10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Union Atlantic (Hardcover)
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Having just finished reading the book I'm actually finding it hard to describe, but I can assure you it's not a title to overlook.
This short novel, which can be read within a week at a relaxed place, could be seen as a sort of fusion of the movies Syriana and Wall Street...Those two analogies are probably enough to avoid spoiling the book; but there's also some comedy in there, albeit not of the laugh-out-loud sort.
The first striking thing about Haslett's style is how perfectly poetic his words are - they're not overly decorative but vivid and dynamic in a fat-free way, from little details like how traffic lights look on a rainy windscreen to describing drug trips. There are times though when the financial-speak washed over my head and the italicised "preacher" speak was a bit heavy going, but that's more my failing - that said grasping the stories of the protagonists isn't hard. I also must add that as a straight man, there was something quite involving about the gay sex scenes.
Multiple themes seem to be touched here, the ones that stand out are the nature of a dog eat dog world and the value of principles. The characters are well rounded and seem believable as they're planted very well into a non-fictional backdrop. I agree with the professional critics that this is a timely release given that we're in a "new-cession" (a term I heard by a delivery man), but it's also timeless as the moods it brings up in the emotional side of things will always resonate.
All in all, a great book by Haslett, perhaps only losing full marks because it had some predictable turns.