A debut novel that purports to offer an insider’s view of Wall Street.
The author’s bio invites the reader to identify the fictional firm of J.S. Spencer with J.P. Morgan, where Vachon worked as a fledgling investment banker. Yet the novel never succeeds in establishing a coherent fictional world, let alone delivering a roman à clef. It details the first year on Wall Street of 24-year-old Tommy Quinn, a student of little distinction who inexplicably finds himself on a career path toward unexpected wealth. He also finds himself in a relationship in which he might have to ultimately choose between girlfriend and job. He learns the corporate work ethic from a fellow employee who dies at his desk. Fortunately, Tommy’s best friend at the firm is the free-spirited Roger Thorne, who has far better connections within a company where connections are everything. (In addition to a distinguished family lineage, Roger has a sister who slept with one of Spenser’s higher-ups.) Much of the plot concerns Roger, who somehow proves irresistible to women, mainly because he is so single-minded in his lust for them. His conquests range from a voluptuous artist’s associate, who favors see-through blouses when she isn’t wearing S&M latex (in which she films herself in flagrante with Roger), to a Latina bombshell swimsuit model. One subplot concerns Roger’s acquisition of a fiancée with a distinguished pedigree, while another finds Tommy and Roger in Mexico on a dubious and dangerous business trip. The narrative also seems to have an obsession with masturbation, though the first reference equating golf with masturbation is funnier than the second. Other stabs at humor include a cat called Meow Zedong and a flatulent baby at a baptism.
Most of the mergers and acquisitions here are sexual rather than corporate.