The Mark and the Void

The Mark and the Void

Book - 2015
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"Impossibly ingenious, unabashedly intelligent, read-the-whole-page-again funny and engaged with the great questions of our times... [This] is the answer to the question of what a seriously talented contemporary novelist should be writing." Observer A comic masterpiece about love, art, greed and the banking crisis, from the author of Skippy Dies What links the Investment Bank of Torabundo, (yes, hots with an s, don't ask), an art heist, a novel called For the Love of a Clown, a four-year-old boy named after TV detective Remington Steele, a lonely French banker, a tiny Pacific island, and a pest control business run by an ex-KGB man? You guessed it . . . The Mark and the Void is Paul Murray's madcap new novel of institutional folly, following the success of his wildly original breakout hit, Skippy Dies. While marooned at his banking job in the bewilderingly damp and insular realm known as Ireland, Claude Martingale is approached by a down-on-his-luck author, Paul, looking for his next great subject. Claude finds that his life gets steadily more exciting under Paul's fictionalizing influence; he even falls in love with a beautiful waitress. But Paul's plan is not what it seems-and neither is Claude's employer, the Bank of Torabundo, which inflates through dodgy takeovers and derivatives-trading until-well, you can probably guess how that shakes out. The Mark and the Void is a stirring examination of the deceptions carried out in the names of art, love and commerce - and is also probably the funniest novel ever written about a financial crisis.
Publisher: [London] : Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2015.
ISBN: 9780241146668
Branch Call Number: FIC Murra
Characteristics: 458 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 11, 2018

I enjoyed the book but persisted through the slower beginning. I became caught up in the main character who is initially very elusive but his motivations and actions are interesting and credible. Insight into the banking industry was fascinating and I found the book clever and funny.

Nov 23, 2015

A very cleverly written novel satirising the power of banks, the financial crash of 2008, the ensuing bailout of the banks etc. The main two characters I found a little irritating at times.Great subtle humour. A knowledge of the topics certainly helps in noticing the more nuanced sideswipes at the whole cabal of international banks.

Chapel_Hill_MeeghanR Nov 19, 2015

A rich, layered look at modern malaise, banking, damp climates, tropical islands, and lap dancing - among other things. The improbable plot and sprawling cast of characters are all over the place- pathetic, hysterical, sympathetic, and disgusting. A long read enjoyed on many levels.

Nov 17, 2015

Slow moving, appeals to intellect and all that but I gave up on pg 100, (not The Buy Side in other words). Book jacket called it "madcap", I found it anything but.

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