The Ego Makers

Donald Everett Axinn, Author
Donald Everett Axinn, Author Arcade Publishing $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-55970-336-9
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Purporting to take the reader behind the scenes in the high-stakes world of 1980s-style commercial real estate development in Manhattan, this tepid tale of betrayal and redemption makes that turbulent period seem as dull as an old stock report. Henry and Steve Martin, brothers and partners in a thriving development company, do not get along. Now facing financial ruin through complications in their biggest deal ever (a Manhattan skyscraper they built on spec with prices at a peak), their sibling rivalry has become dangerous. During this crisis, however, narrator Henry finds the chance to examine his life and his flaws (and perhaps get another chance at love) when he gets away from it all behind the controls of his private plane. Axinn (Spin) explains Henry's character and the brothers' relationship through heavy-handed flashbacks to events in the Martin family history. The novel's other characterizations are even less convincing, as is the rendering of the New York corporate scene. Even at their farthest-fetched, the plot twists come with too much warning to take us by surprise. (Jan.)
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