The Ancient Nine
An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he's just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He's got the ease—and the deep kn ...more
I didn't understand this, either, Julianne. I read…more (I tried to mark this entire answer as a spoiler, but I'm not certain it worked correctly. Sorry.)
I didn't understand this, either, Julianne. I read the ending first--bad habit--so I was on the lookout for how Moss Sampson became the owner. It might've been part of the "small fortune" the Ancient 9 paid him to leave (pg. 401) but other than that, I don't know how he could've become owner. The will that Spenser is given by Prof. Davenport is Moss's will, which goes into effect when he dies, which is how Spenser ends up with the ownership. But that doesn't explain Moss's ownership. (less) (hide spoiler)]
Spenser Collins is a sophomore at Harvard University when he is "punched" to join the Delphic Club, an exclusive all male final club that can boast some of world's most successful businessmen, politicians, Hollywood legends and Wall Street titans to name a few. Spenser, a basketball player at Harvard, is from Chicago and is the son of a single Mother. He does not quite fit Delphic Club's membership criteria and yet they are interested in him. Spenser's friend, ...more
I rarely felt self-conscious about what I did or didn’t have, but it wasn’t lost on me that my competitors for a coveted membership were arriving in expensive foreign cars while I arrived in a pair of sturdy five-year-old Florsheims that had been resoled four times and polished so much, the white stitching had turned black.
The racial politics at Harvard were complicated. Black students were in a tough position. If we spent too much time with white students, other blacks figured ...more
Opening Hook: A 1920s fence hopper
Main Character: Basically the author is just writing himself and it’s weird
Plot Twisty-ness: You have to read a research paper to get to them
You ever read a novel and can immediately tell it’s written by a first-time author because they don’t know how to chill the fuck out with descriptive passages and scenes that don’t further a plot?
Yeah. This book suffers from that in abundance.
The heart of the novel is that of Spenser Collins, a young ...more
From the publisher --- "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You
Spencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are ...more
This book had a lot to recommend itself. A mysterious club at America’s most prestigious institute, a very thinking and intellectually driven mystery full of questions. At first glance the summary for this book seems to have a lot of different c ...more
The novel started strongly enough as the reader is introduced to Spenser Collins, a pre-med basketball player starting out at Ha ...more
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Happy Reading, friends!
THE ANCIENT NINE BY IAN SMITH BOOK REVIEW
A murder mystery at Harvard involving a secret society with lots of twist & turns. Sounds like that movie with Paul Walker, The Skulls, right? On the surface, sure. But, The Ancient Nine is more than that!
PUNCHED INTO SOCIETY
We meet Spenser & he is the underdog of the story. Who doesn’t love an underdog? Despite many st ...more
You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews
The Ancient Nine was a slow burner scholarly mystery set in 1988, story of convoluted mystery of one the club house of Harvard, buried secrets and wealthy cunning titans of the world who will go to any length to protect it. After long time I read such informative novel.
Main character, Spencer Collins was athletic, smart, American black student of Harvard from average family background. Invitation from the legendary ...more
Spenser Collins and Dalton Winthrop, two students at Harvard, unlikely friends. Spenser, a poor black boy from Chicago, is smart and athletic, determined to succeed. Dalton is the latest in a family of moneyed Winthrop men to attend Harvard. Dalton belongs in ways that Spenser cannot.
Their friendship is strengthened when Spenser is ‘punched’ by the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male- final clubs. The Delphic was ...more
Set at Harvard University in 1988, student Spenser Collins finds an engraved invitation slipped under his dorm room door to “punch” for the most elite of the final clubs - the Delphic Club.
At first he thinks it is a prank as he is definitely not the stereotypical final club member. His single mother worked hard to make Harvard a reality for her son. So not sure of what it mea ...more
Spenser Collins is not your usual candidate for membership in one of the most exclusive and powerful private member houses in Harvard but when he gets the invitation he is more than intrigued, as is his close friends Dalton Winthrop. As Dalton, a trust fund student who has a defiant relationship with his elitist father, fills S ...more
Here’s why this book didn’t work for me:
I understand that this is set in 1988 but the level of misogyny is incredible and horrifying. Pretty well the only women in the book are servants, nurses, or prostitutes. They seem to be admired for their amazing bodies and not much else. At a club retreat, a group of naked women are handed out as prizes to the winners of a foot ...more
This is a well-constructed mystery that will keep you turning each page. And that makes it a quick read. Along the way, there’s a bit of history woven in, lots of library research, a connection to British knights, and a bunch of secrets to be discovered. You also get a peak into the elite world of attending Harvard University, with random tidbits about w ...more
A poor black kid from Southside Chicago, Spenser Collins worked for academic excellence, supported by his single mom. He is also a talented basketball player. His acceptance by Harvard University starts him on his way to medical school so he can pay his mom back and support her in style.
If getting into Harvard seemed like a stretch, receiving an invitation from an exclusive final club, the Gas, total ...more
The Ancient Nine is a rumored fraternity inside a fraternity inside Harvard. Legend states they protect a secret called Harvard’s Holy Grail. Investigating the Grail has already cost one student his life.
Spenser Collins receives a mysterious invitation to join the esteemed Delphic Club at Harvard. Spenser, a poor basketball scholarship recipient from the South side of Chicago, is stunned. He immediately calls his best fr ...more
There is no place in 2018 for mistreatment of others because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Harvard, and many other universities have apologized for too long for allowing tradition to trump justice. Testerone is not an excuse for bad behavior.
I give ...more
The synopsis is a huge inclination to what you're going to find in this book. It's VERY detailed, borderline way too many details. For me, it made the book lag, and I actually struggled finishing it. Because there were so many details, something as simple as the color of someone's shirt, or a phone call made felt like 3 pages worth of reading. I ...more
Spencer was raised by a single mother and never knew his father. But his father left money for his education and somehow this is all connected to a very old final club, The Gas. At the Delphic House rumors abound concerning a secret room and several deaths.
When Spencer's friend Dalton ...more
In The Ancient Nine, Dr. Ian Smith, author of many books on diet and health, tries his hand at crafting a mystery rooted in historical fact. Spencer Collins, our fictive hero, is a Harvard freshman, a young black man from the south side of Chicago studying to become a doctor. He is surprised to be "punched" by The Delphic, one of the elite private clubs infamous among the Ivy League for their preservation of privilege. Presidents and other global leaders have been "Gasmen", so election to the cl ...more
Ivy leagues. I have always been intrigued by those Academies of Excellence, and everything they include. Just looking at the premises of Yale, Stanford, or Harvard leaves me speechless and I can’t help my imagination go wild about what it might be like to be part of the Chosen Ones.
The Ancient Nine appealed to me right away. Fresh out of university, I should have wanted nothing but to stay away from classes and tall buildings filled with silly boys and cli...more
Ian Smith is a new-to-me author.
I will not give any spoilers- you can read the blurb and other reviews if you wish.
I was hooked within the first few pages . Smith carefully unfolds this mystery as if one were peeling an onion. WIth each peeled layer, the next mystery to unravel is laid out. Smith's description of the punch process for the Final Clubs and Collins' emotions and feelings about coming f ...more
He is a former co-host of Emmy-winning “The Doctors” TV show, and a medica ...more