A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism by Peter Mountford

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Synopsis

On his first assignment for a rapacious hedge fund, Gabriel embarks to Bolivia at the end of 2005 to ferret out insider information about the plans of the controversial president-elect. If Gabriel succeeds, he will get a bonus that would make him secure for life. Standing in his way are his headstrong mother, herself a survivor of Pinochet’s Chile, and Gabriel’s new love interest, the president’s passionate press liaison. Caught in a growing web of lies and questioning his own role in profiting from an impoverished people, Gabriel sets in motion a terrifying plan that could cost him the love of all those he holds dear.

In the tradition of Martin Amis, Joshua Ferris, and Sam Lipsyte—set against the stunning mountainous backdrop of La Paz and interspersed with Bolivia’s sad history of stubborn survival—Peter Mountford examines the critical choices a young man makes as his world closes in on him.

 

About Peter Mountford

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While writing about economics in Ecuador for a nonprofit think tank, Peter Mountford noticed his byline read "senior associate" for a hedge fund he'd never heard of. It turned out the think tank was running the hedge fund out of its back office-inspiration for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism. Mountford has lived in Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles, as well as Scotland, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and Southern Mexico. His fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices 2008, Boston Review, and Conjunctions.
 
Published April 12, 2011 by Mariner Books. 308 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism

Kirkus Reviews

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In Mountford's debut, set in mid-last-decade Bolivia, a young man posing as a freelance journalist tries to unearth insider information for a hedge fund while negotiating political and financial intricacies (nimbly) and moral shoals (less so).

Apr 12 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

The Wall Street Journal

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Add this to the signs of the world's vanishing respect for financial institutions: In novels, bankers don't even make good villains anymore.

Apr 09 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

NPR

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Oscar Velazquez—Calloway's analyst for the wealthier Latin American countries, and Gabriel's first interviewer—had said she was thirty-seven, which would make her ten years Gabriel's senior, but she looked like a child.

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Star Tribune

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Mountford's powerful novel avoids easy judgments as it explores how money can take over one's life.

Apr 16 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Christian Science Monitor

The seduction began to wane in 2008 when Wall Street collapsed, but the aura of that brief, bountiful era lives on in Peter Mountford’s new novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism.

Apr 20 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

NJ.com

It is in this oxygen-deprived town that Peter Mountford chooses to set his morality play, where ambitious men and women bearing BlackBerrys, laptops and cell phones mingle in the bullet-pocked plazas with beggars and shoeshine boys, all of them dodging the bullets and tear gas of the police and m...

Apr 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Peter Mountford EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: More money stories: The Financial Lives of Poets by Jesse Walter Das Kapital: a novel of love and money markets by Viken Berberian

Apr 12 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Bookmarks Magazine

In the tradition of Martin Amis, Joshua Ferris, and Sam Lipsyte—set against the stunning mountainous backdrop of La Paz and interspersed with Bolivia's sad history of stubborn survival—Peter Mountford examines the critical choices a young man makes as his world closes in on ...

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Fiction Writers Review

Blog (339) Anne Stameshkin (299) Celeste Ng (264) writers on writing (255) novel (220) Review (176) short stories (171) debut novel (157) Book of the Week (155) craft (134) Lee Thomas (117) lit and tech (111) recommended reading (109) FWR news (103) publishing (102) debut story collection (100) i...

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Fiction Writers Review

Gabriel de Boya finds himself in Bolivia on the eve of the historic 2004 election, just as Evo Morales takes the lead and looks to be the nation’s first indigenous president.

Apr 20 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Time Out Chicago

Blessed with such fortune, Gabriel is both hero and villain, duplicitously awash in the moral ambiguity of capitalism.

Apr 20 2011 | Read Full Review of A Young Man's Guide to Late C...

Tottenville Review

David Shields, usually no fan of fiction, said that the book “is, quite simply, one of the most compelling and thought-provoking novels I’ve read in years.” Jess Walters compared it to Graham Greene, writing, “A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is a terrific debut novel—smart, moving, beautif...

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