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Extended Audio Sample 12.21: A Novel Audiobook, by Dustin  Thomason Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,527 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dustin Thomason Narrator: Dustin Thomason, Fred Sanders, Noel R. Bearheart Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9780449011607
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From the co-author of the two-million copy mega-bestseller The Rule of Four comes a riveting thriller with a brilliant premise based on the 2012 apocalypse phenomenon—perfect for readers of Steve Berry, Preston and Child, and Dan Brown.
For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end.
In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands.
By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors. This extraordinary record, written in secret by a royal scribe, seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our own civilization might suffer this same fate.
With only days remaining until December 21, 2012, Stanton and Chel must join forces before time runs out.
Advance praise for 12.21
“Dustin Thomason, M.D., will invariably be compared to Michael Crichton, M.D., and 12.21 will be favorably compared to The Andromeda Strain. Both authors have written first-rate medical thrillers, the kind of fact-based fiction that is very scary but also very entertaining. Thomason knows his stuff, and it shows on every page. I truly could not put this book down.”—Nelson DeMille

“The most exciting novel of its kind since the days of Michael Crichton, 12.21 takes us from the frontiers of modern neuroscience to the riddles of ancient Maya texts, with nothing less than the future of our civilization at stake.”—Vince Flynn

“A fast-moving tale . . . Thomason displays an impressive depth of knowledge of both science and the ancient Mayan way of life. Along the way, he skillfully ramps up the action, one notch at a time. A winning book.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fascinating, terrifying for its potential realism. I loved how tightly everything fit together. I had to keep reading.”—Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist

“Fast, suspenseful . . . Michael Crichton fans will find a lot to like.”—Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “I truly could not put this book down.”

    Nelson DeMille

  • “Fast, suspenseful…Michael Crichton fans will find a lot to like.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A winning book.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 2/16/2014

    " Disappointing. Crichton-like, but not at all exciting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/21/2014

    " Reminded me of late-period Crichton in that the protagonist espoused a rather fringe belief ("OMG! Everyone who eats meat will someday get mad cow disease!") that at least partially came true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 1/20/2014

    " A good summer read type of a book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mike | 1/20/2014

    " Just ok... Felt the ending lacked the flair the story had throughout. It was building towards a great ending and then went into the boring and typical. Not sure i would read another book from this author if this is how he ends his stories. Just sayin! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/13/2014

    " I'm not a doomsday person but I really liked this book. I skimmed thru certain chapters and if you read this you will know which ones when you get to them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 1/10/2014

    " Before reading this I knew next to nothing about the impending end of the world on 12-21-12; now, thanks to 12.21, I know just slightly more. It did answer my question "Why December 21st?"....okay, I get it now...the winter solstice. Makes sense. I loved the book and can't wait to see the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie | 1/7/2014

    " I was really looking forward to reading 12.21; however, it was not as good as I had expected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/28/2013

    " Kind of a neat story and I like happy endings, but this was wrapped up a little too tightly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karla | 12/6/2013

    " An incurable prion disease is sweeping the country as we reach the end of the Mayan calendar (12/21/12). I enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book - the story wrapped up too quickly and the ending was too pat and happily ever after. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allen-louise Erickson | 8/15/2013

    " Prions, Mayan rituals and history, Los Angeles and the end of the world as we know it! Great fun! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 6/21/2013

    " Blah, not a good book. I only got as far as I did because I had nothing else to listen to. I ha thought it would be a zombie themed book buy it was just a disease thriller kinda book, not interesting enough to even finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee | 4/4/2013

    " This was a slow/tough to keep going read for me. The Maya history was interesting at times, the medical jargon made it slower. I guess I thought there would be more action, with the synopsis of the Mayan calendar coming to an end. The last fourth of the story, did make it easier to finish. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bgrayyoung | 3/11/2013

    " This is like Dan Brown meeting Robin Cook (or maybe Michael Crichton). The idea of a disease producing protein that can't be destroyed, or cured, and is communicable is scary! The story itself was so far fetched it was laughable! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darcy Leerhoff | 1/21/2013

    " Horrible waste of time - glad I listed to it instead of reading it physically "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Cavosie | 12/28/2012

    " A non-Mayan-apocalypse Mayan-apocalypse story. Entertaining--but stuffed with genre tropes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Macjest | 12/17/2012

    " I'm not one to believe in the 2012 thing, but the book was still interesting. There's enough science, and Mayan background to keep things from getting dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 9/24/2012

    " I found this to be an excellent book with believable characters and situations. But then, I'm a sucker for books dealing with epidemics, pandemics, and everything in between. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 7/29/2012

    " Meh--I am still waiting for a great book about the Mayas--I think it's a fascinating topic, but so far have not found a novel that works for me. "

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About the Author

Dustin Thomason graduated from Harvard College and received his MD from Columbia University. He is the co-author of the international bestseller The Rule of Four, and has written and produced several television series, including Lie to Me. He lives in Venice Beach, California.

About the Narrator

Fred Sanders, an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs,Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.