With money comes opportunities; both opportunities and money have the power to change you. Whether those opportunities is a better life or a life filled with issues is dependent on each person. Surrounded by ruthless Wall Street types and a certain lifestyle expectation, the consequences compound quickly for the protagonist of Robert Goolrick’s The Fall of Princes.
Doors open to the group of Wall Street investors in 1980s Manhattan and they live in the lap of luxury, able t have whatever and whoever they want. But the old adage that all that glimmers is not gold is slowly realized to be true as these men begin to fall from the social graces they become accustom to and take advantage of. Following Rooney/Billy Champagne/unnamed narrator, readers are treated to a view of the life of excess experienced by an elite selection of young investors at The Firm and the subsequent lows that came from their extraordinary habits.
In its essence, it felt like a contemporary version of Nick Carraway’s narration of the moneyed life of excess in The Great Gatsby; I am, however, wary to make a comparison like this to such a classic (and oft misinterpreted) work as it has the potential to belittle each respective work. There were some typographical and typesetting/layout issues present in this ARC that could have been tightened up to improve the impression of quality of the editing and book as a whole. Readers never truly get the narrator’s name and only whatever others call him and what he chooses to call his persona. This anonymity is an interesting aspect to make him everyone and no one all at once. The voice of the narrator was honest and acknowledged the horrific things that people can and will do for and with money, which makes him a more sympathetic character. There is nice book-ending or paralleling crafted with the story’s imagery at the beginning and end. The narrative falls in line with many other Wall Street stories, reminiscent of films of years past and the story serves as a form of time capsule of the 80s lifestyle of the wealthy elite.
Overall, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.