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Extended Audio Sample Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel Audiobook, by Douglas Brunt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (208 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Douglas Brunt Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781442363380
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This wryly comic, first-person fiction debut offers a withering view of life on Wall Street from the perspective of an unhappy insider who is too hooked on the money to find a way out, even as his career is ruining his marriage and corroding his soul.

It’s 2005. Nick Farmer is a thirty-five-year-old bond trader with Bear Stearns clearing seven-figures each year. The novelty of a work-related night life centering on liquor, hookers, and cocaine has long since worn thin, but Nick remains keenly addicted to his annual bonus. But the lifestyle is taking a toll on his marriage—and on him.

When a nerdy analyst approaches him with apocalyptic prognostications of where Bear’s high-flying mortgage-backed securities trading may lead, Nick is presented with the kind of ethical dilemma he’s spent a lifetime avoiding. Throw in a hot financial journalist who seems to be more interested in him than in the percolating financial Armageddon—and the prospect that his own wife may have found a new romantic interest of her own—and you have the recipe for Nick’s personal and professional implosion.

By turns hilarious and harrowing, Ghosts of Manhattan takes listeners into the rarified world of a winning but flawed character as he struggles to find the right path in a complicated urban heart of darkness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mix together Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser, and Tom Wolfe and you get novelist Doug Brunt and his modern day financier character, Nick Farmer. Faust would have a feast with so many of the people populating Farmer’s world—and you will have a literary feast devouring this book.”

    Steve Forbes, chairman, Forbes Media

  • “After the mortgage bubble burst, if you ever wondered ‘What were they thinking?’ Ghosts of Manhattan provides a thoughtful and thrilling portrait of what they were doing instead of thinking.”

    John Stossel, Fox News

  • “Awesomeness.”

    Kid Rock

  • “Douglas Brunt…is a persuasive storyteller…Reading [Ghosts of Manhattan], it is easy to understand how the worst of Wall Street came apart. But in Nick’s determination to escape his own inevitable destruction we are uplifted and find renewed hope for a cleaned-up world without Bear Stearns.”

    Forbes.com

  • “Former Internet exec Brunt offers up a savage, jaded, and comical depiction of freewheeling Wall Street bond traders during their precollapse heyday in this engaging debut…As Nick’s life, his marriage, and the US economy edge closer to meltdown, Brunt brings all the pieces together for a satisfying climax to this compulsively readable novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With his noir-ish debut novel, former broker (and spouse of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly) Brunt delves not just into the mechanics of the financial crash but also the mindset that created the explosive state of affairs…A smart shot at the absurdity of Wall Street and the long fall that brought us all down.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/18/2014

    " page turner. read it in two days. fun, interesting look at life on the bond-trading desk from POV of more down-to-earth Sherman McCoy. I look forward to his next title. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry Mann | 2/4/2014

    " great read and a lot of fun to read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Welton | 1/23/2014

    " This is a quick, enjoyable read, but I found Nick's relationship with his wife unbelievable. Julia seemed to accept his big drinking/drug problem without any mention. Seems she could have been more involved with his career and problems. He seemed alone, unwilling to discuss with her as his troubles grew. Good read, but started losing me second half. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martha | 1/23/2014

    " Disappointing read Characters were shallow with little or no ethics. If all the players on wall street do after work is drink and snort cocaine we are in serious trouble. I really wanted to like the book as I had heard good things but just couldn't "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Buike | 1/18/2014

    " The author dives into a gritty portrayal of the Wall Street glory days shortly before its collapse into our current recession in this interesting book. Sex, drugs, and greed become the everyday norm in a world where money flows freely and denial runs rampant - until someone finally dares to blow the whistle. The characters are all caught up in this surreal world, yet you still get glimpses of humanity that are very raw and very real. It's ultimately a novel about choices, and the impacts those choices make on the guilty and innocent alike. A brilliant read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorna | 1/2/2014

    " Was really torn between 3 and 4 stars. I ended up giving 4 because the author deserves it. Easy, fun and well written with characters that are caricatures of themselves. Shallow, super rich, over indulged people you would not want to be friends with. Enjoyable read though---hypocritical, I know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marge | 12/18/2013

    " Really good. Loved the current theme about Wall Street "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anthony Faber | 12/6/2013

    " Not a good novel. The characters were implausible and the action contrived. If you want an insider look at Wall Street, you're better off reading Michael Lewis' "Liar's Poker" or Frank Partnoy's "F.I.A.S.C.O." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 10/1/2013

    " This was a good first book for Brunt. It was not one of those thriller-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of books, but it did give a good picture (at least I assume so) of the lifestyle of the wall street gang. I did like the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamlyn | 7/28/2013

    " This was good. Witty and honest story about a guy addicted to life on Wall Street and the price it costs in his personal life. Just goes to show you that cocaine, hookers and million dollar bonuses are not all they're cracked up to be! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clara | 7/27/2013

    " Very slow to start, but it did get better. I could almost feel sorry for the guy before the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Burt | 7/14/2013

    " A good first book and even though it was fiction I learned more than I wanted to know about Wall Street traders. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angela Carroll | 6/10/2013

    " Very light read - weak story. Some of the details around insecurity and yuppie conversations were comical but no new Wall Street insights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Popper | 3/20/2013

    " This was no Bonfire of the Vanities, but it definitely gives the reader a sense of time and place and it was a fun, quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeannette | 1/6/2013

    " It was an okay read but I find it hard to believe that life on Wall Street is as described. Maybe, but pretty disgusting if true. "

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About the Author

Douglas Brunt was CEO of Authentium, Inc., an Internet security company, until 2011. He now writes full time. A Philadelphia native, he lives in New York with his wife and their two children.

About the Narrator

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.