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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  343 ratings  ·  12 reviews
William Tobias Merrick, an energetic young man from the provinces, travels to the big city in a time of great optimism and ferment, hoping to make his mark on a frenzied, money-crazed society obsessed with the promise of new technologies.

The city in question is London in the 1690s; but it is also New York in the 1990s. The new technologies are diving bells, pneumatic winc...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Broadway (first published January 1st 2002)
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Yes, the premise was clever. The book itself is incredibly dull. It's like having your prospectus read to you by a guy in a wig and cravat.
Gary Krist's Extravagance: A Novel had potential. A clever concept drew me to the novel initially, but this conceit alone was not enough to hold my attention.

Extravagance tells the story of William Merrick through two time periods and two countries, London at the beginning of the stock market and New Economy and New York City near the end of the 90s tech bubble. Will wants to make his fortune playing the stocks and takes incredibly risks to do so. Will's lust for money in both eras is put into...more
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Un bon roman d'initiation. Le génie de l'auteur est de l'avoir situé à deux périodes en même temps, Londres à la fin du 17ème siècle et New York en 1999. J'avoue que j'ai été sacrément bluffée car les transitions entre les deux périodes sont absolument parfaites. Le narrateur utilise la langue de chaque époque (l'anglais du 17ème n'étant pas très aisé à comprendre), ce qui ajoute un intérêt linguistique en plus de l'intérêt historique. Au-delà les personnages sont un peu bâteaux et l'intrigue es...more
Nov 13, 2013 Rhea added it
Shelves: whats-this
Why are there so many books like this? (And by this, I mean books that unfold paralleley in two different time periods with a common theme.) I mean, there's Revolution and Radiant Days and some more I can't remember. Hmm...
Aug 24, 2008 Michele rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michele by: Time travelers
I loved the premise: The story is told as one character and the similarities and differences of his life as lived in the sixteen century and modern times in an alternating pattern. Though the topic of finance itself was a bit droll for me, I found the book charming and clever.
Heather Childree
This is quite a different book. I like how Krist used the same characters in two different times and locations to tell one story. I was confused at first, but I quickly caught on to the shifting times and locations. Amazing concept.
not a very good book -- the premise is clever but the execution is not that nice. it's boring, the characters are bland and are extremely annoying as well.

I didn't finish this book. I enjoyed the old England part much more than the modern part, which required more interest in finance than I have.
A little hard to get into this book, but well-worth a read! It is a very clever premise!
Joan Karter
Ashley said it all. I had to stop reading it.
Not bad, an easy read.
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