12.21.12 A New Beginning

2012 has been a year very much in the spotlight of late, more specifically the date 12.21.12, December 21 2012 represents the end of the ancient Mayan calendar, and some feel that it may represent the end of civilization as we know it. The recent blockbuster movie certainly plays up the possibility of mass destruction, but it is not the only view being shared.

William Gladstone has just released a very thought provoking novel The Twelve. Certainly the core of the plot concerns the Mayan calendar and what might possibly happen on the winter solstice of 2012. The author takes us into a wonderful story that spans 50 years, and almost as many countries.

Our protagonist is Max Doff, when we meet him there is not much remarkable about him. A kid that does well in school, and also seems to do well in the world of sports. At age 15 Max faces something that few people have, a near death experience. It might have been one second, or one hour, does time exist in this dimension? Max looks down on his old life, he sees two choices, to return to his rather boring life, or to join with the wonderful and tantalizing options that await him in the afterlife.

Max opts to return, but he has a heavy burden. While in what can only be viewed as stasis, there were twelve names shared with him. The meaning or reason for these names is an unknown item.

Max is a go getter, yet Max is also in some ways a bit of a loser. Lucky in math, but very unlucky in love. He has a gift for creation, particularly in the film business, but that gift is tempered by his abilitiy to find business problems.

One by one Max meets the 12 people that he met in his ‘dream’, most seem normal people, why are they important? The only thing that they have in common is their uncommonality!

They are not from one religion, nor one race or color. Some are rich, some are poor. None know each other, and few even speak a common language.

There is a thread that joins these people together, it is a tenuous thread, and one that is hard to find at first.

The Mayan Calendar is without question the key, but what joins these people together? There seems to be little in common, but there must be a thread, can Max find it before the fateful day day?

The Twelve is a well thought out novel that offers a very unique view of what might happen in 2012. I have no wish to spoil the story and to share more of the plot would do that, but it is safe to say the the ending is an interesting one. It gives one pause for thought in our modern world. When it comes to religion there are many different badges and labels that people wear, but when you tear off the outer layers you find a great deal of commonality.  It is in many ways this factor that William Gladstone play upon in The Twelve.

You can order your copy from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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