Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions

2.8 10
by Dana Vachon

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A stylish and hilarious novel about the lives and loves of well-to-do young Manhattanites in their first year on Wall Street, destined to become one of the year's most buzzed-about debuts.

Mergers & Acquisitions is the story of Tommy Quinn, a recent Georgetown grad who has just landed the job of his dreams as an investment banker at J. S. Spenser, and the

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A stylish and hilarious novel about the lives and loves of well-to-do young Manhattanites in their first year on Wall Street, destined to become one of the year's most buzzed-about debuts.

Mergers & Acquisitions is the story of Tommy Quinn, a recent Georgetown grad who has just landed the job of his dreams as an investment banker at J. S. Spenser, and the perfect girl, Frances Sloan, the daughter of one of New York's oldest moneyed families. As he travels from the most exclusive ball rooms of the Racquet and Tennis Club to the stuffiest boardrooms of J. S. Spenser, from the golf links of Piping Rock to the bedrooms of Park Avenue, and from the debauched yacht of a Mexican billionaire to the Ritalin-strewn prep-school dorm room of his younger brother, he finds that the job and the girl are not what they once seemed.

Sharply written, fast-paced, and bitingly witty, Mergers & acquisitions is a compulsively readable story of Manhattan's young, ambitious, and wealthy. Set against the backdrop of money, lust, power, corruption, cynicism, energy, and excitement that is Wall Street, it is suffused with an authenticity that only an author who lives in that world can provide. A former investment banker at J. P. Morgan, Vachon offers an insider's point of view on the financial scene, and he knows the moneyed turf of Manhattan inside out.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
A fizzy first novel of investment banker high jinks.
Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney meet Scott Fitzgerald and P.J. O'Rourke... [in this] coruscating, veil-piercing portrait of the American ruling class.
A funny romp.
Funny and pointed... Vachon captures the little moments of truth that the young and rich are too busy BlackBerrying to notice.
New York
Like Bright Lights, Big City and The Devil Wears Prada, M&A is a fictionalized account of the moral hazards of high-status Manhattan professional life.
Bloomberg News
Mergers & Acquisitions deserves to be a hit...nobody involved in finance should miss it.
Financial Times
Wickedly funny and smartly written...Enormously entertaining and revelatory. And, like the best first novels, it holds the promise of much greater things to come.
Washington Post
[A] smart, satisfying roman à clef ...The story is fast-paced, and his overblown characters are wildly engaging.
New York Daily News
M&A is a fictionalized account of the underbelly of New York's financial world.
Publishers Weekly

Vachon's debut novel, the subject of frenzied speculation and assiduous hype, arrives on audiobook at the crest of a wave of excitement. Heyborne reads Vachon's brand-name, corporate-name-heavy prose with satisfaction, pounding on each punch line and luxury brand with panache. While it is jarring to hear him mispronounce the names of high-profile New York law firms, undercutting Vachon's brand of masters-of-the-universe realism, Heyborne captures the novel's mixture of high-stakes capital and comic psychological insight. Heyborne's voice, soft and often pleading, is the precise opposite of the rapacious hypercapitalists the book drizzles across its pages, but the juxtaposition works for the most part. Vachon documents, rather than celebrates, the world of finance his book inhabits, and Heyborne's reading further dilutes any sense of romance that might still cling to its Gordon Gekko manqués, chasing after that ever-elusive dollar. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 8). (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Tommy Quinn, a recent Georgetown graduate with family connections, lands a job with the prestigious New York investment banking firm J.S. Spenser. He quickly finds himself out of his depth but is loath to fail and lose his perks. Soon, everything unravels, and low satire turns to high farce. Tommy makes major mistakes at work and watches helplessly as his hard-working, Red Bull-drinking colleague goes into cardiac arrest trying to get him out of the mess. He falls into sweet, gentle love with the stunningly beautiful Frances, daughter of a prominent New York family, who devolves into a wrist-cutting depressive. Home videos of the whip-snapping sexual escapades of his amoral buddy, Roger, are viewed by thousands when incorporated into a media art installation at a MoMA exhibition party. In a last-ditch effort to protect his standing at the firm, he aligns himself with the easier-going South American branch, but this proves epically disastrous when leftist terrorists scale a private yacht and kidnap his new boss. This yuppie debut novel, written while Vachon was himself an analyst at J.P. Morgan, is an over-the-top Bright Lights, Big Citycoming-of-age story for the 21st century. Recommended for large fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ12/06.]
—Sheila Riley

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are saying about this

Kurt Andersen
I've always maintained that what we know as 'the 80s' never really ended, and Mergers & Acquisitions proves the point in spades. A Bright Lights Big City for the generation born around the time that Bright Lights Big City came out, Mergers & Acquisitions is a coming-of-age novel with a very nice balance of heartfelt insight and acid satire-including one of the funniest jerks I've ever encountered (in fiction). (Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday)
Candace Bushnell
Dana Vachon exposes the carnal and financial lusts of his generation's privileged and ambitious as few others have in recent years. And he knows his Ferragamos from his Dolce & Gabbanas, which is refreshing for a guy. (Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle)
Jay McInerney
Dana Vachon writes with rare insight about the American plutocracy at work and at play. He's been to all the right schools, met all the right people and betrayed all of their confidences. If there is any justice he will be blackballed from all the right clubs and have several drinks thrown in his face. Mergers & Acquisitions is a witty and entertaining immorality tale which should earn Vachon many fans, if not necessarily among his friends and family.

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Meet the Author

Dana Vachon was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, and raised in Chappaqua, New York. He attended Duke University, graduating, as he claims, "cum nihilo" in 2002. Following graduation, Vachon landed a job at J. P. Morgan as an analyst and began work on this novel. His writing has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Men's Vogue, The New York Times, and Salon.

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2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
P S More than 1 year ago
Not that great....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Initially I was quite skeptical about picking up this book by an unknown author. Maybe that had actually helped me to enjoy reading this book more because I wasn't expecting much. It took a whole chapter to really get into the story but once I understood the light hearted cynical storytelling which the author had intended, I quickly admired how this author could create characters and themes like none other of the best seller authors whom I had read before could. In addition, Mr. Vachon had a very stylish choice of vocabularies and sentence syntax creation which made reading this book a distinct pleasure all of its own. I intend to keep this book in my personal library next to George Orwell's "Animal Farm" as reference on how distinct penmanship should be.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was not what I was expecting. Very hum-drum, most of the text is spent reading the main character's boring perspective on work, life and his sometimes offensive sach-religious side notes. This book was offensive in other areas as well - all minorities in the novel are addicts of some sort, thieves, drug sellers or some sort of depressing character. There was no comedic outlet, no emotions get drawn, this book was simply two thumbs down.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed Brights Lights, Big City and The Devil Wears Prada, run do not walk to get a copy of Mergers & Acquisitions. It's a satirical take on life among the rich and powerful in New York City as seen through the eyes of Tommy Quinn, a young graduate of Georgetown who has just landed what he believes to be the plummiest job of all - investment banker at J. S. Spenser. As if that didn't make life sweet enough he's also met the most terrific gal he's ever laid eyes on - Frances Sloan, daughter of much old money. Author Vachon has stated that all the characters in his book are based on people he knows or knew save for Frances. If that's the case, do all you can to avoid whoever was the model for Roger Thorne, a graduate of Princeton. This guy is without scruples, sex crazy, and out for all he can get. Roger is Tommy's buddy in the story, which doesn't say a great deal for Tommy's early taste in friends. Our narrative opens with a fabulous engagement party at the New York Racquet and Tennis Club. The event is described as being the kind of soiree that you hated loving being there. Only one of a myriad of scenes painted with fine brush strokes, the gathering represents Vachon's territory when putting in his time at J. P. Morgan. He mines past experiences with gusto, sparking them with whiplash asides. Vachon is quoted as saying that the culture of Wall Street has always fascinated him and 'The scale of this latest boom - in hedge funds, M&A and private equity - dwarfs anything produced by a prior prosperity. Young people are making fortunes like never before, and cultural eddies have developed with the hilarity and irony and beauty and brutality that accompany all situations of social extremis.' Thus, Mergers & Acquisitions is a tale of excess - excess everything and it's related with perception, candor, humor. Vachon received a $650,000 advance for this, his first novel, so he's obviously thought of as the new NY lit hit. I have a tendency to agree. This is a dazzler of a debut. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who thought this book was good? It took me about 100+ pages to even somewhat get into the book. Having read the reviews for the book I thought it would be much better. It seemed to jump from topic to topic without really telling a story.