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The List of Seven by Mark Frost
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The List of Seven (1993)

by Mark Frost

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Great book but then I was pretty sure it was going to be pretty damn good just from it's reputation and the cover blurb. The writing was even better than I thought it would be. I often stopped and said out loud, "WOW, that's great!" I like the horror and fantasy elements that took it out of the straight mystery/thriller genre (the more monsters the better as far as I'm concerned).

It was really too bad he had to throw a bunch of german in on the last page. It was distracting (unless you speak German) and took away from the "surprise" ending. ( )
1 vote ragwaine | Dec 11, 2012 |
Initially I thought this would be a bit of escapism, but ended up being a story derived from classic novels. I kept reading to see what would happen but it did not hold my interest enough to make me recommend to others ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jul 27, 2012 |
This was a good mix of mystery, historical fiction and the supernatural. I liked how the characteristics of Holmes and Watson were displayed in Sparks and Doyle, respectively. While some scenes did get a bit clichéd, I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next book in the series, The Six Messiahs. ( )
  krin5292 | Jun 2, 2010 |
ah, i truly tried to love this book, but a third of the way in, i gave up the ghost; life is too short and there are too many books awaiting my eager neurons to squander them on ho-hums. however, as many enders of burgeoning relationships say, "it's not you --- it's me."

i'm not a mystery buff, nor am i a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. if you are, you must grab this book immediately -- it presents a lovely romp of an alternate history of Doyle's young years, before he began writing about a certain Sherlock Holmes. Frost writes Doyle brilliantly, and mystery buffs will be delighted. if you are not a fan of Doyle, you'll probably still love this book if you're into fantasy, magic realism, the supernatural, murder, incredible conspiracy cover-ups, zombies, London weather and mood, and fast-paced hi-jinks. for me, the book never really got dark or believable enough, and not being a Doyle fan, i quickly tired of his wild, far-fetched "deductions."

i intend to skim through the rest of the book, simply to learn new words, and to marvel at Frost's brilliance in word play and usage. i'm glad i bought it for that alone. Frost is a brilliant ironicist, and his writing ability is triple-A. i'll check out something else by him, eventually. ( )
  mel-L-co0l-j | May 2, 2010 |
(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.)

I recently had occasion to think again about the exquisitely strange 1990s television show Twin Peaks, co-created by David Lynch and Mark Frost; and that got me thinking again about Frost's two genre novels from that time period as well, 1993's The List of 7 and '95's The 6 Messiahs, the first of which I read way back when it originally came out, which inspired me this month to check them out from the library here in Chicago. Essentially steampunk tales from the dawn of that term's creation, they tell related stories based on the idea of the real Arthur Conan Doyle going on a series of occultish adventures in the late 1800s, accompanied by a secret agent of the Queen named Jack Sparks who ends up providing many of the traits for Doyle's later Sherlock Holmes stories.

Almost twenty years later, I had mostly fond if not dim memories of the first book, one of the first steampunk tales I ever read; and indeed, re-reading it again this month, it was in fact as entertaining as my memory had it. But twenty years of genre development has made steampunk a much more sophisticated thing now than it was at its inception, and unfortunately these books now display the weaknesses that come with their age; read now in the wake of much better books that have come after, they seem a little clunkier than they did before, a bit more obvious in their machinations, and with a bad Hollywood tone much of the time, as if Frost were only writing them so that he could then sell the film rights, not surprising when it comes to an industry veteran like himself. Now combine this with the fact that the very concept gets kind of muddled by the second book -- the whole charm of the first one laying mostly in the idea of Doyle being a young, clueless, untested doctor, thrown into the middle of shadowy conspiracies he doesn't understand, an aspect missing in the sequel where he is now a field-tested veteran of the strange -- and it's easy to see why Frost eventually abandoned what could've been the start of a lucrative franchise, and has only penned sports-themed novels in the years since. Interesting for a lark, and for those curious about steampunk's origins, but not something you should go out of your way to read.

Out of 10: 7.9 ( )
1 vote jasonpettus | Apr 20, 2010 |
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Epigraph
All the Devil requires is acquiescence... not struggle, not conflict.
Acquiescence.
Dedication
This book owes its life to
Ed Victor,
who lit the fire.
Many thanks to 
Sue Freestone, 
and the rest of the team at Hutchinson.
Many thanks as well to 
Rosalie Swedlin,
 Adam Krentzman,
Rand Holston, 
Alan Wertheimer, 
Lori Mitchell and 
John Ondre.
Special thanks to 
Bill Herbst, 
for climbing the next hill and telling the truth about what lies ahead.
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The envelope was vellum, cream.
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Book description
Following a bloody London Seance and in the aftermath of a terrifying supernatural contact, a good doctor finds himself the target of a malevolence born of the darkest nightmares.

But with stalwart companions by his side - including an extraordinarily intrepid investigator - he seeks to expose a dastardly band of nefarious criminals and a chilling conspiracy aimed at the heart of England's future ... and instead unearths a crime far more horrible than murder and experiences an adventure beyond the limits of imagination.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380720191, Mass Market Paperback)

Dark Brotherhood

As the city of London slumbers, there are those in its midst who conspire to rule the world through the darkest and most nefarious means. These seven, seated in positions of extraordinary power and influence, marshal forces from the far side to aid them in their fiendish endeavor.

Force of One

In the aftermath of a bloody séance and a terrifying supernatural contact, a courageous young doctor finds himself drawn into a malevolent conspiracy beyond human comprehension.

All or Nothing

The future is not safe, as a thousand-year reign of pure evil is about to begin, unless a small group of stalwart champions can unravel the unspeakable mysteries behind a crime far more terrible than murder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:41 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"En el seno de Londres hay quienes conspiran a conquistar el mundo de la manera mas vil. Con puestos de extraordinariio poder e influencia, estos siete apelan a las fuerzas del mas alla para que les ayuden con sus diabolicos esfuerzos."-- Back cover.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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