The Arriviste

James Wallenstein. Milkweed, $16 trade paper (308p) ISBN 978-1-57131-084-2
Set in New York City, 1970, Wallenstein's debut follows investment firm partner Neil Fox, whose life, despite his formidable wealth, is in shambles. Following the death of his 11-year-old son, nearly 10 years before, his marriage has been slowly disintegrating while his relationship with his daughter, Vicky, 17, unravels. When young, successful, has-it-all Bud Younger moves next door, Neil's misery escalates, especially after Neil's brother, Mickey, involves him in an offshore business partnership with Bud. Neil now holds the deed to Bud's home and is getting involved with the enigmatic Cecilia, a woman he meets at Bud's party and who may be Bud's mistress. Money, family, and social status, but especially money, take center stage as the complex, well-drawn characters circle each other on their way down the proverbial drain. The story takes hold early on and Neil, immoral and greedy, inspires affection. While money seems the focus, more than that, Wallenstein is addressing the human condition and how money, as the old song goes, "makes the world go round". (June)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 313 pages - 978-1-57131-835-0
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