Brazilian–born Gil is trying to find the American Dream. In the meantime, he polishes the shoes of the super–rich and powerful on Wall Street––high rolling traders as uninhibited as they are ruthless. Gil sees things as few other people do–from the ground up!–and his perspective on the day–to–day insanity of the trading floor is priceless. But this fly–on–the–wall overhears one or two things that maybe he shouldn't. And when a glossy magazine journalist desperate for a big break persuades him to be an undercover source for what may be the biggest insider trading scam in Wall Street history, Gil is catapulted into a danger zone darker than anything he or the journalist could have imagined.
Part comedy–of–manners and social satire, part hard–boiled business expose, Confessions of a Wall Street Shoeshine Boy, like Bonfire of the Vanities, Liar's Poker, and Blood on the Street, pulls back the curtain on the professional habits and private lifestyles of Manhattan's money mandarins. The story, while entirely fictional, is infused with the ring of truth, and in Gil, fresh and captivating, we meet a true original, a sort of latter–day Huckleberry Finn. After you share his hilarious but wise world–view, you may never look at Wall Street–and America––in quite the same way.
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Doug Stumpf is a deputy editor at Vanity Fair and lives in New York City. Confessions of a Wall Street Shoeshine Boy is his first novel.From Publishers Weekly:
A Wall Street comedy of manners by Vanity Fair deputy editor Stumpf, this fast-paced debut novel updates The Bonfire of the Vanities. Gregarious young Brazilian émigré Aguilar Gil Benicio shines shoes at a prominent firm, where his customer base is almost entirely white, male and exorbitantly pampered: This traders make more money than movie stars, Gil notes. When a janitor friend is unjustly fired, Gil relates the details to Glossy magazine writer Greg Waggoner, who suspects the incident masks a insider-trading scandal. The conceit of the book, in which Gil and Greg share narrating duties as they recap their effort to uncover the crime, is that the book is Greg's novel, a fictionalized version of the scoop that got away. It's a lousy setup, and vital clues that come too easily don't help. Neither do Gil's unvarnished dialect and his idolization of the traders and of Greg, who plays Henry Higgins to Gil's Eliza Doolittle. Rare indeed, too, is the female character who comes through this tale without suffering degradation or scorn. Yet the book is funny, and beneath the humor (and a lot of sex and sex talk), Stumpf takes on assimilation, class betrayal and common decency with seriousness. (July)
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