Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel
October 2, 2012
Nick Farmer is a bond trader with Bear Stearns in 2005, before the financial meltdown. Mr. Brunt paints a picture of the excesses of a bond trader’s life, as seen through Nick’s eyes. He has spent too many years getting drunk by 5 PM, spending expense money on strippers and drinks. His marriage is in trouble. His life is a mess, but how can he fix it? He went to Bear Stearns right out of college. All he knows is selling and buying bonds. He has been doing this too long. He is 35, not 25. He makes way too much money, but knows that it’s all a sham.
Mr. Brunt does a masterful job of involving the reader into Nick’s life. He takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, as you feel disgust, fear, hope, and finally learn to like this broken and deeply flawed character. He also brings the other people in this novel to life. I didn’t like Nick in the beginning, but came to care very much about him by the conclusion.
This is a very strong first novel. It is written in first person, and really does involve the reader. I give it 5 stars and recommend it.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Release Date: October 2, 2012
A wryly comic, first-person debut novel offering a withering view of life on Wall Street from the perspective of an unhappy insider who is too hooked on the money to find a way out, even as his career is ruining his marriage and corroding his soul.
It’s 2005. Nick Farmer is a thirty-five-year-old bond trader with Bear Stearns clearing seven figures a year. The novelty of a work-related nightlife centering on liquor, hookers, and cocaine has long since worn thin, though Nick remains keenly addicted to his annual bonus. But the lifestyle is taking a toll on his marriage and on him.
When a nerdy analyst approaches him with apocalyptic prognostications of where Bear’s high-flying mortgage-backed securities trading may lead, Nick is presented with the kind of ethical dilemma he’s spent a lifetime avoiding. Throw in a hot financial journalist who seems to be more interested in him than in the percolating financial armageddon and the prospect that his own wife may have found a new romantic interest of her own, and you have the recipe for Nick’s personal and professional implosion.
By turns hilarious and harrowing, Ghosts of Manhattan follows a winning but flawed character as he struggles to find the right path in a complicated urban heart of darkness.
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (October 2, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
About the Author
Until 2011, Douglas Brunt was CEO of Authentium, Inc., an Internet security company. He now writes full time and is currently working on his second novel. A Philadelphia native, he lives in New York with his wife Megyn Kelly and their two children.
You can read a conversation with Doug where he talks about Ghosts of Manhattan over on the Q and A page.
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