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Present Value: A Novel

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Fritz Brubaker and his wife, Linda—an attractive couple in their mid-forties—have it all. He’s a toy-company executive and she’s a million-dollar-a-year lawyer. Their children are in private school; they have a McMansion in a Boston suburb and a cottage on Nantucket. But their comfortable world is suddenly turned upside down when Fritz’s company’s stock tanks and he is arr ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 14th 2004 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published September 2nd 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Laura
Aug 29, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Sabin Willett has written a humorous satire of (now-not quite) modern upper middle class life in
America. While some might call his approach dark, I feel the narrator was more drily humorous. "Present Value" is set in the suburbs of Boston (Dover, MA to be exact) in Aug. 2001. As Fritz drives his 2 spoiled children to their expensive private school in an enormous gas-guzzling SUV, his thoughts are mostly consumed with keeping up appearances with the other parents in line engaging in the morning
...more
Kathy
Sep 22, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Very entertaining and funny in parts. Biting satire of the business class and Wall Street people.
Donald Crane
Jan 01, 2013 Donald Crane rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, which combines a compelling plot regarding accounting fraud (think Enron on a smaller scale) with powerful social commentary and some thought-provoking ruminations about life's purpose. Willett's first two novels were also excellent, though it was several years ago that I read them, and my best recollection is that they were more plot-driven, without the over social statements that exist in this one.

Interwoven in this book are occasional chapters recounting a college ec
...more
Karen
Oct 14, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
I love satire with a heart, so this was right up my alley. The characters were surprisingly well-developed, and the story of a family disintegrating and putting itself back together was actually very moving. Fritz was just a hilarious character in all of his integrity, and some of the scenes which focused on him were brilliant. I think the arraignment scene is comparable in humor to some of the funniest scenes I've read in literature, like the lecture scene toward the end of Lucky Jim and the Se ...more
Chuck
Jun 23, 2013 Chuck rated it it was ok
I have read two of Sabin Willet's novels and given them high marks. He usually writes serious, intelligent and knowledgeable stories. In his other life he is a Harvard graduate, Harvard Law School graduate and a partner in a prestigious Boston law firm. So when I found this offering in the library I jumped on it. I should have paid more attention to the cover; a picture of a very nice residence but what I failed to observe was the goat on the front lawn. This novel turned out to be an attempt at ...more
Pbwritr
Dec 23, 2009 Pbwritr rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
A very good book, not a thriller or as exciting as The Betrayal, but keen satire on people in the financial world. Great descriptions of insider trading and how a company can fall apart. Wonderful explanations of economic principles in the guise of college lectures. A bit tedious some of the time, but mostly very witty through revealing "thoughts" of all participants, what we, "everyman," might think in the same situations. Very clever, overall, and basically a good sotry though the plot slows d ...more
Marni
May 08, 2009 Marni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going through the books that I want to sell at my garage sale tomorrow and came across this one. I don't remember why/how/when I decided to read this book, but I do remember that I really enjoyed it, and was pleased to have found it.

Sharp, witty, trenchant (ain't that a GREAT word?) and engaging, I wanted to make sure that I added it to goodreads so that others could look into it. Also, now I will be able to remember her name and check out some of her other books!
Jessica
Oct 10, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cynics who want to laugh out loud
This was a great book. Willett perfectly satirized a 21st century American family--complete with Blackberry addictions, luxury SUVs, and private schools. And Willett's humor was just spot on. At times, this book reminded me of the movie The Office, with the wit and irony of the main character and the characters surrounding him. I laughed out loud and cringed, but really enjoyed it all the way through.
Marni
Aug 03, 2009 Marni rated it really liked it
I read this years ago and can't remember the plot that well, but I remember that this is a nicely written and bitterly funny book about living in modermn America. Characters are addicted to their ipods and the internet, so it is totally realistic. I enjoyed this book immensely, and wonder why it never got more attention. For an up to date black comedy, this is a good book to read. Not as slick as Christofer Moore's work or with as good a premise as Boomsday, still a dark and incisive work.
Garrett
Oct 16, 2011 Garrett rated it it was amazing
Your mileage will vary, but I could hardly put this one down and was impressed with the author's knowledge of law, finance, money, and human relationships. Of course, it cut close to the bone with the description of suburban Boston families and schools. 9/11 is weaved into the narrative and haunts other parts of the story like the collapse of the protagonist's company and family. The goats named after Red Sox players is a nice touch.
Heide
Sep 10, 2012 Heide added it
Absolutely this author. I will make an effort to read all his works. Sabin, I loved the characters, their imperfections and your amazing insights that make each one a valued person, regardless of how shallow they initially appear. I actually highlighted some sections as points to discuss with my love.
Highly recommend.
Denise
Mar 22, 2010 Denise rated it liked it
this book is unlike most that I read. It is definitely written from a man's point of view but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is full of satire and great commentary on values within privledged families.
Lori Anaple
Nov 13, 2011 Lori Anaple rated it liked it
Shelves: contemp-lit
I liked the satire about the "modern family" and the addictions to technology. It dragged on but the main characters seem to triumph over the cancer of greed. The only character that I really liked was Fritz and I found his observations quirky and funny.
Veronique Davidson
Starts like a fairy tale and doesn't go the way you expect.
Better than it looks
Lindsay Goldstein
Apr 11, 2013 Lindsay Goldstein rated it really liked it
This was an excellent read, and well constructed story. I appreciate the Boston and MA references!
Max Stone
Jun 16, 2010 Max Stone rated it liked it
Moderately funny.

Takes place around Dover, MA, which is near and dear to me, so there is the fun local element.

But not more than that.
Liz
Aug 03, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this a few years ago and just LOVED it!
Lisa Jason
Jan 09, 2015 Lisa Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a satire on a community in which I used to live. I waited until I moved away to read it and it provided me with much laughter.
Marni
Feb 25, 2013 Marni rated it liked it
Shelves: beach-books
Fun for people interested in accounting or the practice of law.
Ellen
Mar 12, 2016 Ellen added it
Florida
Rebecca
Rebecca rated it liked it
May 06, 2016
Sara Hendrix
Sara Hendrix rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2011
Sabrina
Sabrina rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2013
Robert Dunne
Robert Dunne rated it it was ok
May 26, 2016
Kaleena
Kaleena rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2010
Carole
Carole rated it did not like it
Mar 30, 2009
Brendan and Tracy Gallehr
Brendan and Tracy Gallehr rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2014
Courtney
Courtney rated it did not like it
Mar 15, 2014
Chris Goldberg
Chris Goldberg rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2007
Wendi Dusseault
Wendi Dusseault rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2016
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Peter Sabin Willett, known as Sabin Willett, (born March 6, 1957) is an American lawyer and novelist, a partner with the Boston law firm Bingham McCutchen, previously called Bingham Dana. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts. His is perhaps best known as a defense lawyer for U.S. prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, including Adil Abdulhakim.

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