Love financial fiction? So do I. And I review them for you!
In this post I’m reviewing…
Graveyards Of The Banks by Nyla Nox
OVERVIEW: This is the story of a young woman in London who is strapped for cash after her anthropology career falls short, so she gets a job in an investment bank and navigates the complex inner workings of a bureaucratic, multinational hell.
REVIEW: Wow. This was an amazing, moving book. Most of the financial fiction I read is best described as thrillers or mysteries, but not this book. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect… the first couple of pages had a pace and a style that I wasn’t used to. But once I got into the writer’s rhythm, I was hooked. This book is a semi-autobiographical fiction (?) viewed through a poetic filter. And it really struck a chord with me: I have faced the exact same things that the protagonist faced — I worked the life-altering long hours, endured the crazy, condescending assholes, navigated the fiefdoms and bureaucracies and hypocrisy, and scraped by on a pittance while talking to others about millions or billions of dollars. The main character was me; I haven’t connected in a book in a long, long time. I was transported back in time to my early career in the financial world.
FINANCIAL FICTION QUOTIENT: There isn’t a huge amount of finance in this book. The main character works in an investment bank (“The Most Successful Bank In the Universe” as it’s called throughout the book) as a graphic designer who creates complex financial documents for the investment bank’s corporate clients. But what the book lacks in actual financial references, it more than makes up for in its accurate portrayal of the inner workings of a multinational behemoth of a company — including the various competing departments of bankers and designers and IT and training, the levels within each department, and the paint-everything-optimistically CEO writing encouragingly oblivious weekly emails.
SUMMARY: If you have ever worked in a large financial firm you will see yourself and the people you work with in this book. (I’ve worked in 4 large financial firms and this book painted an accurate picture of each one). You know how a show like The Office perfectly captured everyone you work with in an office setting? This book does that with the financial world, while at the same time making you feel like you’re walking through this financial hell with Dante.
DISCLAIMER: The author sent me a free copy of the book to review.