Twelve follows a bunch of wealthy teenagers as they prepare for a party, deciding on outfits, seeking drugs, and lining up their intended sexual encounters. Written with an incredibly fast and clipped pace, regularly featuring one paragraph chapters, the story races blindly towards an absolutely devastating and unforgettable ending. (Read the full plot and character descriptions here)
Famously written when he was only seventeen the novel came out in 2002 to a very mixed critical reception. I didn’t stumble across it myself until a year later, in fact, I found it in a youth hostel’s otherwise empty bookcase on a Duke of Edinburgh walking expedition!
Nick McDonell (pictured in the montage above) apparently received some stick in the media at the time with accusations of nepotism, due to the fact that his parents are both big dogs in publishing and media. Also - authors aren't meant to be attractive and Nick McDonell nods towards the Romantic period almost in that he is a beautiful young writer from an overly privileged background. Orange Fiction Prize eat your mank face off. Only 25 now, the good looking author has received moderate success with two other novels since, and there’s still mileage in him yet.
Despite being post-millennial Twelve is very much a Generation X novel with every page reminiscent of that Bret Easton Ellis pace and that gritty Martin Amis obsession with materialism and American dystopia.
Where as Bret Easton Ellis’ homosexuality bleeds into most of his literature, Twelve has a much manlier Guy Ritchie-esque edge. The drug dealers in Twelve are hard-edged baby gangsters where as Bret Easton Ellis’ tend to be blond fifteen year old gays.
The film will star Nico Tortorella who is perfect for the part considering he’s already played a supermodel in The Beautiful Life, and generally fits into that evil macho but kind of gay-candy box. Other Twelve cast members include Kiefer Sutherland (Jack in 24) Emma Roberts and Chace Crawford.
Sadly rap-star 50 Cent has been given a role, which worries me slightly.