Adam Haslett's debut novel, Union Atlantic, is a mini Tom Wolfe novel-- like Bonfire of the Vanities or The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test or A Man in Full or Charlotte Simmons, it opens the door to a world with which most people are unfamiliar and lets us all the way in, and though there were paragraphs on short selling and margins and future contracts and the Fed that took every brain cell for me to understand (I had to remember everything I learned from reading House of Cards and The Big Short) the book was also a page turner with excellent scenes and characters, ranging from the Persian Gulf to a batty old history teacher and her two dogs (who she imagined spoke to her in the voices of Cotton Mather and Malcolm X) to the lives of the rich slacker high school kids in Finden, the town Haslett chooses for a most current conflict to occur.

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