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Chancey on Top Paperback – April 19, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers (April 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566491746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566491747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Offering an unusual spin on a love triangle plot, leadership consultant Wareham (How to Break Out of Prison) explores lies told in the name of obsessive love and corporate head-hunting. Australian Chancey Haste is a smooth-talking recruiter with a beautiful and supportive wife, two kids and a passion for expanding his eponymous firm. Then he becomes entranced with Elan Haverford, the stunning (and young) daughter of a New Zealand client, and after a brief but ardent pursuit, Chancey begins making regular trips to see her. His marriage holds up during the book's relatively lighthearted first half, and, after much poetry-quoting and love-making, his affair with Elan seems to end. When they meet again by chance, Chancey is living in New York, working in his firm's U.S. office, and Elan has a frumpy aristocratic husband from London in tow. Sparks fly despite the intervening years, but Elan refuses to rekindle the flame. Desperate to see her, Chancey decides to follow Elan to England on the pretense of a business trip, but his wife, who has known about the affair for some time, gives him the heave-ho. What Chancey finds in England is a sudden and terrible tragedy, redeemed barely, if at all, by Chancey's evolution from an unfaithful and often despicable fop to a man who finally understands what he's lost. Though Wareham employs too many disturbing dream sequences and his dialogue errs on the side of falsely snappy, his writing is assured throughout. As an exploration of the moral quandaries of head-hunting and the passionate heights of sensual love, this is a strange and intermittently affecting tale.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"John Wareham possesses the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth." -- The New York Times

"Wildly entertaining ... dazzling ... brilliant ... showcases a full spectrum from the comedic to the sublime ... ranks among the finest novels ever." -- New York Observer

A beautifully written, deeply moving novel that chronicles a riveting psychological journey that sweeps the reader to a shattering catharsis. -- Bernard Berkowitz, co-author, How To Be Your Own Best Friend

A magnificent yarn ... funny and sexy ... profound and moving. Captures the conflicts and inner struggles so many upward strivers experience. -- Harry Levinson, Ph.D., author, Corporate Leadership in Action, Professor, Harvard Medical School.

Funny, sexy, surreal, captivating, brilliant--and the kind of thing that upsets the PC police. -- Nadine Strossen, national president, ACLU, and author of Defending Pornography

Hat's off to Chancey! The finest contemporary showcasing of the sonnet form, in my humble opinion. -- Professor Charles Defanti, author, The Wages of Expectation: the biography of Edward Dahlberg

Inspired--hilarious, whimsical, philosophically savvy. -- Kirkus Reviews

Profound, profane, funny and unputdownable . . . Chandler Haste himself is something new. -- Eli Noam, author of Interconnecting the Network of Networks

Stunning--ardent, strange and affecting. An exploration of moral quandaries from John Wareham, whose writing is assured throughout. -- Publishers Weekly

Superb--wildly entertaining and brilliantly relayed ... a literary bonbon that ranks among the finest novel ever. -- The New York Observer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stewart MacKay on April 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
During the 1970's, in another life, I worked as a management consultant in the four cities of Wellington, Sydney, Christchurch and Melbourne. I was aware of the pioneering work carried out by, former New Zealander, John Wareham, who was the acknowledged leader then in corporate headhunting. Wareham's first book flew like a comet, across the antipodean skies, and seared the best selling lists on both sides of the Tasman Sea. At the Wellington book launch, James K. Baxter, one of the major English poets of the 20th Century, together with Wareham, made page one of the NZ dailies and were illustrated together in a brilliant black & white photograph which is now part of Kiwi folklore; and the first part of Wareham's dazzling novel CHANCEY ON TOP recalls this brave new world in a bittersweet tour de force. I visited the elegant Wareham offices in Sydney's Australia Square and, in my mind's eye, from the stylish visitors lounge on Level 46; I can perceive that the world was very different then and the sort of uncomplicated chic displayed in the Wareham Associates suite was then rare; CHANCEY ON TOP brings all this back. Yet, that's just the first part of the story. The scene changes and shifts to New York and London. There, we read of life, love and the rocky terrain of corporate headhunting in our contemporary world; and the narrative follows the journey that Chancey Haste continues to make in his efforts to find himself. Along the way, in his search for meaning, Wareham-through Chancey-pays homage to a number of favourite authors including Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare and Albert Camus as well as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley and with a literary nod of the head towards W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Maven on August 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon Chancey on Top. I had never heard of the book. And I had never heard of John Wareham. I was blown away. I've read so many novels that have been touted as great and here's the real thing. The writing is stunning. It's original, and evocative. The tale is compelling. I don't know why Chancey on Top didn't receive more attention when it was published, or maybe I missed something. But what a rollercoaster ride.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Casas-Don on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I don't remember why or where I picked up Chancey On Top. I do remember feeling intrigued by its promise to show me the hidden story of a driven executive's journey into the spotlight of success and personal reckoning. I began reading it slowly, then couldn't put it down until I had finished it. The story captivated me. The characters charmed and amused me. I laughed out loud, often. But it was Wareham's beautiful gift of prose colored by his wise reliance on past geniuses such as Wilde and Shakespeare that delighted me most. This book is a sweet gift of subtle beauty. I may have to read it once more.
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By Brian O'Dea on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I tried to make Chancey last and last, limiting myself to a few pages a day for the last hundred or so. I wanted the book to go on and on, looking forward every day to reading it as I tried to stretch it beyond the finish line.

It is a wonderfully written, completely engaging story, and regardless of Chancey's many faults, I still rooted for him, I wanted him to succeed, to have his cake and eat it too. Perhaps I related to him because I see him in me, and despite my many faults, I still want to have it and eat it as well.

Somehow John Wareham does it here, just like in The President's Therapist - (which you must read if you have not done so already) - again he has found a way to confront me with the many pieces of myself through a cast of wacky, real, human beings. All I can say is "where is the next one?"

Among other things, I am helping an actor develop his business these days, a lovely guy who told me last night that he used to be an "executive placement officer". I said, "Really, have you ever heard of Chancey Haste?" "No" says he. "No kidding? You'll meet him next week. He's quite a character; I think you'll love him." Chancey On Top... Do yourself a favour; scroll right back to the top of this page and click on the order button. You'll be delighted you did.
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Format: Paperback
Everyone should know of John Warenham, yet I think this is his only work of fiction. It is brilliant, the sort of book you buy to give to friends. It is unabashedly a "guys book" I think. The first section on the affair is absolutely spot on. Been there, done that. The second part confirms the brilliance of the first part, especially with the slimy business dealings. As a lawyer, I could name names that did the same. The third part is the weakest, but how could you maintain the high quality and not be known to all? Pick it up and read the first ten pages or so and you will know if it's for you or not. If so, you won't be disappointed. If not, you don't have a clue about men (or more likely you are not a man) and business in the 20th or 21st century (or ever) ..... This is a GREAT book.
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More About the Author

John Wareham is a leadership psychologist, lecturer, writer and poet whose work transcends genre. His latest work, Sonnets for Sinners, Everything One Needs to Know About Illicit Love, uses poems by classic and modern poets to illustrate the perils of love-triangles. His prior work, a novel, The President's Therapist, as only fiction can, examines the troubled psyche of the 43rd United States President, George W. Bush. Earlier works include Secrets of a Corporate Headhunter, a popular business bestseller, The Anatomy of a Great Executive, a 13-language reference classic, How to Break Out of Prison, a life-changer, and Chancey On Top, a critically acclaimed novel that explores themes of leadership, love, and enlightenment.

John draws upon vast experience, having counseled top business leaders on three continents, and, at the other end of the social spectrum, transformed the lives of prison inmates in New York's toughest prisons. His firm, Wareham Associates, specializes in corporate leadership selection and development. He is also founder and chief executive of The Eagles Foundation of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing leaders within the prison population. He makes his home in New York.

Insight and wit hallmark his writing. "If I'd not entered the consulting world I flatter myself that I might have been a full time novelist," he says. "I wrote my first book to promote my firm. When it was nominated for a national award I got hooked on the process, and just kept on going. It was a treat to see my business books become bestsellers, and I also got a lot of pleasure from the reaction to How to Break Out of Prison. It was a challenge to write a cross-over self-development work for overachievers and prison inmates alike. It's always satisfying when people say that you helped them get what they want from life.

"All in all, however, I'm proudest of my novels, The President's Therapist and Chancey On Top, both of which chronicle the psychological journeys of flawed leaders. My publisher says the only good poet is a dead poet, but the chance to inject a little poetry into the passion seemed too good to miss, and I've been excited by the warm reaction of literary critics to this conceit. I was happy, too, with how both books played out. The test of a novel is credibility and a denouement that satifies and surprises the reader, and critics say I reached that lofty plateau. I just have to confess that, even to me, both endings came as shockers."

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