Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel

Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel

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by Douglas Brunt
     
 

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This instant New York Times bestseller offers 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

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Overview

This instant New York Times bestseller offers 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 protagonist as he struggles to find the right path in a complicated urban heart of darkness

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Former Internet exec Brunt offers up a savage, jaded, and comical depiction of freewheeling Wall Street bond traders during their precollapse heyday in this engaging debut… As Nick’s life, his marriage, and the U.S. economy edge closer to meltdown, Brunt brings all the pieces together for a satisfying climax to this compulsively readable novel.”

“Mix together Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser and Tom Wolfe and you get novelist Doug Brunt and his modern day financier character, Nick Farmer. Faust would have a feast with so many of the people populating Farmer’s world – and you will have a literary feast devouring this book.”

“After the mortgage bubble burst, if you ever wondered “What were they thinking?” GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN provides a thoughtful and thrilling portrait of what they were doing instead of thinking.”

"Awesomeness."

“Douglas Brunt…is a persuasive storyteller…Reading [Ghosts of Manhattan], it is easy to understand how the worst of Wall Street came apart. But in Nick’s determination to escape his own inevitable destruction we are uplifted and find renewed hope for a cleaned-up world without Bear Stearns.”

“With his noir-ish debut novel, former broker (and spouse of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly) Brunt delves not just into the mechanics of the financial crash, but also the mindset that created the explosive state of affairs…. A smart shot at the absurdity of Wall Street and the long fall that brought us all down.”

Kid Rock
"Awesomeness."
Forbes.com
“Douglas Brunt…is a persuasive storyteller…Reading [Ghosts of Manhattan], it is easy to understand how the worst of Wall Street came apart. But in Nick’s determination to escape his own inevitable destruction we are uplifted and find renewed hope for a cleaned-up world without Bear Stearns.”
Steve Forbes
“Mix together Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser and Tom Wolfe and you get novelist Doug Brunt and his modern day financier character, Nick Farmer. Faust would have a feast with so many of the people populating Farmer’s world – and you will have a literary feast devouring this book.”
John Stossel
“After the mortgage bubble burst, if you ever wondered “What were they thinking?” GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN provides a thoughtful and thrilling portrait of what they were doing instead of thinking.”
Publishers Weekly
Former Internet exec Brunt offers up a savage, jaded, and comical depiction of freewheeling Wall Street bond traders during their precollapse heyday in this engaging debut. Nick Farmer, a 35-year-old trader at the powerful Bear Stearns financial firm, is unhappily married and growing increasingly disillusioned with his job. The pervasive after-work party culture at Bear is fueled by drugs, prostitutes, and booze, all of which have wreaked havoc on Nick’s foundering marriage. At home, his wife, Julia, is ready for kids, but Nick balks at the daunting prospect of fatherhood, thinking he’ll be a “complete bust.” Similarly on the brink is Wall Street itself, whose sobering prospects are brought to Nick’s attention by geeky analyst Fred Cook just a short while before Fred delivers the bad news to Bear’s top brass. To top it all off, Nick’s suspicion that Julia is having an affair with a sleazy colleague threatens to overwhelm him. As Nick’s life, his marriage, and the U.S. economy edge closer to meltdown, Brunt brings all the pieces together for a satisfying climax to this compulsively readable novel. Agent: Lane Zachary and Todd Shuster, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
A bond trader living the high life at Bear Stearns starts to see the writing on the wall over the course of a single tumultuous winter. With his noir-ish debut novel, former broker (and spouse of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly) Brunt delves not just into the mechanics of the financial crash, but also the mindset that created the explosive state of affairs. Set at the end of 2005, the novel's entry into the financial world comes via narrator Nick Farmer, a 35-year-old married bond trader. The guy, to put it mildly, is burnt. "There is one noble thing about crime," he explains. "It is the only true meritocracy on the planet. No one in the crime industry cares whether you went to Harvard or dropped out of the fifth grade. They don't look at resumes--you eat what you kill." His life is a textbook case of arrested development, full of nightclubs, coke in bathroom stalls and banter with his crew over items like "stripper glitter." It's a trade where making millions just shows you're incapable of multimillions. Despite his impending self-immolation, Nick steps up when a maladjusted but brilliant analyst asks him to back his report revealing the massive risks of the firm's practices. He also comes to the rescue when his younger reports do a six-figure job on a hotel room one night, covering for kids who can pay the damages out of their last bonus. In the meantime, he starts a flirtation with Rebecca James, a CNBC reporter who's digging into the dirty laundry, even as he physically threatens the guy he thinks is having sex with his wife. A smart shot at the absurdity of Wall Street and the long fall that brought us all down.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451672602
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Pages:
275
Sales rank:
407,214
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.71(d)

What People are saying about this

John Stossel
“After the mortgage bubble burst, if you ever wondered “What were they thinking?” GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN provides a thoughtful and thrilling portrait of what they were doing instead of thinking.”
Kid Rock
"Awesomeness.
Steve Forbes
“Mix together Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser and Tom Wolfe and you get novelist Doug Brunt and his modern day financier character, Nick Farmer. Faust would have a feast with so many of the people populating Farmer’s world – and you will have a literary feast devouring this book.”

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