• by John Lanchester
  • Narrated by Jonathan Iris
  • 7 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 2000, the total GDP of Earth was $36 trillion. At the start of 2007, it was $70 trillion. Today that growth has gone suddenly and sharply into decline.
John Lanchester travels with a cast of characters - including reckless bankers, snoozing regulators, complacent politicians, predatory lenders, credit-drunk spendthrifts, and innocent bystanders, to understand deeply and genuinely what is happening and why we feel the way we do.


What the Critics Say

"A valiant and genuinely amusing attempt to describe how finance came off the rails...written with a good heart and a lively intellectual curiosity. (Independent)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Elegance and charm, jazzing on a well-known theme

I've read several books (Gillian Tett's Fools Gold, Michael Lewis's The Big Short, Gordon Brown's apology..) about the financial crisis, so I can't really say I learnt anything new from John Lanchester. However, I was richly amused and entertained by his whimsical and informal style. His wry wit and colloquial turn of phrase often had me laughing out loud. And it is a story so amazing, so profound and so ongoing (unfortunately) that it bears retelling a few times, in different registers, by different people. Mr Lanchester is a definite outsider. Son of an old fashioned (good/safe) banker, he read English and became a writer. He can take the 'man in the street' perspective, and uses analogies that make the whole episode both accessible and maximally absurd.

Normally I don't like narrators trying to mimic real characters (e.g. the voices of Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan), but in this context - a rather theatrical book - it does more or less work. The narrator also manages to personify Mr Lanchester's animated and humorous style.
Read full review

- Judy Corstjens "Judith Corstjens Author of: Xtensity, Why 5% of Dieters Succeed; Storewars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace; Strategic Advertising"

Whoopy? Do.

Recent exhortations in The Guardian that the time is now to stop reading fiction and start dipping into popular economics swayed me to give this one a try. I’m not going to stop reading fiction, and neither do I think (or, let’s be honest did I anticipate) that Lanchester has the authority of a Chomsky. But an honest endeavour in switching from fiction to faction is well rewarded - this is an informed and informing volume which has the added benefit of impeccable timing. It is important to understand the current economic environment and the insights provided here are wonderful, fresh and endlessly entertaining - but whether the prognosis goes far enough is a matter for further debate and consideration.
Read full review

- Stephen "Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-05-2010
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks