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The Zero Game Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (Nov. 13 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600242499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600242496
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 14.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

After just a few chapters, Meltzer's latest (after The Millionaires) completely throws the listener for a loop when the main character and narrator, Capitol Hill staffer Matthew Mercer, is murdered. Harris Sandler, his best friend and fellow senior staffer, picks up the narrator's reins as he launches into an investigation of his friend's death. The two had been involved in a secret and, until now, harmless game of placing wagers on congressional votes, but Matthew's murder reveals a conspiracy so entrenched in Sandler's world that the only person he can trust is Viv Parker, a young page that he has just met. Pursued by a professional killer almost as relentless as the Terminator, the two race to stop a plot that literally threatens the planet. In an interview with Crackerbarrel.com, veteran audiobook reader Brick states that Meltzer concocted the radical change in narrative voice just "because he couldn't wait to hear how different I would make the two characters sound." Brick does not disappoint. His acumen for subtle nuance and his obvious comfort with the demands of Meltzer's pace allows this Shakespearean actor to provide the listener with the highest level of audio suspense and entertainment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

When Matthew Mercer confides to his best friend, Harris Sandler, that he's thinking of leaving his cushy job as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill, Harris convinces him to stay by inviting him to play the Zero Game, an anonymous wagering game where you bet on the likelihood of some piece of legislation passing. It's a silly game, but the stakes are minimal, so Matthew joins in, enjoying the diversion and finding the anonymity intriguing. The bet in front of them now is a gimme, especially since Matthew can control its outcome, so the pair decides to up the ante and go for broke. Trouble is, there's another bidder out there (Who else could have such an interest?), and both Matthew and Harris sense that this bet just might be their last. They've learned the hard way that there's no one they can trust and have no choice but to find out who's behind the now-murderous game. Coming to their aid is an unlikely savior, a teenage Senate page who can duck in and out of private offices without raising suspicion. Packed with plenty of backroom D.C. ambience and lots of action, the novel also boasts improved plotting and character development since Meltzer's last high-concept best-seller, The Millionaires (2001). Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I first started listening to this novel on unabridged audio cassette, I admit to being confused and having to rewind the first 45 minutes in order to listen to the opening sequence a second time. But after this bout of fuzzy thinking, the fast pace and non-stop excitement narrated in the intelligent and frat boy confident voice of Washington staffer Harris Sandler. moved me along at breakneck speed, unraveling a mystery as labyrinthine as the old gold mine in one of the novel's most exciting sequences. Bored to an unhealthy cynicism with the Washington CYA scene of political manuevering, Harris and his best bud Matthew have spiced up their otherwise mundane careers by doing the unethical: gambling on Congress in a little wagering fun known only by a select few as the Zero Game. Very early on in the novel, the sure thing turns bad, and Harris finds himself in an unthinkable position: on the run for his life from a maniacal assasin with a black box tool that simulates a heart attack when used on its intended victim, with 17 year old Viv Parker, a senate page from Michigan as his only ally.

As Harris and Viv weave from DC to South Dakota and back attempting to uncover the secret of the Zero Game, the reader unearths vital information about the smooth and clever Harris Sandler whose pin-striped perfection hides a disillusioned knight unhorsed by over ten years of back-stabbing DC wheeling and dealing. The innocent, idealistic and religious Viv plays the light to his shadow and together they make a wonderfully precocious and unforgettable team.

The denouement is not predictable, the science interesting, the Washington insider scenes informative and the thrills lasting until the epilogue.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Every great once in a while I come across a book meant for the big screen. _The Zero Game_ has what it takes - action, suspense, compelling characters, and best of all, an exceptional plot packed with some striking, fascinating twists.
Matthew and Harris have been friends since college. The friendship is strong, even though the two are opposite in personalities: Matthew is a follower, whereas Harris, the son of a barber, is a born leader with the gift of gab. These two senior staffers have some humorous stories to share, but the most interesting Harris has saved for the right moment. Matthew is bored and dissatisfied by his job. Harris tells him about the Zero Game and talks him into joining him. Each person is allowed to invite only one other person. No one is allowed to know who is leading the bet or those joining in on the bet. It's as blind as betting can get. The subject of betting is whether or not one can get an unusual piece of Legislation passed. Matthew gets carried away with one particular bet, and changes the game into a life and death situation. Matthew and Harris are trapped in the game and eventually drag a young African-American Senate page into the danger after her name badge is found at a crime scene. This gal is one tough cookie and she steals the show.
The first four chapters set up the story and some may find them a bit slow, but trust me, once it is over, it all becomes clear. I listened to _The Zero Game_ while working. Needless to say, I gave up because the further I got into the storyline the more I automatically stopped to listen.
_The Zero Game_ has the kind of heart-stopping suspense that takes your breath away.
Kudos to the reader, Scott Brick, for a suspenseful listen.
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Format: Hardcover
After his taut mystery thrillers, The Millionaires and The First Counsel, Brad Meltzer again takes you by the throat for a game and a chase through the corridors of the U.S. Congress for a new and original take on how human weakness can affect the governance of our nation and allow it to become an unwilling provider for a treasonous operation. If you don't get caught up in the drama (but you will), you'll come away from this read with an insight into how congressional staffers negotiate appropriations for bills. It's our money, so it pays to have some idea.
The weakness is in being a sucker for an insider's game -- a secret game for the privileged. Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler his mentor who helped him get on Congressman Nelson Cordell's staff and in on the game, are players. It's a secret game that gives you a sense of importance because you don't know who else is playing. the object is to get unsuspecting legislators to do or say specific things, or guess the final tally on a vote. The stakes are based on a preceding round of betting and, so far, the stakes have been little more than dinner money. On a staffer's salary, the risk has been comfortable, but, the greater accomplishment of winning is to establish yourself as a true power broker in Washington.
To win the latest Zero Game, Matthew has to insert his Congressman's land sale project into the Interior House Appropriations bill, which has to do with the transfer of land rights for a closed gold mine in South Dakota, little more than the usual pork and a simple matter for him to do. He can taste victory and wavers only when the bet rises to a couple of thousand dollars. Greed and the intoxication of a sure thing drives him to ignore the fact that a loss could put him in the poor house.
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