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The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile

The Thousand

by Kevin Guilfoile

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In an ambitious novel fusing historical fact with contemporary suspense, a gifted young woman races to find her father's killer and to free herself from the crossfire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.--From publisher description.



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Guilfoile (I defy you to spell that name after seeing it only once) is another The Morning News staffer with a novel out, and The Thousand is his second. If you haven't seen the videotrailer for the book, go find it now. Guilfoile counts to one thousand, number by number, but the video lasts only two minutes. It's fun to watch.

The Thousand has been described as The DaVinci Code for people who care about the material that goes into their head. Having read both, I can tell you that the Thousand is much, much better than TDaVC. Bonus: the antagonist isn't some masochistic, paperthin religionist. In fact, the Thousand's antagonists are a world-wide conspiracy of Pythagoreans who control the world with numbers. Interesting note: I read this book at the same time I listened to Michael Lewis's The Big Short, which is also about a group of oligarchic conspiracists, and I have to say that the experience left me feeling rather anxious for a few months. In a good way. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I found the premise quite intriguing, enough to keep the story going for me, though I found the trials of Wayne to be a little over the top. The climax seemed a little contrived (I don't want to spoil it, as I DO think it worth a reading, so I'll leave it at that). All in all, a great concept in the vein of the Da Vinci Code. ( )
  Kimberlynwm | Aug 11, 2013 |
I really loved the characters and plot created by the author, but his writing style holds me back from loving the book. Conspiracy, bionics and a plot with solid pace make this novel worth reading. ( )
  ThreeFiveSeven | Jun 21, 2012 |
This book isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, which this book certainly reminded me of (Except that it featured Pythagoras rather than Da Vinci and a secret society of mathematicians rather than Catholic priests. And the writing was better overall.).I wish that it had concentrated more on Canada and Wayne, since I didn't feel I got to know them as well as their key roles in the book would justify. It simply wasn't a character oriented book.The conspiracy and convoluted schemes were simply crazy. That's the fun of the book, but if you don't have patience for bizarre twists and unlikely turns, this isn't for you. ( )
  ImBookingIt | Jun 6, 2011 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Although I've been an acquaintance of local author Kevin Guilfoile for nearly a decade now, I've never actually read any of his full-length work, mostly because of him working in the crime/mystery genre that I neither follow nor care for that much; so I was glad to randomly spot his latest, the DaVinci-Codesque The Thousand, on the "new release" shelf at my neighborhood library this month, because it meant I could make my way through it fairly quickly and without a lot of fuss, frankly just like how I read through most novels in this genre. And indeed, this book is full of the kind of stuff that makes me kind of roll my eyes a bit when it comes to titles like these, which is why I try for the most part simply not to review these kinds of books, because of knowing that I'm far from its ideal audience; our main character, for example, is basically Lisbeth Sanders meets the Bionic Woman, a plucky female private investigator who received a sort of experimental body-wide pacemaker thingie as a child which now gives her nearly supernatural physical abilities, which she uses to slowly uncover a secret society that worships the hidden codes found in the work of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus, a group which believes our tomboyish hero to be the star-child or something that will finally bring all the ancient prophecies to fruition. Or, er, something like that. It's certainly as good as the other novels of this sort that I've read over the years, so I feel confident in recommending it to those who are naturally into this genre; but to really see Guilfoile at his best, you should instead check out the short, smart, bitter humor writing he's done in the past for places like McSweeney's and Funny Or Die.

Out of 10: 8.0 ( )
  jasonpettus | Jan 20, 2011 |
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We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chosses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy.
—Wallace Stegner
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She was sitting at a kidney-shaped blackjack table, barely glancing at her cards.
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Kevin Guilfoile's riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows (spellbinding--Chicago Tribune; a masterpiece of intelligent plotting--Salon) centers on an extraordinary young woman's race to find her father's killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.

In 530 B.C., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.

Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her father's unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.

In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy. The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile's enormous talent.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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