Sunday, October 4, 2009

Review: The Twelve by William Gladstone

The Twelve is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about a most unusual man. As a child, Max lives in a world of colors and numbers, not speaking until the age of six. As an adult, Max ventures on a journey of destiny to discover the secret behind the ancient Mayan prophecy about the "end of time," foretold to occur on December 21, 2012. When he is fifteen years old, Max has a near death experience during which he has a vision that reveals to him the names of twelve unique individuals. While Max cannot discern the significance of these twelve names, he is unable to shake the sense that they have deep meaning. Eight years pass before Max meets the first of the twelve. With this, Max's voyage of discovery begins, as he strives to uncover the identities and implications of "the twelve"—individuals he will meet during his journey towards truth, all of whom seem connected, and all of whom may hold the answer to what will happen at the exact moment the world may end. The novel takes the reader on a series of global adventures, culminating in a revelation of why and how Max and the twelve are destined to unite to discover the magnitude of the meaning of December 21, 2012. Only the twelve can provide the answers, as the fate of all humanity rests in the balance.

Received from the publicist for review.

I did feel the story was a bit too in keeping with the current male dominated religions. Apparently there will be a change, but the world will still be controlled by a single sex. So, I gather that not a whole lot will actually change for women.

I also found it extremely difficult to connect with the main character, Max, since he was from an upper middle class family and had a charmed life with everything he wanted just appearing for him. Add to that the fact that all the Spanish families he visited had multiple servants. And how can you really sympathize with a multimillionaire who lost money in investments and couldn't afford to pay his ex-wife $75,000 a month in alimony. Seriously?

The way the story unfolded was interesting, although Max's story was a bit too pat for me. I found his experiences with Louis to be just too obvious, but I gather they were necessary for the story.

This one gets three stars. It pleasantly reminded me of The Celestine Prophecy. The chapters were of a nice length. The messages presented are important and certainly must be investigated further.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


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