Liar’s Poker

Lewis, Michael. Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

For some reason people can’t bring up Liar’s Poker without mentioning Bonfire of the Vanities as well. It’s almost as if Liar’s Poker is the nonfiction counterpart to the fictional Bonfire of the Vanities. Yes, they are both about the innards of life on Wall Street in the mid 80s, but one could stand without the attachment of the other and still be entertaining.
Michael Lewis retraces his beginnings with Salomon Brothers, first as a bright eyed trainee, then as a bond salesman. It is his knack for writing that makes Liar’s Poker such a treat to read. It is bitingly funny, wicked and fun. My favorite part is about the new guy, so nervous about his first day on the job that he does nothing but ride the elevator up and down until he has the courage to finally get off, exit the building and disappear forever.

Line I liked, “In the midst of the hysteria I was suitably hysterical” (p 25).

Reason read: July is job fair month. What better way to honor it than with one of the best business books out there?

Author fact: I find this really interesting. According to the author page of Liar’s Poker Lewis was at one time “a tour guide for teen-aged girls in Europe.” Hmmm…interesting. How does that work?

Book trivia: Liar’s Poker was a best seller and was made into a movie in which Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a part.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “BBB: Better Business Books” (p 33).



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