Traders

William Brashler, Author
William Brashler, Author Atheneum Books $18.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-689-12051-0
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
This fast-paced melodrama about the Chicago stock exchange--specifically, its volatile futures market--bristles with authentic details of the frenzied trading pits. Brashler, novelist ( The Chosen Prey ), former Wall Street Journal reporter and former employee of a Chicago trading firm, shows an easy familiarity with the manic-depressive commodities market and the traders who make or lose big fortunes on it. It's a shame that his heroine, idealistic Joanie Yff (pronounced ``if''), a hairdresser from Florida turned floor trader-with-a-heart-of-gold, is so lackluster a character, despite an attempt to cast her as a feminist heroine. More interesting are her rotten boss Ken Korngold, a megabucks soybean dealer who seeks revenge after their brief affair turns sour, and his mixed-up, rebellious teenaged daughter Rachel. When Brian Boyer, a babyfaced gofer, commits suicide after an unauthorized trading scheme goes awry, a series of shady deals and back-stabbing maneuvers unfolds. The impression left by this morality tale is that the high- stakes futures game brings out the worst instincts and behavior in people who might be a lot more pleasant if they had different careers. 60,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo. (June)
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