Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile, written by Geraint Anderson, is reviewed by Steve Crotty.
Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile
Written by Geraint Anderson
Headline Publishing Group
Review by Steve Crotty
If you’ve ever done anything in the last few years you will be aware of the fact that the economy is in a spot of trouble at the moment. Rather than seeming to want to fix it, governments and banks across the world are at loggerheads with each other trying to ascertain whose fault it was, which is exactly how school children would deal with such a scenario. Geraint Anderson attempts to cut through all the hyperbole and point the finger squarely at the bankers.
Anderson is certainly qualified to give a frank assessment of the financial district and its inhabitants; he was one for many years before writing this damning indictment. He talks candidly and openly about the corruption that emanates from the City, a corruption that manufactures itself onto the personalities of the people that work there. Here his bile is fully unleashed (and you suspect a large part is aimed at himself), as he depicts the vile, hedonistic ego-centric lifestyles the bankers lead. Indeed, if the athletic and dumb held all the power at school, Geraint portrays bankers as the new brash alpha males, flaunting their wealth as much as their vapidity. At one point they are wasting thousands on cocaine and prostitutes, the next they are making key decisions which affect markets around the globe.
The book falls down somewhat because of the manner of character it is dealing with. The lead character, Steve Jones, is not someone anyone can warm to because he is meant to be a colossal twat. Attempts to portray him as an individual in a sea of monochrome persist throughout the book, Steve taking trips to India to find raves located deep within the jungle or contemplating deeper meaning in his work. The end result however is still a character you don’t really care about, and a story that never really gets going as a result. Though this may shock and appal some (and make others nod in silent knowing), as a story it fails to deliver.