Kalstein, Dave

views updated

Kalstein, Dave


Male. Education: Attended University of Pennsylvania.


Home—Los Angeles, CA. Agent—ICM, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211.


Novelist, screenwriter, and director. Gentleman's Quarterly (magazine), assistant editor until 1993; freelance writer. Director of film Recess, 2004.


Prodigy (novel; also see below), Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Interview.


(And director) Recess (film short), 2004.

Prodigy (based on his novel), Intrepid Pictures/Rogue, 2007.


A screenwriter and film director, Dave Kalstein is also the author of the science-fiction thriller Prodigy, a fast-paced novel about an elite West Coast prep school that is set in the year 2036. Located in the California desert, Stansbury has secured a reputation for turning out scores of teenaged prodigies year after year, and the school's alum have cured cancer and AIDS, as well as winning election to the U.S. Senate and advancing technology through their inventions. The school's advantages are not due to its teaching staff, however; Stansbury's real specialty is its skill at genetically modifying it adolescent students through medication, suppressing aggressive and sexual urges while fostering intellectual and physical growth. The school's success in producing model citizens has overshadowed any moral qualms regarding its methods, and the government is in the process of granting Stansbury a large endowment when new circumstances suggest that all may not be right on campus. After five less-than-gifted Stansbury alumni turn up dead, unpopular valedictorian Goldsmith and reigning school slacker Cooley begin to suspect that there may be more going on than a quest for good grades at the prestigious prep school.

Reviewing Prodigy for Kliatt, Lesley Farmer commented that Kalstein's "clever first novel deserves serious attention," while John Green wrote in Booklist that the storyline "is so well imagined that one cares about the school's fate from the start." Praising the teen protagonists as "vivid," Green went on to deem Prodigy a "fast-paced" and "thoughtful novel about boarding-school life." A Publishers Weekly reviewer cited the book's "satisfying … conclusion," deeming Kalstein's work an "action- packed comment on the price of ‘progress,’ the absurdity of hypercompetitive education and the myth of meritocracy hurtles."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, January 1, 2006, John Green, review of Prodigy, p. 55.

Hollywood Reporter, July 13, 2006, Gregg Goldstein, "Intrepid Buys Teen Prodigy,"p.4.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2005, review of Prodigy, p. 1206.

Kliatt, January, 2006, Lesley Farmer, review of Prodigy, p. 8.

Publishers Weekly, November 21, 2005, review of Prodigy, p. 28.


SFSignal.com,http://www.sfsignal.com/ (January 24, 2006), review of Prodigy.