"Mergers & Acquisitions" is the story of Tommy Quinn, a recent Georgetown graduate who has just landed the job of his dreams as an investment banker at J. S. Spenser, and the perfect girl, Frances Sloan, the daughter of one of New York's oldest moneyed families. As he travels from the most exclusive ballrooms of the Racquet and Tennis Club to the stuffiest boardrooms of J. S. Spenser, from the golf links of Piping Rock to the bedrooms of Park Avenue, and from the debaucheries on the yacht of a Mexican billionaire to the Ritalin-strewn prep-school dorm of his younger brother, he finds that the job and the girl are not what they once seemed. Sharply written, fast-paced and bitingly witty, "Mergers & Acquisitions" is a compulsively readable story of Manhattan's young, ambitious and wealthy. Set against the backdrop of money, lust, power, corruption, cynicism, energy and excitement that is Wall Street, it is suffused with an authenticity that only an author who lives in that world can provide. A former investment banker at JPMorgan, Vachon offers an insider's point of view on the financial scene, and he knows the moneyed turf of Manhattan inside out.
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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 RyanAbout the Author:
Dana Vachon was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, raised in Chappaqua, New York, and graduated from Duke University - as he claims, 'cum nihil' - in 2002. After graduation, he worked as an analyst at JPMorgan. His writing has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Men's Vogue, the New York Times and Salon. He lives in New York City.
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Book Description Hutchinson Radius, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091797187