book review: The Fall of Princes

fall of princes

The Fall of Princes By Robert Goolrick
Algonquin Books| August 25, 2015|304pages |$25.95| ISBN: 978-1-61620-420-4

Rating: ****/5*

“That’s when you retire, they reply with that bland smile. When you reach the age of forty, or your portfolio reaches forty million. That’s when you get away clean and get your life back. What’s left of it.”

Full of attitude and 80s excess similar to Bright Lights, Big City, Bonfire of the Vanities and the recent film The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s a riches to rags story told in riveting, unapologetic semi-autobiographical style by Robert Goolrick. During the 80s, Wall Street reigned with money and power. Alongside the wealth were excessive drug use, partying and sexism. Rooney worked on Wall Street in his 30s and hung with a hotshot gang. When he suddenly loses his job, he loses everything including his sense of self and his marriage. Rooney recalls: “When it came time to fire me, it took our man behind Napoleon’s desk, three people from HR, my immediate supervisor, and four lawyers.” He finds himself on the outside and working at a bookstore. He looks back with a bit of remorse and plenty of bravado [“Forgive me for thinking that I was better than you will ever be. Forgive me for thinking equaled a kind of moral superiority.”] in an honest and raw manner. A dizzily addictive read with every word and every page fueled by events that only could happen among the immensely wealthy with loose moral standards, endless pockets and a hunger for everything pleasurable.

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Algonquin Books.

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