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Twelve Paperback – June 29, 2010
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Joan Didion came to my school a few months ago and gave a talk. At one point, during questions afterward, I asked her point blank why she gave blurbs to books that it seems hard to imagine she could have had any respect for whatsoever. (I didn't mention Twelve by name, but I haven't noticed her name on many other books, and certainly none as wretched as this garbage.) There was a pause and then she sighed and said, "You get trapped into it. Old friends ask, and you don't want to put a sour note in decades of friendship because you wouldn't write a sentence or two."
Joan Didion is old friends with Nick McDonell's father.
The sex scenes (what few there are--this book is NOT shocking) are pretty ridiculous too: stuff to the effect of "The big scary black guy watched the virginal white girl take off her sweater. His menacing yellow eyes stared at her pale breasts." I mean, come on. And how come the white drug dealer is an intelligent, philosophical, sypathetic character (or is supposed to be, at least) while the black drug dealer is this hulking, evil monster?
And then, after I read it, I discovered that Nick McDonell's godfather owns the company that published the book. Funny, it doesn't mention that on the back flap. But it explains everything.
If you want to read about spoiled rich kids, LESS THAN ZERO is the classic, it's short and funny. The sequel, RULES OF ATTRACTION is pointless, but it should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking of going to an eastern liberal arts college.
Ellis borrowed much of his style from Dennis Cooper. If yoou want to read something "shocking" TRY is a much better book about missing love and prevalent drugs.
White Mike is a dropout drug dealer whose father ignores him and whose mother is dead of breast cancer. Hardly different from the spoiled rich kids he deals to, whose parents leave them on vacations and business, and ignore the resulting hedonism that they indulge in. Then there is Jessica, an addict of the drug Twelve, the creepy Lionel, unfortunate Hunter, "hottest girl" Sara, and numerous others. Murder, sex, drugs, and misery culminate in a violent New Year's Eve.
There isn't much of a plot to "Twelve." Several vaguely-connected characters drift in and out of various situations -- some of them connected to the vaguely-defined plot, some not. The actual text of the novel is very short. All the chapters are only a few pages long, and the shortest is one line long; the type is unusually large to expand this to a normal adult-novel length. The prose is stark and sparse to the point of being nonexistant. Hardly anything is described, beyond a description of blonde hair or rock-hard muscles, a smell or a spoon; it reads more like a screenplay, without the order and careful writing. The grand finale will annoy rather than shock, as McDonell seems to have no idea what to do with his plotlines.
And McDonell, precocious little man that he is, has also abandoned the basic rules of punctuation and grammar, making mistakes that I stopped making at the age of twelve. In the first two pages of White Mike's ponderings, his name is used in almost every sentence ("White Mike thought this. White Mike saw that").Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant novel and a super quick read. I read it in a day which caught the attention of my high school English students who keep track of how often we're on to new independent... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kaleroy A. Zervos
Twelve" is a very good story especially for the younger generations. I'm 29 and I get how the party's and drugs and status of a person is so important, especially in high school. Read morePublished on March 18, 2014 by Mary Ann Boylan
As a student i think its a good book. I like to read the book and it is also easy to read for beginners. I myself have problems reading and could read it well. Read morePublished on February 13, 2014 by Max Mier
White Mike. Like the name implies, he's in the background. A ghost. The only way you know he's been there is that his clients got some more merchandise to keep their eternal high... Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Morgan Cahall
great book, i would definitely reccomend it to anyone who is a drug addict. i mean, the main character is a drug dealer, man. who wouldnt like that s***!?Published on February 21, 2013 by Bryan Wynne
I'd seen the movie and hadn't thought the movie was that bad. Sure, it needed improvements, but I didn't realize just how much improvement had been made on the source material. Read morePublished on October 20, 2012 by Janet Morris
The novel "Twelve" written by Nick McDonell is about the life of teenagers from the upper eastside of manhattan. Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by lena, celina, sarah, nico
Wow there are so many bad reviews for this book but I really enjoyed it as an escape fiction and come on whoever didn't find the ending just OVERWHELMING is lying to themselves. Read morePublished on April 4, 2011 by Unsung Hero
i loved this book. it just captivated me in so many ways. i just saw the movie based on this novel, and it didnt do it justice. it is a great read. Read morePublished on February 3, 2011 by MaricelaC3