Bombardiers:: A Novel of Business

Po Bronson, Author Random House (NY) $22 (319p) ISBN 978-0-679-43541-9
The ``bombardiers'' are the bond traders for the San Francisco-based Atlantic Pacific Corporation, a madcap crew shrewdly observed in Bronson's bitingly satiric first novel. Chief among these cynical, inbred, often self-loathing but highly paid white-collar worker ants is anti-hero Sid Geeder, an ``old man'' at 34, enraged at his meaningless work and existence. Snapping at Sid's heels is the puppy-like Eggs Igino, the trader of the future, boyish, seemingly dependable, sneakily ruthless (in one amusing spar, Eggs tries to get Sid to swap insider information in exchange for clues to the procurement of an elusive strawberry danish). Around them whirl the others, including hard-bitten Coyote Jack, gorgeous Lisa Lisa, pathetic Nickel Sansome, all of them driven relentlessly and absurdly by the cocaine-like high of easy money. Around their frantic and inconclusive relationships, which Bronson delineates with verve, are woven an episodic plot concerning the bombardiers' manipulation of Eastern European and Caribbean affairs and a quiltwork of trenchant observations about the financial world: ``The financial markets had replaced elections as the barometer of the country's mood''; ``the information economy was a Ponzi scheme spiralling out of control.'' These clever and abundant maxims, however, fail to compensate for a lack of subtlety in the evolution of the characters, who often seem more marionettes of the author's satire than living entities. Still, Bronson writes with panache, and while his novel finally lacks the depth of feeling that can distinguish a great satire like Catch-22, it's a witty and cutting send-up that marks him as a writer with a likely big and bright future. Author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17337-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-14-025450-1
Hardcover - 319 pages - 978-0-7881-5047-0
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