Boomerang

  • by Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by Dylan Baker
  • 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour, Michael Lewis' brilliant tragi-comic romp across post-crash Europe. Read by the actor Dylan Baker.
Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in The Big Short, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn't begun to get grips with the full story. How exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke are we really? Boomerang is a tragi-comic romp across Europe, in which Lewis gives full vent to his storytelling genius. The cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge.
Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack. The Irish wanted to stop being Irish. The Germans wanted to be even more German. Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles across Europe is brilliantly, sadly hilarious. He also turns a merciless eye on America: on California, the epicentre of world consumption, where we see that a final reckoning awaits the most avaricious of nations too. This is the ultimate book of our times. It's time to brace ourselves for impact. And, with Michael Lewis, to laugh out loud while we're doing it.

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What the Critics Say

"Fascinating... the book could not be more timely...a sharp-edged narrative that leaves readers with a visceral understanding of the fiscal recklessness that lies behind today's headlines." (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
"Lewis is the finest storyteller of our generation." (Malcolm Gladwell)
"He is so good everyone else may as well pack up." (Evening Standard)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Europeans and Greeks... take note

What made the experience of listening to Boomerang the most enjoyable?

the story and the way put together by the author. They guy has visited the places he writes about it and has talked to the players. the way it is written is funny (although the topic isn't.... at all).


Who was your favorite character and why?

The Dallas hedge fund manager. It saw that the global financial system was rotten and had the balls to bet against it


What about Dylan Baker’s performance did you like?

Good "coloured" narration as opposed to flat text reading. .


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- P.D.TZEREFOS

Very good until the final part

There are absolutely several laugh-out-loud moments in this book. The best part is, without doubt, Michael Lewis's (ML) description of Iceland and its travails as the "investment banking nation". When he describes the difficulties of Alcoa, engaged in opening an Aluminium smelting plant in Iceland, first having to certify that the development site is not inhabited by "the hidden people" (aka Elves) -- it is indescribable. But underlying this is ML's usual depth and curiosity. His description of how Iceland developed its fishing industry into a vast money-making enterprise is succinct and thought-provoking.

It is ML's ability to be acerbic, but not nasty that is really at the core of his talent. The Icelanders acted like amazing idiots, seeing themselves as being somehow amazingly talented and capable, when in fact they were more like eleven year-olds given the keys to Daddy's Cadillac. Yet at the end of his tale-telling, one feels both sympathy for the Icelanders, and a slightly rueful sense that maybe we have all been Icelanders a little bit this past decade.

Then you get to the end of the book, and things take a bit of a nose-dive. ML is quite weak when he comes to ascribing causes to what happened in the GFC. His line throughout the book was that the GFC resulted from people being given a great deal of money that they could spend "with nobody looking". That doesn't ring true to me. And in the final section of the book, where ML takes up theories that the behaviour was triggered by our "lizard brain" and so forth ... well, really. I think there are better analyses than that.

The narrator, Dylan Baker, is quite good, managing to strike an even balance between the underlying humour of the writing, and ML's more serious intent -- to make something truly unbelievable more accessible. It remains just a little too mannered for me, but it seems that perhaps the majority of Audible users like this "storytime" style of delivery, rather than a more simple narration. (If you want to hear good, simple narration, listen to Audible's version of Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia", which remains my favourite Audible book.)

(Note: I'm not British, but I live in a Commonwealth country, and I believe in the protection and preservation of the humble "u". It is very 17th C., I realise, but we could use a bit of the 17th C. today.) [Modern readers can imagine the insertion of one of those bizarre "happy faces" at this point.]
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- THOMAS

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd