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The Dark Fields [Paperback]

Alan Glynn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Jan 2004
Imagine a drug that makes your brain function in a fantastically efficient way, tapping in to your fundamental resources of intelligence and drive. Imagine a drug that could make you read and remember entire books in a matter of hours, or learn a foreign language in a day. Imagine a drug that could make you process information so fast you can see the patterns on the stock market. Eddie Spinola is on such a drug. It's a pill called MDT-48. It's a Viagra for the brain, a designer drug that's redesigning his life. Eddie's not the only one doing MDT, but with his dealer shot dead and Eddie escaping with a large stash, he's the only one with a supply. And while the drug is helping Eddie make the sort of money he's only dreamed about, he's also beginning to suffer its side-effects ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (15 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751530832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751530834
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Alan Glynn's THE DARK FIELDS is that rare thing - a first novel of such great stylistic assurance and narrative energy that you immediately realize you're in the hands of a born storyteller. More tellingly, this dark, corrosive story of designer pharmaceuticals and high finance is a trenchant morality tale for our manic, avaricious times. This is a wild, compulsive ride into the greedy vortex of modern life. It is also an astonishing debut (Douglas Kennedy)

This is fast, clever- and horrifying, in a cheerful sort of way. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Glynn understands the thriller format and drives the plot relentlessly forward with verve and panache...A finely written debut, new in paperback, by an Irish writer who will only get stronger. (EVENING HERALD)

Book Description

THE DARK FIELDS is a high-concept, highly original thriller, a pharmaceutical Faust that is page-turning and thought-provoking in equal measure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing concept 22 Jan 2009
I picked up the Dark Fields after briefly skimming the back cover, and it is definitely among one of my better impulse buys.

The concept in itself is amazing - and potenitally plausible as medical science evolves - and both the plot and writing style are gripping.

We are introduced to the narrator 'Eddie', who is overweight, slovenly, and stuck in a dead end job as a copywriter for a small publishing company. A chance encounter with his former brother-in-law introduces him to the mysterious drug MDT-48, allegedly under development in a major pharmaceutical lab. Eddie pops his first pill, and it is from this point that the full on adrenaline rush that is 'The Dark Fields' kicks in, gripping the reader relentlessly until the final full stop.

Under the ever increasing addictive grip of MDT-48, Eddie finds his intellect soaring to unprecedented degrees; he masters Italian in one evening and finds he can decipher stocks and trade on the market for ever increasing profits. Furthermore, he exudes charisma, and his mere presence proves irresistable to others. He soon finds his social circle widening to include great artists and billionaire business tycoons.

However, as Eddies consumption of and reliance on MDT-48 increases, so too do the horrifying side effects...

To offer a cliche, 'The Dark Fields' rips along at rollercoaster speed. I found my heart palpitating as I read, anxious to reach the conclusion, but reluctant for the ride to end.

As thrillers go, 'The Dark Fields' is top notch. Set aside a weekend and cancel all plans as you won't put this book down until the last word.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! 9 Feb 2004
An excellent read.
An amazing plot idea, not beyond possibility - the writer diaries his experiences as he finds his world changing as a direct result of taking a new designed drug - MDT.
Excellent descriptives left one almost jealous about how it must feel to exist on an accelerated platform of thought and understanding.
A nice and acceptable ending to a decent story left me satisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lavish thriller 9 July 2011
A chance encounter with his ex-brother in law will change Eddie Spinola's life forever.

From hack writer to stockmarket wizard, he's riding high and loving it, all thanks to a tiny pill.

Now, if only he could get Gennady, the Russian mobster off his back, but as it turns out that's the least of his problems.

MDT-48 is like viagra for the brain, supercharging Eddie's intellectual abilities. There's only one problem, he's discovered - it's going to kill him.

The Dark Fields is a tightly written novel, lavish in detail and background knowedge. The book, like the drug, will leave you craving more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This debut from Irish writer Glynn is both a solid page-turning thriller, as well as a decent neuropsychopharmacological update of the Icarus myth. Set in pre-9/11 Manhattan, the story revolves around pudgy middle-aged schlub Eddie Spinola. He lives a depressing and uninteresting life in his squalid Avenue A apartment, barely making a living in a dead-end job as a copywriter for a no-name publishing company, with few friends and fewer prospects.

Eddie's long downward slide into oblivion is interrupted when he runs into his former brother-in-law on the street. Vernon was a coke dealer in the '80s, and after a few drinks and catching up, turns Eddie onto his latest product -- MDT48. This illegal designer drug is sort of like Viagra for the brain, providing superhuman powers of concentration, retention, learning, focus, ambition, charisma, etc. (as an example, Eddie is able to learn a foreign language in a few days). After his first pill, Eddie is hooked and goes back to Vernon for more -- only to find him dead. Fortunately, Eddie finds his stash and thus has plenty of pills to propel him through the coming weeks.

The story then more or less charts the metamorphosis an average person might experience under such a transformative drug. A minor triumph at work segues into wildly successful day trading, and from there into high level M&A finance. Of course, along the way, Eddie ups the dosage and also starts to experience disconcerting blackouts. Eventually, he also realizes he needs to figure out a source for more pills, figure out how what's causing the blackouts, deal with the Russian loan shark he's in debt to, and maybe, just maybe, try and reconnect with his ex-wife.
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