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The Zero Game Hardcover – Large Print, Jan 20 2004

3.3 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Lrg edition (Jan. 20 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739441019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446533164
  • ASIN: 0446533165
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,723,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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, 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really did like this book, and I found it exciting and highly compelling. I did think, though, that some of the scenes were way too long. The climax scene in the tunnels under the Capitol near the end of the book was full of violence. It just went on and on forever and got extremely physical and rough. The sequence of the events in the old gold mine in South Dakota was very descriptive and exciting, but it also was too long.
I wish he had devoted some of those pages to tying up a few loose ends at the end of the book. I thought that he hurried through the last few pages, and it left me wondering about quite a few things that were not adequately explained.
One other strange thing that I noticed was about the blurb on the book jacket. Whoever wrote that had obviously not read the book because it is not correct. Once you have read the book, you will see what I mean about the correctness of the jacket. Maybe a picky thing, but I noticed it and it should be changed in later editions. Lots of people read those blurbs before deciding whether or not to read a book.
All in all, I would recommend THE ZERO GAME to others. I have read all of the other Brad Meltzer books and have loved them.It was a great effort from a popular author.
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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: Hardcover
If you've ever found politics boring, think how those in Washington feel. Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are senior staffers working on Capitol Hill but Matthew's getting restless and thinking about changing his profession.
That's when Harris lets him in on a little secret known as the Zero Game. To spice things up in politics, only select people are invited to play a friendly wagering game on whether bills will pass or fail.
And that's when a surefire win comes across Matthew's desk. He has the power to make the bill pass, giving him and Harris the chance of a lifetime.
They bet everything they have and watch as the game unfolds. But when Matthew gets curious, Harris finds himself on the run.
He draws a 17-year-old Senate page into the mix as he tries to uncover the truth. What went wrong with the game?
Harris discovers there's more to the Zero Game than just some minor bets on bills passing or failing. Somebody wants him dead to keep the secret international secret that could change life as we know it.
Brad Meltzer has written one of the most clever novels ever created. The Zero Game weaves such a detailed web, you'll see a side of Washington that you have to wonder if it's really fiction or not. The world he's created is very real but not so technical that only a Congressman could enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover
Matthew Mercer has been working in politics in Washington D.C. for the last eight years for a congressman but the job is getting old not much fun any more and he is ready to call an end to this career. Now Harris Sandler is works on Senate side of congress and happens to be Matthews mentor and friend since Matthews freshman year in college.Harris changes Matthews mind when he introduces Matthew to a new game that seems perfectly harmless.
The idea for the game a game that has been going on for years is that they bet on the outcome of votes and some times getting pranks to happen by the congressman while the congressman do not even know they are part of it.
Matthew is also on the appropiations committee where they decide who is going to get how much money for which projects so when a chance comes up for Harris and Matthew to bet on the game and matthew promising victory and a fat return because he is on this committee Harris and him put down a fat sum of money on the game.But with all this going out somewhere around 20,000 dollars Matthew gets nervous and follows the page who picks the package up.Part of the reason he gets nervous is that the only one he knows that is in the game is the one who braught him in Harris.Well following the page gets Matthew killed and causes Harris to find out how and why and who is behind the game and is it really so harmless.
Unlike some of the other reviews i thought this was a great book and very fastpaced with a surprise ending it was a diffenet page turner when i got about 2/3's of the way into i could not read the pages fast enough to find out what happens
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