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1 Burnside Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Prodigy: A Novel

by

Prodigy: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A thriller set in the future at an ultra-elite prep school that asks: what is the price of perfection?

In the year 2036, the world's best boarding school is the Stansbury School. The students, better known as specimens, are screened at a young age and then given twelve years of the finest education — and developmental drug regiment — available.

Stansbury graduates — physically and mentally — are in a class all by themselves. Four out of five go on to Harvard, Yale or Princeton; twenty out of the top thirty Forbes 500 companies have Stansbury CEOs, eight graduates have become U. S. Senators, and two sit on the Supreme Court.

But when a string of alumni are murdered, school officials — looking to avoid a public relations disaster — decide to keep the police in the dark.

They discreetly ask the school's Valedictorian to solve the mystery, but he discovers that the most obvious culprit (the school's resident chemically imbalanced delinquent — and the Valedictorian's nemesis) is being framed.

Together, the two unlikely allies uncover a massive conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the Stansbury administration and the United States government.

A riveting thriller about America's obsession with genius and the potential of youth, Prodigy is not only a chilling vision of the very near future, it's an authentic coming-of-age story for the 21st Century.

Review:

"The Stansbury School's class of 2036 — 'flagship editions of youth' — are 'bred... for top-of-the-line performance,' poised to matriculate at the best colleges and destined to dominate the private and public sectors. After a 12-year regimen of chemical enhancement, conditioning and ideology inside Stansbury's high-rise virtual prison, in the megalopolis of San Angeles, these co-ed high school students, known as 'specimens' in Kalstein's cautionary debut, emerge a master race of ninja-assassin geniuses: unnaturally tall, lethal and intelligent — at the cost of imagination and individualism. The story hinges on two students, both full-ride scholarship orphans, who form an unlikely partnership after six recent Stansbury graduates are murdered. Valedictorian Thomas Oliver Goldsmith has put his 'blue collar work ethic and indomitable will' behind Stansbury's mission, while Winston Cooley, a rebellious malcontent, refuses to swallow the mandated drugs or the school's supposedly high-minded ideals. When Cooley unwittingly ends up at the scene of an alum's murder, the school's administration puts Goldsmith on the case. For Stansbury, the scandal could jeopardize the school's chances to receive a $1 trillion-a-year research grant from the government. For Cooley, his very freedom is at stake. Kalstein's action-packed comment on the price of 'progress,' the absurdity of hypercompetitive education and the myth of meritocracy hurtles to a satisfying if predictable conclusion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Engrossing despite its well-trod utopia-gone-bad plot, the book is so well imagined that one cares about the school's fate from the start. And the characters are vivid as well, befitting what is, beneath its fast-paced surface, a thoughtful novel about boarding-school life." Booklist

Review:

"The novel spins out of control....A first novel that sacrifices a serious consideration of eugenics and the price of progress to the greedy demands of a tangled plot." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This clever first novel deserves serious attention, and should garner it. The author, who is a film writer and director, has created a suspenseful near-future story that would make a great movie." KLIATT

Review:

"Kalstein's writing mirrors the world he creates: bold, textured, rife with dark secrets. Watching the ambitious boy genius and the angst-ridden thug piecing together the clues...makes Prodigy a wonderful coming-of-age story hidden inside a riveting mystery. If the characters from Less Than Zero and The Secret History woke up in a novel by Philip K. Dick, they'd get along famously with the precocious students of Stansbury." Dustin Thomason, bestselling co-author of The Rule of Four

Review:

"Dave Kalstein's merciless, murderous, amped-up future is on a par with that of Richard Morgan's. His evolutionarily advanced schoolboy and schoolgirl protagonists are like the glowing-eyed cuckoos of Village of the Damned interbred with the cast of The O. C. and The Legion of Superheroes. If Jim Thompson had written Catcher in the Rye, we might have experienced a similar thrill-ride." Paul Di Filippo, author of The Emperor of Gondwanaland

Review:

"Speaking of the future, Dave Kalstein has a way with words and a big talent that will surely vault him into the ranks of well-known writers for years to come." Ethan Black, author of Dead for Life

Synopsis:

"Kalstein's writing mirrors the world he creates: bold, textured, rife with dark secrets. Watching the ambitious boy genius and the angst-ridden thug piecing together the clues - about a conspiracy, about themselves - makes PRODIGY a wonderful coming-of-age story hidden inside a riveting mystery. If the characters from Less Than Zero and The Secret History woke up in a novel by Philip K. Dick, they'd get along famously with the precocious students of Stansbury."

-DUSTIN THOMASON, bestselling author of The Rule of Four

"Dave Kalstein's merciless, murderous, amped-up future is on a par with that of Richard Morgan's. His evolutionarily advanced schoolboy and schoolgirl protagonists are like the glowing-eyed cuckoos of Village of the Damned interbred with the cast of The O. C. and The Legion of Superheroes. If Jim Thompson had written Catcher in the Rye, we might have experienced a similar thrill-ride."

-Paul Di Filippo, author of The Emperor of Gondwanaland

"Speaking of the future, Dave Kalstein has a way with words and a big talent that will surely vault him into the ranks of well-known writers for years to come."

-Ethan Black, author of Dead for Life

About the Author

After getting kicked out of several prep schools, Dave Kalstein became a film writer and director working out of Hollywood. Prodigy is based on a short film he made in 2003. This is his first novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312340964
Author:
Kalstein, David
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books
Author:
Kalstein, Dave
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Boarding schools
Subject:
Preparatory school students
Subject:
Science / General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20051227
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.52x5.82x1.11 in. 1.07 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Prodigy: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Thomas Dunne Books - English 9780312340964 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The Stansbury School's class of 2036 — 'flagship editions of youth' — are 'bred... for top-of-the-line performance,' poised to matriculate at the best colleges and destined to dominate the private and public sectors. After a 12-year regimen of chemical enhancement, conditioning and ideology inside Stansbury's high-rise virtual prison, in the megalopolis of San Angeles, these co-ed high school students, known as 'specimens' in Kalstein's cautionary debut, emerge a master race of ninja-assassin geniuses: unnaturally tall, lethal and intelligent — at the cost of imagination and individualism. The story hinges on two students, both full-ride scholarship orphans, who form an unlikely partnership after six recent Stansbury graduates are murdered. Valedictorian Thomas Oliver Goldsmith has put his 'blue collar work ethic and indomitable will' behind Stansbury's mission, while Winston Cooley, a rebellious malcontent, refuses to swallow the mandated drugs or the school's supposedly high-minded ideals. When Cooley unwittingly ends up at the scene of an alum's murder, the school's administration puts Goldsmith on the case. For Stansbury, the scandal could jeopardize the school's chances to receive a $1 trillion-a-year research grant from the government. For Cooley, his very freedom is at stake. Kalstein's action-packed comment on the price of 'progress,' the absurdity of hypercompetitive education and the myth of meritocracy hurtles to a satisfying if predictable conclusion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Engrossing despite its well-trod utopia-gone-bad plot, the book is so well imagined that one cares about the school's fate from the start. And the characters are vivid as well, befitting what is, beneath its fast-paced surface, a thoughtful novel about boarding-school life."
"Review" by , "The novel spins out of control....A first novel that sacrifices a serious consideration of eugenics and the price of progress to the greedy demands of a tangled plot."
"Review" by , "This clever first novel deserves serious attention, and should garner it. The author, who is a film writer and director, has created a suspenseful near-future story that would make a great movie."
"Review" by , "Kalstein's writing mirrors the world he creates: bold, textured, rife with dark secrets. Watching the ambitious boy genius and the angst-ridden thug piecing together the clues...makes Prodigy a wonderful coming-of-age story hidden inside a riveting mystery. If the characters from Less Than Zero and The Secret History woke up in a novel by Philip K. Dick, they'd get along famously with the precocious students of Stansbury."
"Review" by , "Dave Kalstein's merciless, murderous, amped-up future is on a par with that of Richard Morgan's. His evolutionarily advanced schoolboy and schoolgirl protagonists are like the glowing-eyed cuckoos of Village of the Damned interbred with the cast of The O. C. and The Legion of Superheroes. If Jim Thompson had written Catcher in the Rye, we might have experienced a similar thrill-ride."
"Review" by , "Speaking of the future, Dave Kalstein has a way with words and a big talent that will surely vault him into the ranks of well-known writers for years to come."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Kalstein's writing mirrors the world he creates: bold, textured, rife with dark secrets. Watching the ambitious boy genius and the angst-ridden thug piecing together the clues - about a conspiracy, about themselves - makes PRODIGY a wonderful coming-of-age story hidden inside a riveting mystery. If the characters from Less Than Zero and The Secret History woke up in a novel by Philip K. Dick, they'd get along famously with the precocious students of Stansbury."

-DUSTIN THOMASON, bestselling author of The Rule of Four

"Dave Kalstein's merciless, murderous, amped-up future is on a par with that of Richard Morgan's. His evolutionarily advanced schoolboy and schoolgirl protagonists are like the glowing-eyed cuckoos of Village of the Damned interbred with the cast of The O. C. and The Legion of Superheroes. If Jim Thompson had written Catcher in the Rye, we might have experienced a similar thrill-ride."

-Paul Di Filippo, author of The Emperor of Gondwanaland

"Speaking of the future, Dave Kalstein has a way with words and a big talent that will surely vault him into the ranks of well-known writers for years to come."

-Ethan Black, author of Dead for Life

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