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The Gods of Greenwich [Kindle Edition]

Norb Vonnegut
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $64.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $57.40 (88%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

Forget about Bernie Madoff or Gordon Gekko—there’s a new villain on Wall Street…

Norb Vonnegut didn’t realize how close he skirted to non-fiction when he was writing his spectacular debut Top Producer. Penned before tumultuous revelations and scandals rocked the financial world in late 2008, Vonnegut’s novel depicts, with an insider’s solid knowledge, the tricks that the industry’s real top producers pull in their frenzied pursuit of billions. Now Vonnegut sets his electrifying follow-up in the high-rolling world of hedge funds, lending his seasoned perspective to a riveting thriller.

Jimmy Cusack is the tough kid from a blue-collar neighborhood who made good on Wall Street. Well, almost. After a sterling start to his career, things have soured. His hedge fund has collapsed. The bank is foreclosing on his upscale condominium. And his wife is two months pregnant. That’s the good news. When Cusack takes a “must-have” job with Leeser Capital, a Greenwich fund impervious to the capital market woes, his real troubles begin.

Vonnegut’s unique insider’s perspective and his intuitive, darkly humorous writing are once again on full display in this fast-talking suspense thriller. A high-stakes poker game of a book, The Gods of Greenwich is a timely and gripping read that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat until the last card is played.



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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vonnegut follows his debut, Top Producer, with another invigorating dip into the shark pool of Wall Street's hedge fund industry. In late 2007, Jimmy Cusack, a cagey but honest money manager, finds himself in trouble after his hedge fund collapses thanks to the pullout of his biggest investor. Burdened by a huge mortgage and pressing financial obligations to his family, Cusack goes against his better judgment and takes a job with Leeser Capital, run by the shady Cy Leeser, whose investment strategies have always been far from transparent. Cusack's misgivings grow as losses begin inexplicably mounting at Leeser amid rumors about the company's involvement in an Icelandic bank and a hedge strategy based on life insurance claims. Vonnegut, a financial professional himself, not only gets the language and tone of Wall Street right but has an instinctive feel for dialogue and action. Especially enjoyable is the rip-roaring finale at the Bronx Zoo. Author tour. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

"The black comedy of life in the fast lanes of high level finance powers a wonderful new thriller by Norb Vonnegut, The Gods of Greenwich, set in the poshest reaches of Connecticut and Manhattan...
the secret of how Cy “hedges” is the Gods of Greenwich plot equivalent of what the callow young lawyer in The Firm found out about his too-good-to-be-true Memphis law office — and Vonnegut ratchets up the suspense and the laughs as we are taken deep into “Hedgistan” (i.e. Greenwich)." --The Connecticut Post
 
"The pieces of this plot mesh as smoothly as a well executed trade." --Bloomberg News 

"A riveting thriller… racing relentlessly from the bedrooms of Manhattan to the boardrooms of Connecticut to the banks of Iceland. Bravo!" --Jeffrey Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of Edge

" This is way beyond just being a fast-paced financial thriller.  I've not read such a rich portrayal of downfall through hubris since Tom Wolfe's Bonfire Of The Vanities." –Peter James, internationally bestselling author of Dead Like You

" The Gods of Greenwich is compelling, suspenseful, high-energy, a terrific read!”-- Thomas B. Sawyer, best-selling author of No Place to Run and head writer of Murder, She Wrote

"The Gods of Greenwich is a fast-paced and satisfying locomotive of a financial-based thriller, Dominick Dunne meets Barbarians at the Gate. Vonnegut has opened the vaults of Greenwich's elite, and oh what secrets and schemes pour out!" –Andrew Gross, #1 bestselling James Patterson co-author

“Vonnegut follows his debut, Top Producer, with another invigorating dip into the shark pool of Wall Street's hedge fund industry… Vonnegut, a financial professional himself, not only gets the language and tone of Wall Street right but has ...


Product Details

  • File Size: 651 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B004XXVTLE
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00486UADE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of the secret sauce (4.5 stars) February 26, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although I've enjoyed financial thrillers by Joseph Finder and Christopher Reich (I haven't yet gotten to Stephen Frey), I approach them with some trepidation because for me, reading about finance is about as exciting as watching the Dow Jones ticker scrolling along the bottom of a television screen. As I began The Gods of Greenwich, however, those concerns vanished and never returned. The plot is smart and compelling, the characters are engaging, and Norb Vonnegut's writing style is energetic. This isn't a book that bogs down in the jargon of arbitrageurs and commodities brokers. Like a volatile market, the plot moves in unforeseen directions with unexpected speed.

Wealth, power, and crime are the key ingredients in a financial thriller. In The Gods of Greenwich, they are present in abundance. Norb Vonnegut creates credible characters from the financial world, both shady and relatively honest, while adding a ruthless female contract killer to the mix. The characters are strong, familiar without becoming stereotypical. Cy Leeser is the ultimate money managing jerk, complete with a trophy wife who isn't quite good enough, a 19,000-square-foot home that isn't quite big enough, a family that isn't quite large enough, a priceless art collection that isn't quite exclusive enough, and an oversize ego that's more than enough to make readers crave his downfall. Jimmy Cusack is a young hedge fund manager who is less successful than Leeser; the sluggish economy has caused his clients (including his father-in-law) to bail, forcing him to join Leeser's hedge fund team to save his condo from foreclosure. Jimmy's wife Emi suffers from a facial recognition disorder.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does for finance what Robin Cook did for medicine September 12, 2012
By Amy R.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In his second novel, author Norb Vonnegut continues to do for the world of finance what Robin Cook (and others) do for the world of medicine. He gives us a thrilling story steeped in the culture, setting, and dialog of a specialty field: high finance / Wall Street. The picture Vonnegut portrays of the Wall Street mindset is both frightening and fascinating. Greed isn't merely good, it is the only thing. No matter how much money you have, you need more. Ostentation rules. Yet another force is also at play in these glorified gambling careers: no matter how much success you have, you're one stock market crash from failure.

Vonnegut's books (this one and Top Producer) are both populated with well-drawn characters who truly live up to the word "character". They are quirky, memorable, sometimes vile, sometimes likable, sometimes both.

As far as the plot goes, the summary above says enough. Obscure financial instruments and deals drive the plot, but what matters is how these are merely tools of war in a high-stakes battle among Icelandic bankers, Qatari princes, Wall Street financiers, and of course our hero Jimmy Cusack, who is caught between a rock and a hard place from page one.

Gods of Greenwich excellently fills a niche in the thriller genre for stories set in the high-stakes world of global finance. What I particularly enjoy about Vonnegut's books is his ability to create a world that he personally knows well (having worked in wealth management for decades) and show it to us.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying a little to hard August 1, 2011
By Geri
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was well written, interesting, and it did pull me along. Some of the description was fabulous. Unfortunately the plot felt contrived and I found myself asking why is all this necessary? Still all in all It is a good beach read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I was at the grocery store when I picked up this book. I read about two pages and was immediately hooked. It was definitely intriguing and I love financial dramas.

I have to say that I was a little put off by the assassin early on in the story. However, I grew to accept her. The other characters held my interest and the plot moved along swimmingly. Everything was going swell. For the first half of the book it was hard to put down.

Then things started to slowly get more goofy. The Cy character and the assassin character were just a tad too evil for my taste. It was evil, conspiracy, narcissism and good looks overload. It's like having two Bond villains who have no redeeming qualities. I was very bummed out when the book started going in the direction of making the antagonist this miserable/horrible person. They just went overboard and it took away from the character building.

*Some spoilers below*

But even all that wasn't what made me give this book such a low star rating. It was the ending. It literally insulted my intelligence. What the hell happened? It's almost like Mr. Vonnegut said to himself "Well I really need to tie up all the loose ends here. How can I do that in five pages max? Oh I know!"

Then he finishes off the book with a polar bear attack, monkey urination (hahahaha, so funny right?), tasers, a car chase and a secret spy who will conveniently explain everything that just happened to the protagonist. Give me a break! I don't get how he managed to get this past the editor. Let alone himself!

This may sound harsh, but given the ending I wish I never started this book. Once you start it you have to finish it so I want to tell people to not even give it a chance. Otherwise, you will be fooled into thinking it's a good financial drama only to be let down by a ridiculous cheesy thriller ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I honestly don't know why this isn't a top ten best seller and a movie
This is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. It makes me wonder how mediocre books rise to the top ten in sales, while well written books, with great story lines... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
The "Gods of Greenwch" was Norb Vonnegut's second book. Although good, it was not as good as his first. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Johnny A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
If you enjoy a read about fictional financial dealings and the double dealings of the industry, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Published 4 months ago by achillen
5.0 out of 5 stars Look at yourselves denizens of Greenwich
A good read for everyone - a great read if you know Greenwich and don't think that 06830 is the only place to have a roof over your head.
Published 4 months ago by henry ziegler
5.0 out of 5 stars Thriller
I had never heard of this writer, but since his name reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I had to try this one. I am not sorry I did! Excellent suspense!
Published 4 months ago by Caroline K. Groshart
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the money ! ! !
As I write more reviews while I'm semi-retired, I become more aware that I'm a reader, not a writer. I purchased this First Edition Hardcover book on Amazon.com on August 14, 2012. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Miles Henri Sumner
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
Well written and gripping. Norb Vonnegut has the experience and talent to envelope you in this tale of greed and crime.
Published 6 months ago by Mary N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
Great read written by an insider. I ran in to Vonnegut books by accident but glad I did. I look forward to future books.
Published 7 months ago by Kdoug
2.0 out of 5 stars Need an MBA or a degree in finance to understand plot
I enjoyed Vonnegut's first book, Top Producer very much. He had very smart and witty lingo and it was a fun read. This book, on the other hand, is a tough read. Read more
Published 12 months ago by The Incarcerator
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I found this financial thriller a very entertaining read. The pace is fast, the story is interesting, characters well developed and best of all the authors knowledge of the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Thomas Grover
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More About the Author

The New York Times describes my novels as "money porn," "a red-hot franchise," and "glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance." Through fiction I explore the dark side of money and focus on the motivations of those who have it, want more, and will steamroll anybody who gets in their way.

I wasn't always an author. I spent most of my career in private wealth management with several brokerage firms, primarily Morgan Stanley, and with a registered investment adviser in New York City. Back then, I always thought the people of Wall Street and their clients--smart, goofy, the complete spectrum from good to evil--would make great characters in a novel.

One thing I've learned: If a novelist can cook it up, chances are somebody is doing it. In December of 2007, I delivered the manuscript for Top Producer to St. Martin's Press. My debut novel told the story of a Ponzi scheme in the public markets--which may not sound like a big deal in the aftermath of 2008. But I completed the book twelve months before Madoff unraveled.

More recently I wrote The Trust, a novel about drugs, money laundering, a sex superstore, and the Catholic Fund. A few months after its publication, a Catholic priest was indicted in Connecticut for cooking methamphetamine. And the press reported that he bought a sex shop to launder his drug money.

My stories have been nosing up to reality, long before the headlines make the press. The reason? Fiction is liberating. Novelists can advance theories about characters, no matter how crazy, without fearing the public embarrassment of being wrong. In my case, I'm probing people born from my real-life experience in the trenches of private wealth management. I'm straddling fact and fiction, which may explain why Top Producer and The Trust were predictive. And I sincerely hope The Gods of Greenwich never comes true.

Let's see what happens with End Game, the working title for my next novel. The story begins in 1986 with an art heist at Pell College, a fictional woman's school in Newport, Rhode Island. Picasso, Monet, Modigliani, Matisse--six priceless paintings disappear for over twenty-five years. Then, one day the Modigliani is returned to Pell with a ransom demand:

"Wire us $100 million in five days, or we'll turn the others into confetti."

The hero of End Game left Wall Street for the sanctuary of a small town in New England. But he's so good at his job, so completely trustworthy and rock-solid reliable, he keeps getting sucked back into the muck of his former life. End Game takes an irreverent look at big money and big lies. And like my other novels, the stakes are deadly.

Other things to know about me: I write a column about private wealth management for the Wall Street Journal. My commentary addresses financial advisers. It's opinionated. I don't hold back. But it's unbiased, because I'm not constrained by ties to Wall Street. If you're evaluating your own financial advisers, I encourage you to take a look.

I graduated from Phillips Exeter in 1976, Harvard College in 1980 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986. My family and I split our time between New York City and Narragansett, Rhode Island. I'm an avid cyclist and a Trustee with the American Foundation for the Blind. And I absolutely love books on tape.

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