I am deeply grateful to John Lanchester for this lucid, funny and passionate account of the recent Great Crash. Before I read it, I felt impotent and angry; now I feel impotent, angry but informed - and, considering I surrender, numbed and uncomprehending, after two paragraphs of your average money page in the newspaper, I can say that financially informed is an unusual, but satisfying place for me to be. Others have criticised the informal style. It held me spellbound - true, the tone is conversational, the pace as racy as a thriller, but the book is none the worse for that. JL is also articulate, knowledgeable and totally unpatronising. With friendly charm, he kindly assumes that you are both intelligent and curious, and unravels the complexities of the credit crunch with a deftness and lightness of touch that nevertheless confronts head on the profoundly serious situation, moral as well as financial, in which we now find ourselves.