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.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
In this chuckling caricature of an investment banking firm, Sid Geeder shines as the outfit's top-selling bond trader who hates his work, his bosses, his customers, the government, and hangs on only to be vested in millions' worth of his company's stock. Leagued with a rich gallery of likewise greedy rogues, he careens through the info-economy and unloads bonds by cajoling, insulting, and all-around yelling at the buyers. Lashed on by boss Coyote Jack, whose terroristic motivational method is random firing and constant bellowing to GETBACKTOWORK!, Sid frantically traffics in rumors and inflated optimism. Beneath the bluster is a lovable protagonist trapped in an insanely cynical world of avarice, whose only means of escape (to become vested in those shares) is to weave ever more fantastic, illusory deals, such as selling an entire banana republic--which ironically chains him ever tighter to the phones and video monitors. Yes, Sid's rebellions lead to his bizarre escape from the firm, which culminates this exuberantly satirical commentary on contemporary finance. Wacky characters and an offbeat, sardonic story point to popular success for this debut writer.
“The most entertaining work of fiction on Wall Street since Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities.”
“A hilarious must read for anyone with a brokerage account or mutual fund.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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