MERGERS + ACQUISITIONS: Vachon, Dana

MERGERS + ACQUISITIONS

Vachon, Dana

Published by Riverhead Books, 2007
ISBN 10: 1594482934 / ISBN 13: 9781594482939
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Illustrated wrappers display light wear to edges, some creasing to front cover, "signed at Book Soup" sticker affixed to front cover. Signed by the author on the full title page. Book body clean. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Having landed his dream job as an investment banker as well as a girlfriend from a wealthy family, recent graduate Tommy Quinn enjoys a privileged life of exclusive clubs, elite boardrooms, and luxury yachts, but finds that things are not as wonderful as he thought they would be. Reprint.

Review: A graduate of Duke University in 2002 and an analyst for J.P. Morgan for a few years after that, Dana Vachon is a writing wunderkind along the lines of Jay McInerney in Bright Lights, Big City and Bret Easton Ellis in Less Than Zero. However, the similarity ends with the theme of young guys on the razzle, because Vachon's protagonist, unlike his predecessors, observes and learns without falling into the honey pot. Tommy Quinn graduates from Georgetown and lands a job with J.S. Spenser, an investment banking firm. His major was Interdisciplinary Studies, a kind of Liberal Arts wastebasket, and he knows nothing about finance. In the brain-deadening Spenser training program he hooks up with Roger Thorne, a really crass human being, but one who knows all the moves. The genesis of the friendship sets the tone rather well: They are both wearing Gucci loafers and Rolex watches.

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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: MERGERS + ACQUISITIONS
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Printing

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