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The Shipping Man Hardcover – November 23, 2011
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"The Shipping Man is a novel by Matthew McCleery is about the dramatic world of shipowners and finance...Set at the intersection of finance and the high seas...it's simply a great read." - gCaptain, Contributor, Forbes.
"I recently have had the delight of reading Matthew McCleery's new novella, The Shipping Man...Well done, Mr McCleery. Well done indeed." - John AC Cartner, Lloyd's List
"The publishers are to be congratulated for having the imagination and moxy to give flight to Matthew McCleery's novelistic fancy. The Shipping Man deserves to do well and to serve long on the short shelf of memorable shipping fiction." - Sam Ignarski, The Wavy Line
"Author Matt McCleery has clearly set out to unveil the mysterious workings of the industry, showing how shipping markets work and how investments are funded. And as president of Marine Money International ...he certainly knows what he is talking about." - Steve Matthews, Lloyd's List
"It may not come as a surprise to those in the know that the Connecticut-based author's debut title, The Shipping Man, has caught the attention of John Fredriksen, Tor Olav Trøim and other high ranking members of the marine cluster as many of the book's characters evoke images of the market's leading lights." - Aaron Kelley, TradeWinds
From the Author
"A billionaire even read it and said he identified so much with Robert Fairchild that he hired me to sell his dry cargo ships. When people ask if there's money in publishing, I think of that deal and smile."
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Top Customer Reviews
The story and the main characters themselves are quite enjoyable, with some clever twists along the way, and a good conclusion of the plot.
The style is mildly satirical, and generally lighthearted, which certainly helps the book.
All in all as someone who works in shipping (on the technical side) I definitely enjoyed it. It should be said though, that this isn't in any way "epic prose" but a low-key little work that tries to be both informative and entertaining, and succeeds in both.
Firstly, it is extremely poorly written. From the childish dialogues and the plot to the names of the characters and mistakes. The are so many instances that make no sense, as if the author never bothered to do a reality check (like a small hedge fund manager investing $100 million in a single bond).
Secondly, it is trying to shed some knowledge on both the shipping and finance industries in a very plain, amateurish way, through dialogues that seem totally out of place. The author wanted to say something about shipping, so it would simply have an actor make a speech about it even though it was out of context or simply absurd (you have to read the book to understand that). If the author wanted to teach a few things to readers, then one page would suffice, rather a whole book with bad, "fake" dialogues.
Lastly, his depiction of the finance industry is way off. He seems to want to portray a "barbarians at the gate" picture, but as an outsider to the industry, and obviously due to poor research, he just ends up recycling stereotypes. Even worse, this book has factual mistakes. To the author: There is no such thing as EBITDA to interest coverage. There is interest coverage, defined as EBITDA to interest expense, but the ratio mentioned in the book does not exist.