Picks and Pans Review: Sex & Money
First, let the buyer beware: There's a lot more about money in this nonfiction book than there is about sex. Second, it's okay, because Sex & Moneys mostly hilarious. Spooner, a Boston stockbroker and author of six other books, is a relaxed raconteur. He makes one of the most boring subjects in the world—investing in Wall Street—seem lively because he writes about people. And what people! Among those who share his brokerage office is a chronic womanizer, Paul the Bachelor, who manages to come away after each romance with the woman's—and her parents'—business. Jane the Impaler—so named for the spike on which she slams stock orders and for her general aggressiveness—is on her way to the top, and heaven help anyone in her way. Herbert the Big Hitter is a man who is brilliantly successful because he knows when to get out. In New York the author has an encounter with an investment banker of rare insight, Fast Jerry, a high school classmate who wants to be named "Most Successful" at their 25th reunion. Spooner punctuates his vignettes of dozens of colorful characters with what, in his profession, passes for wisdom: "The market is an Alice-in-Wonderland business. It really has nothing at all to do with housing starts, money supply, auto sales or interest rates. It has to do with emotions. The people who are the most successful investors are the people who are good at predicting human behavior patterns." Spooner says he gets his best stock tips from a leprechaun he traps in a parking garage—an indication of how seriously the reader should take all this. This book is fun because it really isn't about sex or money. It's about greedy people, and they are as entertaining a crowd of real-life eccentrics as has ever been collected between covers. (Houghton Mifflin, $15.95)
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