Magazine article The Spectator

A Year of Living Dangerously

Magazine article The Spectator

A Year of Living Dangerously

Article excerpt

GROSS MISCONDUCT

by Venetia Thompson

Pocket Books, £7.99, pp. 280,

ISBN 9781847397706

£6.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655

After 14 months working as an inter-dealer bond broker, posh totty Thompson was fired in February 2008 for gross misconduct.

Her crime? Writing a warts-and-all article of the broking industry which was published in The Spectator. Enjoyment of this memoir (basically an extension of that original piece) will, I suspect, depend on either an underlying interest in the technicalities of Collateralised Debt Obligations, or an ability to stomach anecdotes about vomiting.

It's a macho tale, choppily told, of lapdancing clubs, benders at Nobu, prescription drugs, and c-bombing (it's a See You Next Tuesday thing). Unsurprisingly, the unintended subtext of this story is more compelling. What purports to be an expose of a flawed industry becomes a chilling depiction of a woman in free-fall. Thompson spends lots of time trying not to cry, and then bemoaning 'the fuckers' who won't cut her any slack. She drinks to be accepted, to compete, to trade, to forget the failed trades, to relax at 4am, and to function again three hours later. Her eventual arrival at A&E with a severe kidney infection is not exactly a plot twist. …

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