Bombardiers

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The bombardiers in Po Bronson's novel are bond salespeople at the firm of Atlantic Pacific, grunts who wake up at 4 a.m. to hustle financial products they barely understand. They work the phones, shout the morning line, sacrifice their personal lives, and push themselves to the physical limit to meet their quotas. They are soldiers of an economic superpower, ragtag troops staking the front line of American corporate influence. The reluctant hero of Bombardiers is Sidney Geeder, King of Mortgages, who dreams of ...
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Overview

The bombardiers in Po Bronson's novel are bond salespeople at the firm of Atlantic Pacific, grunts who wake up at 4 a.m. to hustle financial products they barely understand. They work the phones, shout the morning line, sacrifice their personal lives, and push themselves to the physical limit to meet their quotas. They are soldiers of an economic superpower, ragtag troops staking the front line of American corporate influence. The reluctant hero of Bombardiers is Sidney Geeder, King of Mortgages, who dreams of cashing in his lucrative company stock and quitting his job. The only one who can replace him is Eggs Igino, a rebellious boy wonder who refuses to be seduced by the money or intimidated by management threats. When Eggs Igino mysteriously disappears, Sid is caught in the ensuing havoc and eventually is forced to choose between his promised pay-out and his long-anticipated freedom. Sid and Eggs are joined in the trenches by an unforgettable group of salespeople: Lisa Lisa, a woman tough enough to call Alan Greenspan a peckerhead but incapable of keeping a lover; Nickel Sansome, a bald company man who couldn't sell mittens in a snowstorm; and Coyote Jack, the sales manager so overwhelmed by corporate ambition that he forces his traders to sell more bonds than they can handle. As the deals swirl, faster and riskier and bigger, the transactions become increasingly bizarre: shifting around the debt of failed savings and loans, financing investment in bankrupt Eastern European nations, and, finally, arranging a corporate takeover of certain assets in the Dominican Republic in this case, the entire country. Set at the nexus of pure capitalism, the Information Economy, and high technology, Bombardiers will change the way you think about modern business.

The Bonfire of the Vanities meets Catch-22 in this black comedy about corporate America. Welcome to the manic world of the bombardiers, a ragtag corps of bond traders who hustle financial products in the fast lane of the Information Superhighway.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ``bombardiers'' are the bond traders for the San Francisco-based Atlantic Pacific Corporation, a madcap crew shrewdly observed in Bronson's bitingly satiric first novel. Chief among these cynical, inbred, often self-loathing but highly paid white-collar worker ants is anti-hero Sid Geeder, an ``old man'' at 34, enraged at his meaningless work and existence. Snapping at Sid's heels is the puppy-like Eggs Igino, the trader of the future, boyish, seemingly dependable, sneakily ruthless (in one amusing spar, Eggs tries to get Sid to swap insider information in exchange for clues to the procurement of an elusive strawberry danish). Around them whirl the others, including hard-bitten Coyote Jack, gorgeous Lisa Lisa, pathetic Nickel Sansome, all of them driven relentlessly and absurdly by the cocaine-like high of easy money. Around their frantic and inconclusive relationships, which Bronson delineates with verve, are woven an episodic plot concerning the bombardiers' manipulation of Eastern European and Caribbean affairs and a quiltwork of trenchant observations about the financial world: ``The financial markets had replaced elections as the barometer of the country's mood''; ``the information economy was a Ponzi scheme spiralling out of control.'' These clever and abundant maxims, however, fail to compensate for a lack of subtlety in the evolution of the characters, who often seem more marionettes of the author's satire than living entities. Still, Bronson writes with panache, and while his novel finally lacks the depth of feeling that can distinguish a great satire like Catch-22, it's a witty and cutting send-up that marks him as a writer with a likely big and bright future. Author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This savage satire of the sleazier elements of Wall Street follows the fortunes of Sid Geeder, King of Mortgages in the trading firm of Atlantic Pacific. Sid can sell anything to anybody, all day and every day. Others, like Lisa Lisa and Nickel Sansome, eavesdrop, cajole, and bribe to copy Sid's techniques. The arrival of maverick Eggs Igino unbalances the corporate culture, however. Since none of the salespeople understands the market, finance, economics, or even the nature of the products they sell, they all fall apart in various ways trying to meet quotas until the biggest sales job of all comes along: the selling of an entire country. As a former bond trader, Bronson makes ferocious humor from the daily obsessions of this stressed-out bunch. Yuppies and MBA candidates should read Bombardiers before they have their next job interview; anyone owning stock will find food for thought here. For popular collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/94.]-Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
From the Publisher
“The most entertaining work of fiction on Wall Street since Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities.”
USA Today

“A hilarious must read for anyone with a brokerage account or mutual fund.”
—USA Today

“The prose explodes with the force of a volcano, the dialogue is as flashy as a fireworks display, and the characters are as relentlessly driven as motorcycles on the wall of death.”
Time Out

“Perhaps the most entertaining depiction of greed and dishonesty on Wall Street ever to see print...Bronson is a major talent, able to craft the kind of passages you reread just to revel in prose with a compelling cadence all its own.”
BusinessWeek

“The first thing you’ll want to do after reading Bombardiers...is to buy futures on Bronson’s career. This first novel is both funny and wise.”
San Francisco Chronicle

From Barnes & Noble
"It was a filthy profession, but the money was addicting, and one addiction led to another, and they were all going to hell." So starts this Catch 22 for '90s. Set at the nexus of capitalism, the Information Economy, and high technology, the story chronicles the trench warfare of the bond trading business and the lives of the colorful characters who conduct its high-risk deals and increasingly bizarre transactions. Author Mario Puzo called it "a wonderful novel. You will never invest again." Written by a former member of the First Boston Corporation's salesforce (with a degree in Economics and Creative Writing), this story plumbs the depths, deceptions, and mania of the investment world to bring us a cautionary, engrossing tale.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749396671
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/7/1997
  • Pages: 434

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    One of the Funniest Books Ever Written

    I tell my friends not to read this in a public place, because you will embarrass yourself laughing. I give this book every year to new friends and co-workers. It says something about its enduring appeal that Po Bronson wrote it ten years ago, and it's still in print.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    I knew those cold-calling traders didn't know what they were talking about...

    The last 20 pages or so were laugh out loud funny! Not a deep thinking novel, but entertaining nonetheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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