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The 500: A Novel Hardcover – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316198625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316198622
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thundering David-and-Goliath tale of corruption...This is a real page turner, with high stakes action that doesn't stop. Expect this to be one of the season's most talked-about debut thrillers. A sequel is in the offing and will be much anticipated."—Michele Leber, Booklist (Starred Review)

"Quirk's engaging first novel transplants the milieu of Grisham's The Firm to the world of political lobbyists...Quirk supplies just enough characterization and journalistic detail of Washington, D.C. life to ground his story as he launches into a streamlined, gripping man-on-the-run thriller."—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crimes, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

It is fast paced, a real page turner.
Stargazer Trading
I look forward to reading the next book and hope that it features Mike Ford again!
Bill Smith
Too many similarities to overlook and poor writing, characters, plot, etc.
bookloverFLA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 148 people found the following review helpful By katzzz on June 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I admit I didn't get past the first 50 pages because the author's style was not to my liking -- pedestrian thriller stuff and not very believable. But that's not why I'm writing. I looked over the Amazon reviews and I was struck by the similarity of the five star reviews, all gushing gee whiz-this-book-is-so-exciting-I-couldn't-put-it-down, with little else to say except for maybe a brief plot summary straight out of the press release. All of which makes these "reviews" seem suspicious, don't you think? I'm sure a few are from real readers who enjoyed the book, but most of them seem fake. Heck, even some of the three star reviews are glowing recommendations, as if they were planted on purpose so as not to make them appear like obvious put up jobs. I usually find Amazon reader reviews informative and entertaining, but what I smell is a disingenuous marketing campaign in a forum where it does not belong. Boo.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful By bookloverFLA on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It takes a bad book for me not to finish reading it but in this case it was a relief. If Grisham wasn't so wealthy he could sue for copyright infringement because this book is an blatant ripoff of The Firm. Instead of Mitch having a brother in jail in the 500 it's the father. Too many similarities to overlook and poor writing, characters, plot, etc.
I did not read any reviews before taking this book out of the library so had no preconceptions.

I can understand why some people would like this book if they hadn't read any Grisham but once you've read good writing you will not be able to put up with a poor copy job. (I will stipulate that not all of Grisham novels are top notch, just the majority).
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ethan on June 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Every man has a price". That seems to be the motivating factor in the debut novel, "The 500", by Matthew Quirk. In the book, Quirk depicts the inner workings of Washington D.C.'s five-hundred most influential people, through an imaginative and engaging thriller.

Mike Ford is an outsider. As a student at the prestigious Harvard Law, Mike works hard to live up to the societal standards of his affluent classmates. Unlike his peers, Mike, the son of a convicted felon, has grown up in a world of crime. After his disease stricken mother passed away, he was left with a jailed father, his mother's medical bills, and the choice to either make a better life for himself or meet the same fate as his father.

A standout at Harvard, Mike is given the opportunity to be an associate at The Davies Group, a powerful consulting firm in Washington. The group is paid by individuals, corporations, and special interest groups to influence the movers and shakers of Washington, the 500. Henry Davis, who formed the company, sees a spark of himself in Mike and quickly appoints him to a high profile deal that could lead to his partnership.

Essentially, The Davies Group uses the knowledge that "every man has a price" to find ways to "influence" the heavy players in the D.C. scene. Mikes street knowledge helps him to climb the ladder, providing more fortune, connections, and prestige than he could ever have dreamed of. When Davies pulls Mike off of his major deal, Mike immediately suspects foul play. He enters a conspiracy that threatens everything he has worked for and even his life.

Matthew Quirk has been compared to veteran legal thriller author John Grisham.
Read more ›
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Matthew Quirk's debut novel, The 500, has arrived just in time to please those summer readers who love a heart-pounding fast-paced plot. Protagonist Mike Ford has been recruited out of Harvard to work for the Davies Group, the most powerful consulting firm in D.C. Much of the action in the novel is so implausible that every reader's willing suspension of disbelief is severely tested. I can almost imagine Quirk's strain in deciding how to place Ford into a particular sticky situation, and then struggling to get him out. I kept reading because I found the excitement to become fun as the novel progressed, and once I gave in, it was easy to reach the end. I'm always willing to overlook a few clunky elements in a debut novel, and I was entertained by this one. Readers willing to give a first-time novelist a try should consider reading this novel.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"The 500" deserves to be a hot summer read of 2012. The Firm by John Grisham feels like the most apt comparison to me, but not Presumed Innocent the book's media releases suggest.

"The 500" is an engaging, engrossing, action novel that features some fine writing. It is not however the ultimate summer thriller. The plot strained credulity many times with the hero Mike Ford's incredible luck as he escaped time after time. I was also annoyed that Ford's girlfriend Annie, who had worked at the consulting firm longer than Ford had, was so naive and ignorant of the depth of the firm's shady dealings. Ford was taking his life into his hands by getting involved with this woman, because there was a high possibility it was a setup by his boss. Annie should have had more substance and relevance as a character, but she came off as the girlfriend, the prize.

The finale left me unsatisfied in a way that is hard to articulate without spoiling the whole plot. Overall, "The 500" was a fun summer read--quick if you are looking for a diversion at the beach or on a long flight. Very cinematic and it will make a good movie, which is already in the works.

3.5 stars If you want to know my idea of a 4-star summer read I recommend Await Your Reply or Tana French's mysteries such as In the Woods.
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