Set in New York over the 5 days leading up to New Year its the story of a bunch of late teens looking for a party. It spans the classes from the ghettos of the Bronx to the brownstones on Park Avenue, telling the story of a group of kids all loosely connected by the same desire for a big New Years bash and all destined to end up at the same house for the big night. This is another one of those desperate to shock novels. Apparently we should be shocked that kids in their late teens smoke weed. Never have I read a book before where the author so desperately wants us to think that the book is autobiographical because hes made the character he wants us to think is him so cool.
I don't think Nick McDonell is without talent, but this book definitely betrayed his age. Try again in about ten years, Mr. McDonell.
Needing only a supplier, a beeper and his never-ending prep school connections, he walks the streets of New York to collect cash in exchange for drugs.
At the time when I read this I had great dreams of becoming a young, successful writer, so I wanted to see if the kid had talent or if he just had money and access.
I don't know much about what American high schools were like back in early 2000s but this author made it seem as if all rich kids cared about was money, drugs, parties, alcohol, and sex. We are told the story of an entire week from the perspective of many characters, yet, with the exception of the main character, every character felt like the previous one with the only difference being their situation. All these rich kids cared about was when they are going to get their next drug and when they can have sex with someone. The author tries to portray them as just lonely rich kids who have no love or attention from their parents who are too busy making money, but it completely fails at that. The main character whose name is Mike is the beloved drug dealer (his work name is White Mike which is completely stupid and doesn't protect your identity especially when you work with people who know you). Being lonely makes it more likely that he would take drugs but not sell them. Moving on, most of these kids despite spending most of their time drinking and doing drugs excel in school. He also puts in characters that have no impact to the story and give really bad stereotypes to different groups of minorities .
It was the sort of thing that you think is genius when you're a kid and writing is your "passion." What convinced me to buy the book is the wonderful reviews in New York Magazine and the blurbs in the back, featuring one by Hunter S.
The book's climax doesn't come until the last ten or so pages, but it still was able to hold my attention. One of the amazing things about this book is that it was written by a seventeen-year old boy.
Mehr Handlung hat das Buch nicht, bevor es dann mit einem kurz zusammengefassten, vollkommen aus dem Zusammenhang gerissenen Knaller endet. Möglicherweise soll die Tatsache, dass die Charaktere beinahe alle minderjährig sind, den Leser schockieren, aber das ist völlig an mir vorbei gegangen. Sie sind alle Kinder reicher Eltern, nehmen Drogen, feiern Partys, betrinken sich und denken, egal ob männlich oder weiblich, ständig über den Sex nach, den sie dann doch nicht haben. Das hebt ihn zwar von den anderen Charakteren ab, da er auf der anderen Seite des Tisches sitzt, aber schlussendlich ist er genauso platt konstruiert wie alle andere Figuren. Es wird erzählt von einer extrem großen Anzahl an Figuren, die ich aber überhaupt nicht auseinander halten kann, weil sie alle gleich denken und handeln. Nur die letzten fünf Seiten haben tatsächlich Handlung, die allerdings völlig aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen ist.
The publication of McDonell's novel at such a young age was the subject of many articles in high-profile publications such The New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly. Thompson gave a quote to McDonell when Twelve was published, as did Richard Price and Joan Didion, both personal friends of the family.