Review published on July 1, 2016.
I found the themes and ideas of this book interesting – the world of investments in the “boom” years, the “loveable rogue, Del Boy” conman and the potential links of their morality and honesty – which is the real criminal? However, as an overall read, I found it slightly disappointing.
I found the character of Eck to be rather bland, and had difficulty sympathising with him. Harriet, his “love interest” was, I felt, underused and could have played a larger role in the story. Charlie Summers, I loved, but, like the character, he had a habit of disappearing – I would have loved the book to centre more on him. As a taster of the world of finance, encouraging people to mortgage their homes to invest in “surefire, can’t lose” schemes and then the realisation that all may not be as safe and secure as promised, it was a good idea, but I felt that it was underdeveloped and it left me feeling disappointed.
It was well enough written, and the characters were adequately outlined – I just felt that they could have been used more. Still, it’s only my personal opinion and there were the bones of a good novel in there. I felt like my investment, and the anticipation of great rewards, fell short of what I had hoped to gain. Maybe it was “greed” to expect too much.
The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers by Paul Torday
W&N pbk 2010
A LIFE’S WORK: The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers by Paul Torday