John Lanchester’s Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay is the unbelievable true story of the economic crisis.
We are, to use a technical economic term, screwed. The cowboy capitalists had a party with everyone’s money and now we’re all paying for it. What went wrong? And will we learn our lesson – or just carry on as before, like celebrating surviving a heart attack with a packet of Rothmans?
John Lanchester travels with a cast of characters – including reckless banksters, snoozing regulators, complacent politicians, predatory lenders, credit-drunk spendthrifts, and innocent bystanders to understand deeply and genuinely what is happening and why we feel the way we do.
‘Devastatingly funny … the route map to the crazed world of contemporary finance we have all been waiting for’
‘Bang on the money’
‘Explains the crisis in a way that actually sticks … to my amazement, I finally grasp it’
Janice Turner, The Times
‘Endlessly witty … will turn any reader into an expert within the space of 200 pages’
‘Terrific … there is no better guide to the crazy world of high finance’
John Lanchester is a journalist, novelist and winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award. His fiction includes Mr Philips, The Debt to Pleasure and Capital. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the New Yorker, with a monthly column in Esquire.
If you want to look like a rock of good sense, a person who is deep and wise and worried, then I suggest Whoops! by John Lanchester ... If only the Queen Mother were still alive, it would make sense even to her -- Colm Toibin * summer reading recommendation, Guardian * A lively lay reader's guide to the financial crisis, written by a novelist who sought to educates himself about banking and its failures. Funny and pointed, it exposes the gulf between the two cultures of modern Britain: financial and non-financial -- Ed Crooks * summer reading recommendation, Financial Times * This account is by far the most lucid and entertaining explanation of the world banking crisis of 2008 -- Megan Walsh * summer reading recommendation, Times * For anyone still wondering what the hell those bankers did with our money, try John Lanchester's deliciously escoriating Whoops! Even someone who can't remember their eight times tables comes away feeling wonderfully well informed -- Allison Pearson * summer reading recommendation, Psychologies * Or you could simply borrow the book from someone. If they've read it, even better - they won't be expecting you to return it * The Telegraph * An excellent book for anyone wondering what the hell is going on. Triple A, as the credit rating agencies might say * Irish Times * Lanchester has turned that fascination - coupled with a kind of astonished anger - into a lucid, conversational account of the crisis designed for non-financial types and helpfully leavened with jokes, swearing and interesting asides * Quentin Webb, Reuters * This is a piece of genius . . . It tells a proper story, like a novel, and we're all part of it - which means it is *gripping*. Yes! Gripping! A book about money! I know! But it's true. It is necessary, particularly - but not exclusively - if you're somebody who thinks, 'Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Iceland, um, mortgages, er...' and doesn't want to keep thinking it until the end of time, amoeba-stylee. I humbly posit that it is a masterpiece * India Knight * [A] sober message lurking among Lanchester's delightful wordplay, and it deserves attention by everyone who cares to understand where we are, how we got here and who is responsible * John Lawrence Reynolds, Globe and Mail * Acidic, frightening, and sharply funny . . . a better book about the global meltdown than any other to date * EW.com * Literary and profound . . . a master explainer with an excellent grasp of sophisticated finance * Christopher Caldwell, The Daily Beast * John Lanchester's newfound mission: to explain the world of finance to the general public . . . The result is the perfect read for anyone still wondering what went wrong and why. Unless you'd rather they didn't know * Bloomberg * Scarier than Thomas Harris * Nicci French * Explains the madness of modern capitalism with razor-sharp insight, brilliant clarity and a refreshing dose of humour. A great book. * John O'Farrell * Endlessly witty, but the wit is underpinned by a tremendous, unembarrassed anger and moral lucidity. A superb guide which will turn any reader into an expert within the space of 200 pages. * Jonathan Coe * Wickedly funny . . . Good humor and good company will be the things that'll get us through * Dwight Garner, New York Times * The route map to the crazed world of contemporary finance we have all been waiting for. John Lanchester's superb book is everything its subject - the 2008 crash - was not: namely lucid, beautifully contrived, comprehensible to the reader with no specialist knowledge - and most of all devastatingly funny -- Will Self Original . . . beautifully written . . . both entertaining and profoundly anger-inducing * Chris Blackhurst, Evening Standard * This is what George Bernard Shaw might have called An Intelligent Person's Guide to the Crisis of Modern Capitalism, and everyone ought to read it * Robert Harris, Sunday Times *
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