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The Gods of Greenwich by Norb Vonnegut
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The Gods of Greenwich

by Norb Vonnegut

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I have to admit that when the opportunity to review this book was presented to me I did it simply because the name Vonnegut was on it. Now I know he's just a distant cousin, but how great would it be for two (even distant) members of the same family are great authors??

I really liked Cusack, the main character. He was so likeable. He has charisma and could probably sell anything to anyone, but he never was out to get anyone (well at least until the end of the book, but I can't give that away!). His wife Emi I saw as being so cute and innocent looking, the kind of person you couldn't hate if you wanted to. I didn't care for Cy, his wife Bianca, Victor, or Rachel. But I think that was the point. Although I wouldn't do it, what Bianca does to Cy was fun to read. She went about things in the wrong way, but revenge is awesome :-)

This one kept me guessing all the way through. We know Rachel is a murder but we don't really figure out how she's tied into the story for quite a while. We're told about the Art dealer and the Banker in Iceland are in huge problems of their own, and while we're clued in a bit to what's going on between them and Cy I didn't really catch on completely for quite a while. This one was so well written that I gave up even trying to guess how it would end because I was so engrossed in what was going on right now. I really liked the ending. It tied everything up pretty well, it wasn't cheesy, and it wasn't a "everyone is happy" ending.

Even though this was about Wall Street, which is something I have very little interest in, the story was so engaging that even when I didn't understand what the characters were talking about I didn't feel bored by it. There was so much going on, so many different parts to the story, that it was hard not to get caught up in the middle of everything.

So I picked this book because it had the name Vonnegut attached to it. Was I disappointed? NOT AT ALL! I think there's something in that blood line somewhere. I can honestly say after reading The Gods of Greenwich that two of my favorite authors share the same last name. Even though the writing was totally different it was written so well that there's really no comparison. It's like comparing your favorite jeans to your favorite desert. They're both great, which is why they're your favorites, and it would be really hard to pick which one you like better.

This book was provided to me for review. This has in no way influenced my review. This review is truthful, honest, and is my sincere opinion. ( )
  Justjenniferreading | Nov 3, 2011 |
Boring ( )
  txorig | Jul 22, 2011 |
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Hedge fund managers don’t waste time—time is money—so this review won’t, either. To cut to the chase: The Gods of Greenwich is better than most financial thrillers written by former Wall Streeters who figure that if they know how to make money with paper, they also know how to put words on paper.

Of course the novel includes the requisite, snide peek at How the Other Half Lives. (One building’s parking lot has “enough money in cars to rival the GDP of a small Caribbean nation.”) And the arcane financial jargon. (“We thought we were buying alpha. Got beta instead.”) And a page-turner plot. (Serial murders plus the Great Crash of 2008.)

But the cast is an unusually motley and enjoyable crew, ranging from a Boston-Brahmin zoologist with prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces), to a head trader who takes female hormones because he thinks women make better traders, to a pair of cousins from Iceland. (Now that’s a venue you don’t see much in financial thrillers. As a bonus, readers get to learn about Icelandic culinary treats such as hakarl, or fermented shark, and the national drink svarti daudi, “brewed from potato pulp and caraway seeds.”)

Even better, for a long time there are actually some nuances to the characters’ personalities . . . .
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312384696, Hardcover)

Forget about Bernie Madoff or Gordon Gekko—there’s a new villain on Wall Street…

Norb Vonnegut didn’t realize how close he skirted to non-fiction when he was writing his spectacular debut Top Producer. Penned before tumultuous revelations and scandals rocked the financial world in late 2008, Vonnegut’s novel depicts, with an insider’s solid knowledge, the tricks that the industry’s real top producers pull in their frenzied pursuit of billions. Now Vonnegut sets his electrifying follow-up in the high-rolling world of hedge funds, lending his seasoned perspective to a riveting thriller.

Jimmy Cusack is the tough kid from a blue-collar neighborhood who made good on Wall Street. Well, almost. After a sterling start to his career, things have soured. His hedge fund has collapsed. The bank is foreclosing on his upscale condominium. And his wife is two months pregnant. That’s the good news. When Cusack takes a “must-have” job with Leeser Capital, a Greenwich fund impervious to the capital market woes, his real troubles begin.

Vonnegut’s unique insider’s perspective and his intuitive, darkly humorous writing are once again on full display in this fast-talking suspense thriller. A high-stakes poker game of a book, The Gods of Greenwich is a timely and gripping read that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat until the last card is played.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:13 -0400)

Jimmy Cusack's rise to the top of Wall Street takes a quick turn for the worse when his hedge fund collapses, leaving him unemployed and broke, but when he is hired by Leeser Capital, he hopes his luck is turning around, but he soon realizes Leeser Capital is pulling him into a dangerous web of greed, lies, and illegal gains.… (more)

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