Boomtownby Greg Williams
After the Y2K panic had subsided and the streets of Times Square were cleared, America woke up to a new century shocked to find itself more or less the same as it was before. Following the lives of a group of sharply drawn characters in this uncannily hip and savagely satirical new novel from the acclaimed Sewanee Writers' Series, Greg Williams takes us to the heart of the postmillennial psyche.
Jonathan Scarver, CEO of Internet start-up Allminder.com, has Midas-like visions of wealth and an IPO scheduled for late spring guaranteed to skyrocket the value of his stock options to obscenity, if he can only manage to keep it a secret that the company is nearly bankrupt. His publicity director, Brad Smith, has been relying on the comfort of all-night parties to relieve the stress of work and to drown out the calling of a secret ambition. Around his life circles Nicole, a struggling actress-slash-waitress coping with a post-breakup depression. In a series of just-missed chance encounters and lost opportunities of the kind that can only happen in Manhattan, Brad and Nicole's orbits nearly collide and are then repelled, spiraling with the city's gravitational pull toward their destiny.
A Bright Lights, Big City for the dot.com age, Boomtown exposes with dry irony and magnetic wisdom the hubris, vanity, and deceit that fueled the staggering climb and precipitous fall of that era's ambition.
Meet the Author
Greg Williams is a graduate of the University of Virginia and received a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. His previous novel was Younger than Springtime.
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I adored this book. While the general thrust of the story might sound like a cautionary tale, it is genuinely enjoyable and simultaneously evokes empathy in a very realistic manner. I read this book the evening of the Friends finale and couldn't put it down since it spoke to my sense of New York reality in a very potent manner.
I was lucky to get an advance copy of Boomtown. Boomtown perfectly nails the characters and mentality of 2000. Mr. Williams creates a diverse group of characters living through that season of paper gain and real loss. My favorite character was not part of the dot com scene though ¿ Nicole Garrison personifies the desire that pulls people out of their comfort zones to risk everything in a place that sets the bar higher than anywhere else. By the time I finished I wanted to live that year all over again.