- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Polly Courtney
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 20 Jun. 2014
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B00L4G0Z9A
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Golden Handcuffs Audiobook – Unabridged
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Showing 1-5 of 30 reviews
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The good bit of the book are that it does portray the pointlessness and pain of analyst type work relatively well. It also brings across the slow slide into the abyss that most people working in the environment start experiencing in their personal lives. The characters are mostly rather two dimensional and flat - and no wonder, with no time for sleep or any intellectual stimulation not involving work (and from experience, rearranging slides and spreadsheets this way or that tends not to stimulate the mind all that much over longer periods) that is slowly what one tends to become. Another positive aspect is that the book does a good job of portraying how people, who've never experienced it personally tend not to understand what is going on in the industry or how people work so much (or what they do) - I can completely identify with the discussions described in the book happening in the family arena or the circle of friends. This is in a way where I see the success of the book - it does not try to make the investment banking look exciting or glamorous but shows a much grimmer, more realistic view.
In spite of this, the book is far from a five star in my opinion. What lets it down is the relatively predictable workplace romance, which is a bit contrived - although in principle statistically quite likely in the environment described - the general lack of humour (even if of the darker kind) and the already mentioned two dimensional characters. Neither Abby, nor Mike (the two protagonists) are very well developed and both seem to be more than a bit cliched.
Some other reviewers compared it to Liar's Poker: Playing the Money Markets but this is really a very different type of book - not meant as an analysis of an industry but more of what happens to the people within. A more comparable, and in my opinion vastly more entertaining and accomplished read would be Po Bronson's Bombardiers.
Courtney, herself once an investment banker, is a creative artist who reports from the inside. People in the business will recognise at once the sort of people and concerns and values she has experienced. An epiphany for a new set of values
Courtney's Orwellian vision may be a last chance to help us not to slide into the false hype world of turbo-capitalism and banking hype.
She also sees the world in which large often foreign companies impose on us a culture enforcing ageism , sexual discrimination (who wants old women on the board, we want youth, you might hear a bucolic aged Lear-like roue declare). The conveyancing of dishonesty as respectability and efficiency that many might associate with London-based banks, overseas real estate companies nested in London, and their helpers.
A world of double-speak where honesty and trust in reality mean the opposite, as the end of the novel proposes.
Courtney speaks for liberty from these forces that drag us down.
All quite depressing and no big surprise to me really.
However, it is a light read. Not compelling, but suited me for 30 minutes before sleeping :-D One thing that annoyed me was the misspelling of 'Boxster' - it has an S in it and the most minimal research would show this to be the case. That kind of small annoying lack of care meant I started to question the rest of the book. Which is silly, but is how my brain works.
I probably wouldn't buy any other books by this author, but it wasn't complete rubbish!