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Mergers & Acquisitions Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 5, 2007
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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The story begins at Roger's engagement party, with Tommy waiting for his erstwhile girlfriend Frances to arrive. Everyone thinks that she has been at a spa, but she has really been in an upscale Home for the Unsure, being ministered to by a freaky shrink. The story then moves backward through Tommy's ruminations about meeting Roger, "the John Audubon of preppy flesh," and about connecting with Terence Mathers, Spenser's guru of mergers and acquisitions. At the end of Mathers's first speech to the new Spenserites, Tommy says: "We had all partaken of the capitalist Kool-Aid and the applause was as much a tribute to the stupidity of young men and women after four years of elite education as it was to the success of Spenser's training program." Greed is definitely good in this atmosphere--the more the better--but Tommy is not really a full-fledged participant. After Tommy blows his first assignment, he and Roger are sent to Cabo San Lucas on a major deal. What happens there is life-threatening and hilariously over-the-top but perfectly plausible and moves Tommy to rethink his life path. Vachon has left his own fledgling financial career behind, and instead has written a first-rate first novel that is smart, funny, witty, and wise. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book synopsis on Amazon supplies the telling clue: a book along the lines of Bright Lights, Big City and Less Than Zero. If you like those two books, this is for you. For me, the significant time spent developing plot lines around the truly wealthy with whom he works and his privileged background which can only be described as upper middle class wears very thin. Another mother with a drinking problem. Another description of the girlfriend with a super wealthy but very dysfunctional family. It becomes very tedious.
However, there are passages of total irreverence that are quite entertaining. His closest friend of wealth who "brown noses" his way through the job but whose true goal is to bed beautiful women. His own miserable failings in his job at which he quickly recognizes he is terrible and attempts to search for a company angel to protect him from the inevitable firing is also interesting. And I must admit that the closing Latin American party on the yacht provides great comic relief.
Overall, mildly entertaining with no great attachment to the characters. An OK read that I would not recommend.
So that's what it's not. What is it?
What it is, is a cynical, funny, frothy, sex-soaked, highly readable bash at the feckless rich. Inhabited by completely unrealistic, cartoonish characters (one of them has his initials monogrammed on his shirt - M.O.R.O.N. Another one is ... well, read the book.)
The plot is manic. (Though one hesitates to use the term 'plot' to refer to the episodic collection of events these characters are run through.) Mostly manic in a good way, though it does run off the deep end every now and then. Well, actually, it runs off the deep end every time it goes anywhere near it. Makes Carl Hiaasen look like Charles Dickens.
Another degree of separation from Dickensian satire - Mergers & Acquisitions doesn't deal with people who have a bent moral compass, they have no moral compass at all. They are randy and rich, most of them are mean-spirited, narrow and faithless, and a few of them are downright unhinged. The one or two acts of fidelity go, to say the least, unrewarded.
So, does it have any redeeming merit?
Yes: It's funny. It is very funny. Dana Vachon can find an occasion for humour in almost anything. A fatal heart attack? LMAO. This isn't just the deep end, it's the noir deep end. But if you like a laugh you could do worse than Mergers & Acquisitions.
(I actually listened to the audio rather than reading it. Excellent narration too.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vachon's madcap farce (with plenty of somber touches) accurately depicts the go-go years of mid-2000s Wall Street and smart-set society at large. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by With Favourable Winds
Did anyone else notice that Tommy Quinn, the narrator, meets Roger Thorne when he begins working at J.S. Spencer? There's a whole scene where Thorne introduces himself to Quinn. Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by M. E. Dooner
Sort of like a modern day Great Gatsby in the setting of American Psycho (minus the murder) with a slight Salinger influence on a couple characters. Read morePublished on May 6, 2008 by Amity Glass
I read this novel right after I finished Tom Wolfe's "I am Charlotte Simmons." I preferred Vachon's novel over Wolfe's by a huge margin. Read morePublished on March 31, 2008 by i love shoes
It's hard to feel for the rich, but Vachon came close. His story about a bumbling and disenchanted investment banker is a sharp satire about corporate America and privilege in... Read morePublished on January 10, 2008 by reenum
M&A is an extremely funny satire of the privileged elite who run Wall Street. While it is a great read, I can't help but feel that Vanchon is channeling Brett Easton Ellis. Read morePublished on October 22, 2007 by Joe Banks
The dude should have stuck with his kickin' banking job on the Street, for such wording is how this book reads. Read morePublished on October 19, 2007 by N. Soltvedt