From Publishers Weekly
Krist (Chaos Theory; Bad Chemistry) uses the analogous market excesses of the 1690s and the 1990s as dual, parallel settings for a young mans journey up the business ladder as he tries to make his fortune through the stock market. The protagonist of this syncopated narrative is Will Merrick, a precocious young man who moves to the city to try to fulfill his rags-to-riches dreams: in 17th-century London he is a stock jobber whose task is to try to capitalize on such new technologies as winches and drainage engines, and on Wall Street during the frenetic dot-com days of the late 1990s he is a financial spy in a high-stakes IPO deal. While he makes his way through the two labyrinthine monetary worlds, a romantic subplot finds Merrick wooing (in both timelines) the rich, strong-willed and mischievous Eliza Fletcher, who leads him through a series of on-again, off-again dates and interludes that cause Merrick to question his identity as a clever rich guy on the make. Krist pulls off an impressive feat with his careful plotting as Merrick bounces back and forth between eras, opportunities and moral quandaries; unfortunately, the London in the 1690s part of the narrative fades as the book progresses, and the love affair is competent but rarely compelling. Nonetheless, Krists ambition is laudable, and the novel is a worthwhile read, especially when he gets his complex narrative to click on all cylinders.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
Krist (Chaos Theory) has written a morality tale about unrestrained market speculation and a lust for monetary gain by any means. Depicted is the coming of age of Will Merrick on Wall Street at the dawn of the market crash of the 21st century and simultaneously during a similar market boom and crash during the final decade of the 17th century on London's Exchange Alley. With no particular interests beyond making money, Merrick does not care about the moral or ethical ambiguities of his methods. But greed is causing him to flounder in his personal life, and even before losing his shirt in the market, he begins to reform. Krist seamlessly moves the action from one century to the other, belying the novel's oft-repeated sentiment that the lessons of history are for the foolish. Krist provides the reader with a painless lesson that entertains as well as informs and perhaps contributes to the reader's sense of indignation. Recommended for all libraries with contemporary fiction collections. Rebecca Stuhr, Grinnell Coll. Libs., IA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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