A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism
Having just been hired as an equities analyst by a notoriously rapacious hedge fund, the Fallon Group, 27-year-old Gabriel Francisco de Boya embarks on his first assignment in the field. Set entirely in La Paz at the end of 2005, when Bolivian people are electing their current president, Evo Morales, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism charts Gabriel’s attempts to generate profit from the country’s political transformation. In the face of fantastic financial incentives, he’s forced to confront his doubts about the ethical implications of the work he’s doing; he maintains a complex growing series of lies, including ones he tell to Morales's press liaison, Lenka Villarobles, with whom he has fallen in love.
A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is a look inside the often-misunderstood world of high finance and a thorough going exploration of ambition and class and the cash nexus of the unfettered free-market.
Winner of the 2012 Washington State Book Award in Fiction, and finalist for the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism was also named a best book of the year by The Seattle Times, The Nervous Breakdown (as a winner of a 2011 "Nobbie"), Crosscut, Culture Mob, and elsewhere.
Campanario Entertainment is developing A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism as a television show, and the book was also adapted as a radio-drama in Germany.
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Reviews for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism
"This is Mountford’s triumph: he has created a commentary on contemporary economics that is as moving and genuine as it is biting and satirical...A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism will be remembered as a touchstone work of the Era of Twenty-First Century Economic Crises."
-Raphaela Weissman for Bookslut
"Compulsively readable...Daringly allegorical and written with apt understatement, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism appears as a Trojan horse within the realm of contemporary literary fiction. Mountford has the courage to depict a world in which personal lives aren't really that personal."
-Chris Kraus in The Los Angeles Review of Books
"Debut novels don't come much savvier, punchier, or more entertaining than [A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism...]
-Michael Upchurch in The Seattle Times
-Jessica Loudis for NPR.ORG
"What a miraculous thing
Mountford has done. Gabriel is right on both counts. And wrong. That
polarity crackles in the heart of this novel, which is neither afraid to
feel deep sympathy for its tragic protagonist nor hesitant to judge him
-Alexander Yates in The Kenyon Review
"Mountford's powerful novel avoids easy judgements as it explores how money can take over one's life."
Mark Athitakis in Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"In this dazzling debut novel, Mountford displays a gift for characterization and a sure-footed grasp of financial matters that enable him to guide a reader nimbly through the arcane vernacular of Wall Street."
his powerfully-written, quick-paced, and timely debut, Mountford shines
a hard light on today’s frantic financial amphitheater—a place where
morality is secondary to making a dollar and large companies can
sabotage entire countries."
-Greg Brown in The Rumpus
"This is quite simply one of the smartest and most readable debuts I’ve come across in years. Mountford is a writer who rolls up his sleeves and digs into the zeitgeist all the way up to his elbows. He’s fearless in his depiction of world leaders, global events, and the oft-ignored gray areas between morality and success."
-Tyler McMahon for Fiction Writers Review
"Peter Mountford’s debut novel speeds off, down the crowded streets of La Paz. If Graham Greene and Gordon Gekko collaborated on a South American travelogue, it would go something like this...It turns out 'international markets and their political underpinnings' can be fun to read about, after all."
novel is a latter-day Graham Greene adventure, where a young
protagonist in a foreign land becomes deeply embroiled in financial
(instead of Greene's political) espionage, and must make decisions that
will affect the course of his own life as well as his host nation's.
This novel won great reviews, but may have slipped under your radar on
its release in May of 2011."
See reader's reviews on Goodreads.
Advance Praise for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism:
Mountford’s striking debut novel is a smart and entertaining book. Set
near the peak of the financial bubble in 2005, the book charts the story
of a young financial journalist, Gabriel de Boya, recently hired as an
analyst for a notoriously unscrupulous hedge fund. Gabriel’s first
mission is a test of his abilities: go to Bolivia and find a way to
profit from the Bolivian presidential election. In Gabriel, Mountford
creates a complex, charismatic, and engaging character, a chameleon who
works himself into increasingly precarious positions as his mission is
both facilitated and complicated by his love affair with the Bolivian
president-elect’s press liaison.
In Mountford's novel, the stakes of international finance and the personal lives of those involved intersect in a beautifully drawn Bolivia. A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism accomplishes that rare trick of being a book of ideas and politics while remaining, at its core, a profoundly intimate, character-driven story and a tremendously good read.
I highly recommend this captivating debut novel by a remarkably promising young writer."
- Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain in a guest author review for Amazon.com
"A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is a terrific debut novel—smart, moving, beautifully written. Peter Mountford's parable of the voracious global economy reminded me of Graham Greene's The Quiet American in its clear-eyed depiction of the realpolitik of our age."
- Jess Walter, author of The Financial Lives of Poets and The Zero
"A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is, quite simply, one of the most compelling and thought-provoking novels I’ve read in years. It’s extraordinarily vivid, populated by characters whose fates I cared about desperately, beautifully written, timely beyond measure, but above all it conveys—with impressive precision and nuance—how we are vectors on the grid of global capital; how difficult it is to even attempt to be an authentic, let alone admirable, human being when we are, first and last, cash flow."
- David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead
"Peter Mountford, in his amazing debut as a novelist, has updated the gilded myth of Wall Street swashbucklers in expensive suits and spun it out into the world in a hellbent tale, dramatizing the contorted rationalizations practiced by the financial elite to justify their self-delusion. Forget fame, respect, making the world a better place. Transcend the craving for money by acquiring a truckload of it. Buddha as a hedge fund operator, reallocating soullessness throughout the system."
- Bob Shacochis, author of Swimming in the Volcano, and The Next New World
"A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism is a brilliant debut novel, one that is generous in giving readers an original cast of vividly-drawn and unforgettable characters, learned in its knowledge of the interwoven worlds of finance and politics, sexy, and thoroughly cosmopolitan. Peter Mountford is easily one of the most gifted and skillful young writers, already accomplished, I have had the pleasure of reading in many years."
- Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage and Dreamer
"In his debut novel, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism, Peter Mountford has something important to say about the ambiguous moral ground where the personal meets the political. He has experience and sophistication beyond his years and is well-positioned to mine this vein. This novel is worth your time and attention."
- David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars
"Peter Mountford’s A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is a sharp, funny and terrifying novel—in a world so much like our own (part of the terror: it may, in fact, be our world), Gabriel’s actions and the reactions of those around him caused me to wonder, again and again: how do I wish to live in this world, and what latitude might I find?"
- Peter Rock, author of My Abandonment
Watch the trailer for A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism by COS Productions