Michael Lewis has written a great book about an old line investment bank that was essentially dissembled not long after he told this story. A reader unfamiliar with Wall Street may find Mr. Lewis' characters (and his own actions) outlandish and unbelievable. A naive reader may also believe that the greed and political nastiness evidenced in these pages are heavily embellished and way out of line. They are not. What is surprising is that Michael Lewis could write and publish this book without his former firm litigating him into the poorhouse.
I worked for a major investment firm for 31 years and have seen many of the situations he writes about. The shenanigans he describes in his training class brought back fond memories of some great people and the stupid but entertaining things we did. Put a bunch of over-achievers in a room together for thirty days and strange things happen. Sadly about 80% of each class's trainees are gone (for various reasons) within three years. The job is not for everyone.
This is an entertaining and well-written book that is humorous and cynical at the same time. It may be a bit stuffy for readers not familiar with the esoteric products developed and offered on Wall Street, but Mr. Lewis takes the time to explain most of the concepts simply and completely. It is more of a biography and character study than some of his subsequent works, but interesting all the same.