Book Review – Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

 

I just finished reading Boomerang and for the most part, enjoyed it. The book is funny (considering the dire subject, this is remarkable) well written and extremely informative. No surprise since Michael Lewis IS the man. I just love his Vanity Fair pieces on finance. Lewis has written extensively about the crisis in that publication. Anyhow, the subject matter is complex yet Mr. Lewis does a great job of simplifying it while still making it readable for those of us not interested in matters being dumbed down for them. Boomerang has a great rhythm, up until the last chapter. The way that Mr. Lewis has set up the book is brilliant, each chapter exploring in detail a specific European country and the way in which their cultural ways easily enabled them to become victims of this horrible mess threatening the Union. Mr. Lewis sets things up so that they flow from culture to culture and it is just brilliant reading…and then the last chapter  happens. It’s an exploration of California’s current economic with a little Arnold thrown in for good measure…It does not work for me.  I wanted to hear more about Europe, maybe another  chapter on Portugal or Spain….To me, it felt as if the writer was rushed by the publisher to get the book out, given the current happenings in Greece. It would have been a smoother finish if a better bridge chapter about the U.S. shenanigans had been written versus just plugging in an old article.  I still highly recommend this book.

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