll just have to wait a few short months and find out firsthand. But the storyline in 12.21 of one possible outcome was terrifyingly realistic and incredibly convincing.

I loved how this wasn't just an end of world tale and how it was actually linked to the very reason the Maya civilization disappeared so very long ago. Based on the Authors Note, 'there is no evidence that the Maya suffered from a transmissible prion disease', but regardless this was a riveting concept. Dustin Thomason created an amazing yet lifelike end of days story that is hands down my favorite read of 2012.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is a lot of talk these days that the Mayan Calendar predicted an end to civilization in the year 2012 at the Winter Solstace. The book has a prologue describing events that led to the fall of a Mayan civilization and one of the Mayan writing a secret diary (called a "codex") of events leading to the fall.

The book then moves forward to December 2012 and we are introduced to Gabe Stanton, a researcher for infectious diseases. He is called to a Los Angeles hospital to look at a patient who may have been infected with mad cow disease. This was a disease for which there is no known cure as it uses "prions" to affect the DNA rather than use germs. The disease prevents the victim from being able to sleep so the victim will first go mad and then die from sleep deprivation.

This involves the CDC and a search to find the source. Later it will be found that the disease probably originated from the same site as the secret codex was written because the victim had the codex in his possession.

The codex itself ends up in the possession of Chel Manu, a Guatamalan of Mayan descent. She begins the work of trying to decipher the codex but pretty soon the man who gave it to her falls victim to the same disease that killed the first man. Chel realizes that it has something to do with the codex and goes to see Gabe Stanton.

It is not long before more victims are turning up since the disease can be passed through physical contact and the prions themselves cannot be destroyed so once something comes in contact with the prions, they cannot be cleaned away. It will not be long before the disease will be spread everywhere if it cannot be contained.

Chel and Gabe realize that the only hope lies in possible clues from the codex.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I believe that just about everyone is aware on some level of the significance (or not) of December 21, 2012. That is the date, according to the Mayan calendar, on which the world as we know it will end. This is either prophesied by the calendar or intuited by same, depending on with whom one speaks or what one reads. As a result, it has been the subject of numerous films and books, and even series of novels, dealing with the run-up to the date and the morning after, such as it may be. With 12.21, Dustin Thomason --- whose credits include co-authorship of THE RULE OF FOUR with Ian Caldwell --- has put a bit of an ingenious twist upon the entire controversy. The conclusion will leave you thinking and perhaps worrying just a bit.

Most of the theory behind the general December 21st panic has to do with the reversal of the earth's magnetic fields occasioned by something else, with the result being that, among other things, my android phone won't work. Thomason's take is a bit more grounded. The novel commences on December 11, 2012, with the discovery in Los Angeles of what is believed to be a prion disease with symptomatic fatal familial insomnia. The patient X in this case is a gentleman who appears to be of Central American origin. At approximately the same time, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan researcher at the Getty Museum, obtains possession of an ancient codex that, remarkably enough, originated in a lost city of her ancestors. It is an artifact that should not exist, yet it appears not only to be genuine but also to reveal why the Mayan kingdoms vanished seemingly overnight.

What Manu does not realize is that she and the city of Los Angeles are only a couple of days away from getting a really good and modern look at what occurred.
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