- 11,99 €
"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
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, Dave Kalstein's Prodigy is not only a chilling vision of the very near future, it's an authentic coming-of-age story for the 21st Century.
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.