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Gross Misconduct: My Year of Excess in the City Paperback – 1 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847397700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847397706
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2010
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I am always interested in other people's job and this seemed like a good way of learning about what it was like to be an insider in the financial world when everything went into meltdown. The author spent 14 months working in the macho world of the city broker while the latest financial crisis was brewing. She paints a compelling - but at the same time disgusting - picture of life in the financial fast lane. Lured into the world of the city by a friend she found it wasn't at all what she had expected and for someone who by her own admission is financially challenged it may not have been the best career move.

Her colleagues were almost exclusively male and I don't think I have ever read about such a macho, childish, bullying, hard drinking, hard living group of people as she portrays. She is thrown in at the deep end and almost left to sink or swim though The American - who she works for nominally - does help her when she starts and in the main he isn't as nasty as some of her colleagues though he is generally a pretty unpleasant workmate. Mainly if you make a mistake you are laughed at and there are many customs which are aimed at making people feel small if they do anything stupid - most of which seem more appropriate to a low standard primary school.

This is a world of excess where the brokers are expected to wine and dine their clients at the most expensive restaurants and clubs in London. The author herself rarely gets home before 3.00am when she is has to be up again at 5.45am. She gradually gets used to this and frequently goes into work with a hangover. She has one serious kidney infection and a near nervous breakdown during her 14 months in the city. Her colleagues are hard drinking, foul mouthed and frequently extremely intelligent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Illii on 8 April 2010
It's easy to make assumptions about a media-hyped 'expose' of a world such as finance, especially one from a hot young lady: Mean boys, mistreated, misunderstood, how did I cope, look at me, etc etc. But put them all aside. What Thompson has written here is shocking more for its honesty than in the antics of her colleagues and clients (though they are also chronicled with affectionate regard for their absurdity). She puts no-one up to more scrutiny than herself, points no fingers and assigns no blame, and asks no-one for their sympathy. The language is sparklingly intelligent and pithy, yet easy to read and burn through in one sitting (even though it meant staying up all night). You find yourself laughing/snorting at passages which in reality are quite disturbing, and then you worry you shouldn't have found someone's tragedy so amusing, but when she writes like this there's no escape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wadge on 8 May 2010
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I felt the book gave a good insight into life as a novice City Broker, horrific though it was.I imagine a number of readers would be offended by the constant use of the f and c words, although this did not bother me unduly. My recommendation would have to be that no one should read the book who does not have a strong stomach!
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This book is to put it mildly an interesting read. Ms Thompson's slightly zany style might be a bit off-putting, but is probably appropriate. The picture she paints of city life is decidedly uncomfortable. Although the title "Gross Misconduct" ostensibly refers to the grounds for her dismissal from the firm she worked for, it could also be used to describe the activities of the employees of that firm. She pulls no punches and is quite explicit.

Well worth reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Pam St Leger on 29 Mar. 2010
This is a well written, fast paced account of 14 months working in the male dominated bond market. Venetia's introduction to this world is some culture shock for her but she grabs it and runs with it, in spite of the extreme banter, and becomes accepted by the Essex men that she is surrounded by. Even accepting her nickname -Airbags! It is a very amusing account describing client entertainment in the restaurants and clubs drinking wines that one only dreams about. A roller coaster ride (not for the faint hearted!) full frontal exposee of the testosterone charged world of brokers and clients at work and play. Her writing grabs your attention to the extent that the book becomes difficult to put down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cartoon on 28 Feb. 2012
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Story of stupidity and excess , about endless champagne and sashimi in nobu , being able to buy the right shoes , swearing , strip clubs , being sick etc etc . This is not some debauched glorious account of a rock star , that makes you jealous and wish you could be there . This is a miserable story , its not clever , pretty or sexy . Its greeedy and binge drinking and I dont understand why Venetia did it for so long , why she allowed herself to act as she did , before she became ill and depressed . She stopped because she was pushed and I think there was a little about her that thought it was all rather clever . Venetia can write , so it stops it from being a horrid little book and becomes something that you should read and then take a cold shower afterwards . I dont know how true all the bond/ broker stuff is , as I skipped all the banking details , economics borred me at school and so I still never grasped the point of being a broker.
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