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Other People's Money by [Cartwright, Justin]
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Other People's Money Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

'Other People's Money is wise, droll and beautiful fiction' (David Mitchell)

'His storytelling powers are so fluent and persuasive, the quality of his observation so fine' (Daily Telegraph)

'A high-class piece of literary entertainment' (Spectator)

'A delicately patterned novel about the heroic search for happiness and its ultimate fragility. The comfortable middle-class setting and faintly fairytale ending belie a portrait of family life in which concealment and compromise are never far away. Quietly moving' (Financial Times)

Review

'Other People's Money is wise, droll and beautiful fiction' David Mitchell 'His storytelling powers are so fluent and persuasive, the quality of his observation so fine' Daily Telegraph 'A high-class piece of literary entertainment' Spectator 'A delicately patterned novel about the heroic search for happiness and its ultimate fragility. The comfortable middle-class setting and faintly fairytale ending belie a portrait of family life in which concealment and compromise are never far away. Quietly moving' Financial Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1321 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (7 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004R1PSIM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Justin Cartwright's "Other People's Money" even though it totters on the tight line between serious fiction and light comedy before collapsing decisively into the latter territory.

OPM recounts the last days of Tubal & Co, a merchant bank that has been a national institution since "Moses Tubal set himself up at the sign of the Leathern Bottle by Bread St in 1671." Sir Harry Trevelyan-Tubal (the family has moved beyond its Jewish roots) still cuts a fine figure but, sequestered with servants in his Antibes villa, he has lost his mind and is steadily shuffling of this mortal coil. Julian, his second son has been thrust reluctantly into the chair while Simon - "the hairy heir" pursues an alternative calling. Under Julian's leadership, Tubal strays from Sir Harry's banking basics and the "silken thread of connection" to customers to experiment with Gaussian risk curves, hedge funds and CDOs. The bank is in trouble and in order to plaster over the cracks to permit a quick sale to the very American Cy Mannheim, Julian resorts to a last ditch manipulation of the accounts involving misuse of the family trust. Naturally, all does not go smoothly.

Cartwright brings a gentle touch to his satire (though one character central to the subplot, the ex -husband of Sir Harry's younger wife, Fleur, is well over the top), and he writes delightfully.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this disappointing in almost every way. Justin Cartwright sets himself up with some very large targets to aim at, but I feel he missed them all, except for one which I'll come back to.

Set aside the fact that the plot is unconvincing, because most of his readers won't be interested in the minute reality of running a bank into the ground. But at least he could have avoided leaden cliche, both in characterisation and speech: "Lovely jubbly, kushti." Really? And would the boss of one of the world's most venerable institutions reply, when complimented on his suit, "Gieves & Hawkes"? I found the continual posh-product-name dropping incredibly tiresome, a lazy and tedious way to try to convey the notion of wealth.

I found the characters unremittingly close to caricature too, none more so than Artair, the writer who comes across as a camped-up cross between Donald Sinden on E and Brian Blessed on a bad day.

So if you sacrifice accuracy of both detail and characterisation, what are you left with? A cracking good plot? For a while I thought this was it, but honestly, it peters out horribly. I've no doubt it is intentional. Its part of the big idea of the book. But if you write a book that's essentially reliant on plot, then you make the plot as undramatic as this one turns out to be, you're asking for trouble.

Which brings me to the one genuinely good thing about this book: I think it does convey well how little control anyone really has over the events that most shape their lives. But what a frustrating way to make this slim point.

He's a good-natured writer, but this is certainly not one of his better books, in my view.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big Cartwright fan, and although Other Peoples' Money isn't as nuanced and rich as some of his earlier work (The Promise of Happiness in particular) it is a fascinating and gripping and in some ways horrifying read for anyone bewildered and enraged by the financial crisis.
Although I suspect it is not THE novel of the crisis - and perhaps that novel, like the bankers themselves, will never be nailed in the way it should - the characters are real and rounded, and the action feels sinkingly plausible. I always enjoy Cartwright's ear for dialogue and his piercing humour. His view of a certain class of parasitic woman is probably depressingly realistic. He says in the acknowledgements at the end that he spoke, for research ourposes, to people who are best left unidentified. He is right not to name them. There are many who would like to go and kill them.
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By Boot-Boy VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, (and dangerously so for such short a book) this tale of a family bank brought down by financial malfeasance somehow managed to lure me on, with an occasionally witty, sometimes worldly and often well-observed take on characters both hateful and human, decent and twisted. But from start to finish I never felt any sense of narrative grip or acceleration, just a gradual unfolding of events - chapter by chapter, character by character - put into play by a writer who kept the engine purring gently in third gear without ever managing to engage the revs and push a little further. A pretty balloon only half inflated. Which, ultimately, was a disappointment. As was the ending. This could have been so much more, so much better...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A page turner and fun to read. Well informed about financial community behaviour. There must have been a number of alternative endings. The individual epilogues were left a lot of loose endings. But all good fun even if we all wish we could live in the style of the family in the South of France ( at least for a short while.)A good Justin Cartwright story and more fastidious in language than many of his other offerings.
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