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Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Boomerang by Michael Lewis

Title: Boomerang
Author: Michael Lewis
Format: Hardback
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Publish Date: October 3, 2011
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You want more non-fiction in your literary diet.
  • You want an interesting read about current events.
What's the Story?:

From " The tsunami of 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 at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations."

My Two Cents:

I know there are a lot of people out there who are just not big fans of non-fiction and there are probably even less fans of books about economics. I still will urge you to read this book. This is the first Michael Lewis book that I've read but I know that I will be reading more in the future. He is also the author of The Blind Side (I love that movie so much), Moneyball, and The Big Short (apparently Boomerang was the product of some of the research that he did while he was researching and writing The Big Short).

Lewis looks at four countries that have been affected by the worldwide financial crisis over the past few years. There is Iceland, a small country who has been one of the most devastated countries throught this whole ordeal, mostly by their own hand. Greece, who is in the middle of fighting EU austerity measures. Germany, who has stepped in to be a sort of parental figure in trying to make sure that the other EU countries behave (the chapters about Germany made me laugh out loud. Seriously. You don't usually get that in a book about economics). Then there is the United States, which had so much that everyone took it for granted. All of the countries have handled

Lewis has a fantastic way of making information that can seem sort of complicated on the surface accessible to those that don't usually dwell in the world of economics. I think that because of his background in journalism, he knows how to write in order to appeal to a very broad range of people. Also, he's not an economist himself so he does a very good job of explaining things in layman's terms. While I personally am very interested in economics and got a lot out of this book, I think that those who may be a little iffy on the subject will definitely get a lot out of this book as well.

Bottom line: This is a great, easy to read book about a very important subject.



  1. I hated economics in college, but I have been fascinated by books about the financial crisis and have been looking for more. I'm so glad I read your review because I'm definitely interested in this book (and also in The Big short which I just looked up and read about as well). I never considered how much this affected the rest of the world!

    1. I still need to read The Big Short. My husband read it and loved it!

  2. I like a good nonfiction book every once in a while and this one sounds really interesting. The whole financial crisis has been such a disaster that really effects all of us and I would like to read more about it.

    1. It was so interesting and also a little scary to see how different countries are handling things.


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