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The Dark Fields Paperback – January 8, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, January 8, 2003
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“FitzSimmons has come up with a doozy of a sociopath.” —The Washington Post Learn More
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bordering on techno-thriller territory, this slick, suspenseful debut imagines a new breed of "smart drug" that produces some deadly side effects. After complaining about life in desperate times to his drug dealer/ex-brother-in-law Vernon, divorced Manhattan copywriter Eddie Spinola is tempted by the glittering promise of MDT-48, an illegal, nearly unknown designer medication guaranteed to spike intelligence and personality in mere minutes. It really works, but Eddie's initial rush is so mind-blowing that even discovering Vernon's murdered body (and a hidden stash of cash and pills) barely interrupts his growing addiction. He chooses to ignore the mounting side effects of MDT-48: piercing headaches, intense bouts of rage and "trip-switching," a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality. Day trading on the stock market like a seasoned professional, Eddie soon becomes an immensely wealthy junkie armed with awe-inspiring artistic and financial brainpower. But when he's implicated in the brutal murder of a high-profile artist's wife and also linked to pharmaceutical espionage, his perfect new world unravels and the shocking truth about MDT-48's origin and purpose is revealed. Glynn's sustained, rapid-fire pace hurls readers headfirst toward a gripping, if bleak, conclusion that makes for some breathless page-turning. Dublin-based Glynn, who lived in New York for four years, gets the frenzied pace of the city just right. And though Eddie's demise is foreshadowed from the opening paragraph, his likability as a protagonist serves the swift and thrilling narrative well. Fine secondary characters like shady Russian loan shark Gennady and Eddie's ex-wife Melissa appear in many scenes, but the reader remains riveted to Eddie's fate in this impeccably imagined and executed debut. (Jan.) Forecast: Young, hip readers who are open to experimentation will be the first audience for this credible and timely thriller. Word of mouth will do the rest.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Eddie, a small time New Yorker who earns his living pounding out copy for illustrated manuals finds his life changes dramatically when a drug dealer introduces him to an amazing new designer drug that enables his resources of intelligence and drive function with amazing efficiency. When his dealer is murdered he escapes with a large stash and starts to make the kind of money about which he has only dreamed. However, there is a downside of blinding headaches, irrational behaviour - and worse is to follow in this high-voltage debut thriller. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (January 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582342733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582342733
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This debut from Irish writer Glynn is both a solid page-turning thriller, as well as a decent neuropsychopharmacological update of the Icarus myth. Set in pre-9/11 Manhattan, the story revolves around pudgy middle-aged schlub Eddie Spinola. He lives a depressing and uninteresting life in his squalid Avenue A apartment, barely making a living in a dead-end job as a copywriter for a no-name publishing company, with few friends and fewer prospects.

Eddie's long downward slide into oblivion is interrupted when he runs into his former brother-in-law on the street. Vernon was a coke dealer in the '80s, and after a few drinks and catching up, turns Eddie onto his latest product -- MDT48. This illegal designer drug is sort of like Viagra for the brain, providing superhuman powers of concentration, retention, learning, focus, ambition, charisma, etc. (as an example, Eddie is able to learn a foreign language in a few days). After his first pill, Eddie is hooked and goes back to Vernon for more -- only to find him dead. Fortunately, Eddie finds his stash and thus has plenty of pills to propel him through the coming weeks.

The story then more or less charts the metamorphosis an average person might experience under such a transformative drug. A minor triumph at work segues into wildly successful day trading, and from there into high level M&A finance. Of course, along the way, Eddie ups the dosage and also starts to experience disconcerting blackouts. Eventually, he also realizes he needs to figure out a source for more pills, figure out how what's causing the blackouts, deal with the Russian loan shark he's in debt to, and maybe, just maybe, try and reconnect with his ex-wife.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent first novel -- a gripping and unpredictable plot, interesting characters and so on. I was lucky to gain an early preview of the new movie "Limitless" and I was blown away by it.

I then read the book, so it could be the order in which I did it, but I found the movie to a noticeable improvement on the book.

Better storyline (well-crafted by Leslie Dixon), more fleshed-out characters (de Niro!) and a far better ending (which they apparently changed during re-shoots anyway).

But I did enjoy reading the book immensely, so I do recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd never heard of this book, but picked it up a few years ago based on the jacket copy - probably one of my best impulse buys ever. I loved it. And have re-read it at least four times since. The concept is so intriguing and Glynn explores it with good writing, pacing and characters. Highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book on the subway, and as an avid reader, I couldn't help my self. I couldn't put it down. I have not been so pleasantly surprised before. I have since bought this book for friends and they all have enjoyed it. I love it...can't wait for his next book!
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By Matthew Minix on February 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I began reading it that day, and read through it all in two. Definitely a page turner, with an amazing message. I could completely empathize with Eddie (The main character) and could understand all of his actions, definitely an author I'll be keeping an eye on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book over the last two days. I am a huge fan of the Limitless movie and I believe there's actually already a drug that exists that has some small percentage of the impact that the drug in the book has. All that being said the book was well done but ***SPOILER ALERT*** I think that the bleak ending was not as well done as it could have been - I just feel like the work sort of ran out of steam at that end. All that being said the book is good, the script for Limitless was better and I recommend both versions!
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Format: Hardcover
Saw the movie trailers,was intrigued and purchased the book. The concept is fascinating and of universal interest. Who hasn't thought about what it would be like if we could use all of our brain? I give the author high marks for credibly describing the experience of an immensely powerful mind altering drug and to radically change your life in a few days. The plot has some curious flaws and a disappointing resolution. I'm hoping that the movie will expand this idea and fine tune the plot. Given my criticism of the novel, it was enjoyable, I recommend it, and look forward to reading other books by this author.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after watching the film 'limitless', so I had a fair idea what was going to happen.

There were some differences between the book and the movie, which in my opinion added to the story. The book starts at a frantic pace and continues to keep it up throughout, ensuring that I didn't leave it down for too long, a real page-turner.
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