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Extended Audio Sample Dear Money Audiobook, by Martha McPhee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (146 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martha McPhee Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781455197750
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In this Pygmalion tale of a novelist turned bond trader, Martha McPhee brings to life the greed and riotous wealth of New York during the heady days of the second gilded age.

India Palmer, living the cash-strapped existence of a novelist, is visiting wealthy friends in Maine when a yellow biplane swoops down from the clear blue sky to bring a stranger into her life, one who will change everything. The stranger is Win Johns, a swaggering and intellectually bored trader of mortgage-backed securities. Charmed by India’s intelligence, humor, and inquisitive nature, and aware of her near-desperate financial situation, Johns poses a proposition: “Give me eighteen months and I’ll make you a world-class bond trader.” Shedding her artist’s life with surprising ease, India embarks on a raucous ride to the top of the income chain, leveraging herself with crumbling real estate, and she never once looks back—or does she?

With a light-handed irony that is by turns as measured as Claire Messud’s and as biting as Tom Wolfe’s, Martha McPhee tells the classic American story of people reinventing themselves, unaware of the price they must pay for their transformation.

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Quotes & Awards

  •  “I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t put a book down. I read Dear Money in cars, in waiting rooms, even at a rest stop on the turnpike. I read whole passages out loud to my husband. Martha McPhee is a wickedly good social observer, a writer of beautiful, lyrical prose, and a consummate storyteller. This is a very smart novel that unpacks small surprises and pleasures on every single page.”

    Dani Shapiro, author of Black & White

  • “Martha McPhee writes with verve and uncanny insight about those recent, heady dreams of easy wealth. This New York Pygmalian story takes us beyond what we thought we knew about money and art and all their precarious alliances, in an adventure that recreates the city’s temptations, both material and idealistic. Dear Money is conceived with such cutting precision and grace, it will make readers think of a contemporary Edith Wharton, but there’s a dark mischief here too, shades of Andy Warhol. Full of beautiful, unflinching sentences, this is an uncompromising, brave, brilliant story.”

    Rene Steinke, author of Holy Skirts

  • “Wouldn’t be so funny if it didn't ring so true…India continues to engage the reader’s empathy, even affection, as she forsakes literary high-mindedness for filthy lucre.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Martha McPhee’s fourth novel wouldn’t be so funny if it didn't ring so true…McPhee has a lot of fun with a couple of archetypes—a Pygmalion transformation of the novelist into a financial high roller and a ‘city mouse/country mouse’ exchange of ambitions—but what makes this novel work so well is that India continues to engage the reader’s empathy, even affection, as she forsakes literary high-mindedness for filthy lucre.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Although no one can profess to comprehend the complexities of the current economic quagmire, McPhee dishes its jargon with all the aplomb of someone who TiVos CNBC. Delivering virulent social satire with a velvet, humanitarian touch, McPhee’s timely send-up deftly parodies the fallout from misplaced priorities.”

    Booklist

  • “McPhee plays with the notion of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ in an entertaining and ironic way.”

    Library Journal

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
  • A 2010 New York Times Editor’s Choice

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 2/4/2014

    " Interesting idea that one can just completely and totally change the direction of one's life. I liked it and I didn't like it. The writing was fine, I am not sure I bought the story/plot completely. The struggle of moving from idealistic beliefs to pragmatic choices as you age will certainly resonate with many. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda | 1/21/2014

    " I had a hard time even getting through this. Too much financial jargon, and not enough story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noreen | 1/17/2014

    " Of all the novels I've read this year about the money crisis, this is the only one that has made it even faintly comprehensible to me. And it's beautifully written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynette | 1/14/2014

    " The writing was confusing. If the author was trying to convince me that she could handle being a bond trader then all is lost. The topic was way out of her league. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyashar | 10/11/2013

    " A great parable about our times. Very clever and incisive. Would definitely recommend it. Friends who live in NYC would probably be especially struck by the world that the author describes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy | 7/19/2013

    " This was an allright book, worth finishing, though it seemed to just end abruptly. I was hoping for some more resolution to some characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela Murray | 6/4/2013

    " Beautifully written, although it was hard to feel much sympathy for a protagonist who just gets greedier and greedier. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 3/31/2013

    " Dear Money let me live my secret dream of becoming a bond trader and flashing all those paper strips on the floor of the stock exchange like in Trading Places. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JessDesq | 1/18/2013

    " faded near the end, but it was okay. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary sipp rigby | 12/15/2012

    " 2010 quick read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 9/10/2012

    " Based simply on the title, I wondered if I'd made it past page 3, but I truly liked this book. It's quite well written, and the main character grapples with an internal struggle that a lot of professional women face. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginny | 2/15/2012

    " This explores desire, greed, love, the artistic life, through the story of an author who abandons her art to become a bond trader. It explains the financial crisis and how it all happened and is still happening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Long | 11/19/2011

    " Just couldn't get into this book. The first half was slow, but okay to read, but once the second half started and all it talked about was the specifics of morgage trading, I completely lost interest! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hank Stuever | 9/17/2011

    " Moves along nicely. Narrator is hard to love. For more thoughts, visit my One-Man Book Club at my name (all one word) dot com... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tarakalsu | 8/11/2011

    " I would give this a strong 3.5 stars. Great story and great writing. Highly recommend! This woman certainly did her research! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyashar | 5/9/2011

    " A great parable about our times. Very clever and incisive. Would definitely recommend it. Friends who live in NYC would probably be especially struck by the world that the author describes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 4/7/2011

    " Based simply on the title, I wondered if I'd made it past page 3, but I truly liked this book. It's quite well written, and the main character grapples with an internal struggle that a lot of professional women face. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hank | 3/27/2011

    " Moves along nicely. Narrator is hard to love. For more thoughts, visit my One-Man Book Club at my name (all one word) dot com... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 1/14/2011

    " Just couldn't get into this book. The first half was slow, but okay to read, but once the second half started and all it talked about was the specifics of morgage trading, I completely lost interest! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 11/26/2010

    " faded near the end, but it was okay. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynette | 10/27/2010

    " The writing was confusing. If the author was trying to convince me that she could handle being a bond trader then all is lost. The topic was way out of her league. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noreen | 10/9/2010

    " Of all the novels I've read this year about the money crisis, this is the only one that has made it even faintly comprehensible to me. And it's beautifully written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 9/12/2010

    " Dear Money let me live my secret dream of becoming a bond trader and flashing all those paper strips on the floor of the stock exchange like in Trading Places. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy | 8/28/2010

    " This was an allright book, worth finishing, though it seemed to just end abruptly. I was hoping for some more resolution to some characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tarakalsu | 6/28/2010

    " I would give this a strong 3.5 stars. Great story and great writing. Highly recommend! This woman certainly did her research! "

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About the Author
Author Martha McPhee

Martha McPhee is the author of four previous novels and a finalist for the National Book Award. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker and Zoetrope. A few years ago, when a legendary bond trader claimed he could transform her into a booming Wall Street success, she toyed with the notion but wrote Dear Moneyinstead. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.