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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Present Value by Sabin Willett

Present Value is a novel about a lot of things. It's about corporations, accountants, lawyers, Blackberries, CEO's, Wall Street, bankruptcy, ethics or lack of them, politicians, marriage, family, parenthood, economics -- all the entities that make up society as a whole and our lives as individuals within this structure. It is the story of Fritz Brubaker who works for a company that makes video games and sells toys. He is an accountant for this company, but he's not a traditional team player. He's simply good at his job, able to offer wise advice when consulted for it, and the last thing he expects is to become caught up in a huge financial problem within his corporation which will ultimately affect the course of his life dramatically.

Image of Present Value Sabin Willett also writes more personally about Fritz Brubaker's family. Fritz has a wife (a partner in a law firm), a son (who has some problems at school), and a daughter (who is growing up and growing away from her father). Fritz's family seems to have broken down into 4 individuals each going their separate ways. They share almost nothing as a family, and while none of them is happy, no one will take the time to figure out what's happening to them or how it might be resolved.

I loved this book. In fact, I felt like Willett wrote it especially for me since so many of the thoughts and opinions he writes about mirror my own. I loved the parts about Wall Street and big Corporations that are run by executives who haven't got the faintest clue what they're doing. And the sections on politics and the self-important blow hards who make up committees which say they're going to investigate one thing or another and then waste most of the time grandstanding with self-serving speeches bearing no relationship whasoever to the issues at hand.

Having read Blood On The Street and The Smartest Guys In The Room, it was very entertaining to me to read a novel that took the ingredients dissected in those non-fiction books and made a novel of them. I know I will reread this book at some point. It was too good to let one read through be enough.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes novels about what life is really all about in today's society.

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