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Like Catcher in the Rye and Less than Zero, Twelve captures the soul of a generation. The debut novel of an eighteen-year-old author, it is a book for the new millennium, a chronicle of urban adolescence that has already created an international sensation.

Set in Manhattan between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it tells an inexorable tale that ranges from the housing projects of Harlem to the penthouses of Park Avenue. McDonell introduces us to White Mike, a seventeen-year-old drug dealer, and the kids he encounters—Chris and Claude and Hunter and Jessica with their lives of extraordinary privilege. The story he tells is unputdownable. And just when we think nothing can surprise us, Twelve races to a shocking finale.

Nick McDonell
About the Author

Nick McDonell was born in 1984 in New York City. He is the author of two previous novels, Twelve and The Third Brother, and has reported for Harper’s and Time Magazine from Sudan and Iraq.

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Text publication date:
2 June 2008
AU Price:
identity, friendship, drugs, coming-of-age
Reading age:
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Praise for Nick McDonell

‘Nick McDonell is the real thing, a powerful young writer with the look of a dangerous freak and very sharp teeth. The ratio of age to talent is horrifying. His trick is he writes the truth. I’m afraid he will do for his generation what I did for mine.’

‘In Twelve, Nick McDonell displays a remarkable arsenal of gifts—wit, near poetic concision, a terrific eye and ear—all of which add up to the Great Gift: the ability to tell a story, in such a way, that once engaged, the reader will find it near impossible to put the book down.’