The Darlings

The Darlings

by Cristina Alger

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101560310
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/16/2012
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 81,835
File size: 552 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Cristina Alger received her B.A. from Harvard College and her J.D. from NYU Law School. She has worked as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. and as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, & Dorr. She was born and raised in New York City, where she currently resides. This is her first novel.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Alger, who has worked at Goldman Sachs as well as at a white-shoe law firm, knows her way around 21st-century wealth and power, and she tells a suspenseful, twisty story.”
Wall Street Journal

“What happens to the Darling family in the course of a weekend is what carries this tale along, but it’s Alger’s description of quintessential New Yorkers, and how they survive, that adds the extra layer. . . . Alger has what it takes, in the best sense of the phrase.”
USA Today

“Forget Gossip Girl: If you really want a peek into the scandalous lives of New York City's elite upper class, Alger's debut novel—set during the financial downturn of 2008—gets you pretty close. . . . The Darlings moves so fast that it feels more like a thriller than a social drama.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Penned by a former banker, this is a dishy yet thoughtful portrait of greed gone too far . . . A page-turner.”
Good Housekeeping

“Two parts Too Big to Fail, one part The Devil Wears Prada, Alger’s debut is taut and compelling.”
Publishers Weekly

“Probably the most compulsively readable fiction to come out of the Wall Street financial scandal so far. . . . Alger knows the ins and outs of both Wall Street and an upscale NYC lifestyle, nailing all the details . . . Delicious reading.”

“…A financial thriller with a tone that fits somewhere between the novels of Dominick Dunne . . . and Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities.”
Library Journal

“Cristina Alger is so good, you just know she’s an inside trader—as intimately familiar with the inner workings of Wall Street investment banks as she is with haute Manhattan social life.  She’s also a gifted storyteller.  The Darlings is an utterly compelling novel, as knowing about family as it is about money and social status, and may be the best literary product of the financial crisis to date.”
Jay McInerney, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Life

“For those who have only gazed up at the palatial residences of Manhattan, this is a glimpse from the penthouse down.”
Tom Rachman, New York Times bestselling author of The Imperfectionists

“Cristina Alger’s debut novel offers a fresh and modern glimpse into New York’s high society.  I was hooked from page one.”
Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of Last Night at the Chateau Marmont

“A rare, glittering glimpse into Manhattan’s banks, bedrooms, and private clubs, a material and psychological world rendered with extraordinary detail.  A smart, gripping tale . . . complex and mesmerizing.”
Sarah Houghteling, author of Pictures at an Exhibition

“Cristina Alger has written a racing, vivid, multi-vocal chronicle of the new gilded age, with equal shades of Jay McInerney and Bernie Madoff.  Start reading it and in three hundred pages or so you'll feel like a consummate New York insider, too.”
Charles Finch, author of A Burial at Sea

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The Darlings 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
ckgaughan More than 1 year ago
The Darlings is an incredible book - my favorite read in years!! I cannot recommend it enough. The characters were rich and complex. The narrative was wonderful; once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a work of non-fiction, not fiction. It's basically identical to the story of Bernie Madoff, down to his East 64th Street address in Manhattan and Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton. His son-in-law Paul is basically the story of his sons, Mark and Andrew. Read about half and I'm done. It's yet another book about a Ponzi scheme. I can even figure out the referrals to real life characters -- including the shady accountant in Westchester, the law firm which resembles Irving Picard's firm and those at the SEC. Nothing fiction about this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Darlings held my attention through the first half, primarily because the descriptions and back stories on the characters were very good. But the second half went downhill quickly. I was just plowing through to get it over with. And the end of the story was incredibly anticlimatic and disappointing.
Pamela_G_S More than 1 year ago
The Darlings is a very timely story about the rich and powerful at the height of a financial crisis. The upper crust have their problems too as they are impacted with loss, scandal and politics. It’s a different slant on the type of suffering of the super wealthy versus the suffering of the “little guy”. This is a terrifying story of affluence gone wrong and the downward spiral that it causes to all attached parties. This isn’t for the faint of heart.
bookchickdi on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I read this novel expecting it to be a take on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. To a certain extent it was, being about a family whose work and family lives were entangled in a financial scandal. Carter Darling employed both of his sons-in-laws, one of whom was just along for the ride and one, Paul, who just came aboard after losing his job as an attorney at the beginning of the recession.Not many of the wealthy characters are very likable in this book, except for Paul and Merrill. Although Carter came from a working-class background, he was now one of the 1%ers. He spoiled his wife and daughters, and lived a lifestyle to which most people cannot relate. While reading this book, I thought that there were too many tangential characters. They didn't seem to be moving the story along, I didn't know why they were there. By the end of the story, Alger had put all of the pieces of the puzzle together so cleverly I had to admire her skill. Every character leads to something important.I also enjoyed her descriptions of characters, like this one: "Theresa Frankel was a middle-aged woman who looked as though she resided permanently at the intersection of boredom and disinterest."One sentence and you knew immediately who Teresa was.The Darlings is a well-crafted story, and even if you don't like most of the characters, you'll want to see where this story is going. And Alger throws in a twist at the end that is a game-changer.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Usually when I get an audio, I like to listen to the first 20-30 minutes (sort of like leafing through a book) to get a feel for the cadence, the characters, and a gist of the plot. At the 2 1/2 hour point, I had to force myself to turn off the audio so I could at least have a human conversation at the dinner table! I was hooked from the beginning. I spent the next day doing a lot of driving, swimming, and just plain lazy listening to this one. I literally could not stop!Although I thought at first this might be a re-hash of the same kind of story I'd read last year by Stephanie Madoff Mack recounting her tribulations being Bernie Madoff's daughter-in-law, this did not turn out to be anything like that. What Alger has done is to give us a psychological, edge of the seat "who's going to screw whom" mystery! The setting is pure New York upper-crust, high society glitz. It has it all--the designer clothes, expensive jewels, flashy cars, doormen, weekend homes in the Hamptons, weekday co-ops in town, poorly paid minions, overworked secretaries, society matrons: a good glimpse into the world of the 1%. The characters will be loved by some, detested by many others. The story is familiar to anyone who has read a newspaper or listened to a talk show in the last decade. But the marvelous evil plot twists have the reader clinging to every page, waiting to see how (or whether) the principal character is able to emerge a free man after he becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the inevitable back-stabbing, shark infested waters of Wall Street hedge fund managers and their uber expensive lawyers.Alger blind-sides us with a fantastic and unexpected ending (she had me pumping my fist and yelling YES!) and then ties up the story with an epilogue to satisfy our "But what about?s" It is an altogether satisfying read that is especially well-suited to the audio format, and the sonorous tones of Jonathan Fried's narration.
readingwithtea on LibraryThing 10 months ago
¿In his experience, it was usually the least assuming guy in the room who turned out to be the most interesting¿Paul Ross lost his job with Wall Street¿s favourite law firm when US banks started going under, and when his hedge fund founding father-in-law Carter Darling offered him a job, he was grateful for the opportunity. As the banking crisis deepens and litigators¿ knives sharpen, Paul finds himself in a terrible situation ¿ to save himself or his wife¿s family?This impressive debut reminded me of a number of books I¿ve read in the past year: Wendy Burden¿s autobiography telling the life of the rich and famous, as well as Jennifer Egan¿s (irritating) pastiche of interconnected lives, and to a lesser extent John Grisham¿s tale of a lawyer who gets in far too deep. However, Alger does what I thought was impossible ¿ she makes the banking crisis interesting and relevant to the average professional. The environment might be foreign to most of us, but the fear of firms going under, of emails being dredged, of lawyers stomping around is one that has simmered in most firms since 2008, andI didn¿t enjoy the way in which the tale was told ¿ from constantly varying perspectives, but apart from a few characters who could have been painlessly excised, the device worked well, keeping suspense up. A few times I felt the suspense was overdone; a chapter would end with some minor revelation but obviously anonymous pronouns, an affair was revealed but the identity of the woman involved was hidden. Nevertheless, this is an impressive debut and I¿m sure Alger¿s writing will lose some of its overeagerness in time.Alger conjures the opulent lives of New York¿s richest without overdoing it ¿ we have no doubt that these are unhappy people. Paul is overworked but happily married to a remarkably normal woman, annoyed with who he has become without really any way to change it. Carter is simultaneously hopeless and ebullient, lost in the web constructed by those he trusts.A riveting and impressive debut, with a bit of room for improvement.
pdebolt on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Darlings, set in post 9/11 NYC, is a riveting, thoroughly researched novel about a financial crisis involving billions of dollars invested in what was assumed to be a credible institution by many trusting investors. If it weren't for the economic chaos created by Bernie Madoff, this would be less-than-believable fiction. Its focus is on those intimately involved in a scandal that shakes the foundation of many lives. At the heart of the novel are the wealthy, privileged Darlings, Carter and Ines, and their two adult, married daughters, who have an enviable lifestyle until it disappears overnight. There are peripheral characters whose lives are also broken as a result of scandal and betrayal. Called into question is the matter of ethics, both personal and professional, that provides a haunting counterpoint as the drama unfolds. I found this novel to be intriguing and very well written.
sworsnup on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When you¿re not part of the 1%, it¿s hard to sympathize with them. But the author created main characters with heart. The story was fast paced and kept me interested. Despite not knowing much of the financial world, it was conveyed in a way that I could follow.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Written by a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, this novel portrays the wealthy society and the financial shenanigans that brought about the crisis on Wall St. She does this very well, as I have to say that I really did not like any of these characters at all, except for Paul. He finds himself part of the family and working for his father in law and must figure out where his loyalties lie. A twist at the end, well at least I didn't expect it. The games the rich play, the pressures and the stress, all for the sake of money. This is based on an ARC provided by the publisher.
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Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. Highly Recommended.
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anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
Paul Ross is married to Merrill Darling, whose daddy just happens to be Carter Darling a billionaire financier. When Paul loses his job his wife persuades him to take a position in her dad's company as the head of the legal team at Carter's hedge fund.  When an unexpected suicide of a dear friend of the Darlings puts a spot light on the hedge fund and a regulatory investigation begins. An old friend from the SEC meets with Paul with a chance to turn on the Darlings or go down with the ship.  The Darlings is an energized novel filled with characters, New York high society, and reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis.  For me, this wasn't a book I could just sit down with and read right through. First there are so many characters to get straight and for awhile you don't see how one fits to the others. Once the story gets moving you really get a strong sense of who Paul is. I personally really liked him. And you felt for him. The more you read the more you will want to read! I really wasn't sure what was going to happen and like I said you really aren't sure who some of these people are and how they are going to play into the story line. But then they do...the big AHA moments start to happen.  I really thought The Darlings gave a really unique look at the Wall Street types we are always hearing about in the news. I guess you kind of expect them to have these amazing lives, but for me their lives seemed to be lacking. But don't confuse that with the book! I very much recommend The Darlings by Cristina Alger and it didn't lack anything!
JulieWallace More than 1 year ago
This book is like a puzzle, different characters are introduced and you don’t know how all the pieces come together, but they do come together and very compellingly. The time stamps before the chapters keep the excitement going. You experience with the Darling family what should’ve been a festive Thanksgiving weekend and instead you live the nightmare of how quickly your whole world can turn upside down. You meet many different characters and you have sympathy for them and how they got to this point.  It really gives you the inside view of the rich and famous of the financial world.  It makes sense that Bravo and Fox Television are developing the novel into a TV series; it will be very intriguing and I’m eager to see it come to life. The author was very knowledgeable in the financial world. All the characters were very real and when they were introduced you got a real feel of who they are and what makes them tick.  I’m looking forward to  reading this continued series, it's great writing.  
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Great read!  
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