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This Bleeding City
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This Bleeding City

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Charlie Wales is a young man who wants everything. Fresh from University, he's seduced by the excitement of a new life in London and all that it promises. But as the choices begin to tear him apart, there's also the danger that all the things he desires are on the brink of crashing around him...
Paperback, 335 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 2010)
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Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
Alex Preston's novel, This Bleeding City, is a smooth, unhurried read. In plain words the author talks of the desire to succeed, the lure of money, and the price one has to pay on the way to earning a good life. The novel has a memoir-like feel, and the fact that the author works in finance gives the novel's setting - investment banks and big money - a certain credibility. For one, we come to know why investment bankers need philosophers. Look out for this character called Madison Duval, an Amer ...more
Nanikore
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Hebblethwaite
This Bleeding City is one of those novels with which you can tell roughly where it’s heading more or less from the outset – not because of any clumsiness on the author’s part, but because the story is so archetypal: young man goes off to seek his fortune, and discovers that what he thought he wanted wasn’t necessarily so great after all. The context for this particular telling of that story is the City of London (where Alex Preston himself works) in the run-up to the recent financial crisis.

To f
...more
Tariq Mahmood
This is a dark depressing novel about working in the City (or of a London) in the financial sector which I found pretty difficult to put down because the story intrigued me throughout. Maybe because I myself do not like working and felt a strong affection for the plot? The book left me with a pretty negative profile of city traders highlighting the huge sacrifices they have to make in order to follow their materialistic dreams. The protagonist is portrayed as a stereotype trader who is ambitious ...more
Malashree
It's very well written, but being Preston's debut, it does get a bit clumsy at times. Also, the protagonist is not very amicable. In fact, most of the characters aren't, and those who are somehow screwed over by either the protagonist or terrible circumstances. I do understand that the protagonist is an anti-hero. He's not supposed to be liked, but still...

Preston obviously draws inspiration from F. Scott Fitzgerald, and particularly 'The Great Gatsby'.

I felt sorry for the characters, particula
...more
Dany
I found this book sooo depressing, but at the same time very realistic and well written.
Maybe the story is a bit discounted, and you already sort of guess since the beginning that is not going to end well; even though you hope a bit that it will turn unexpectedly positive before the end.
I thinks it is easy though to identify yourself with Charlie, who represents all the fears and insecurities that we all have at the beginning of the adulthood, but also the hope that we are going to make it and b
...more
Monica
This book belongs to the tradition of fiction that came out after the big 2008 financial crisis.
Set in the London City, it is the story of a young graduate who climbs the ranks of a big investment firm, but at the same time loses touch with the real life values. Driven by greed and ambition, he realises his mistake when it is to late; then he simply becomes what he was meant to be from the beginning.
Despite finding the novel a bit immature and somehow clichéd, I liked how Preston ends the story;
...more
Polly Courtney
As a fellow ex-City banker, I was really keen to get my hands on this. It didn't disappoint. Beautifully written and with a carefully crafted storyline, I related to the characters instantly.

Whether non-City evacuees would enjoy this I'm not sure (which goes for most City books, including my own); I think anyone who has worked in a high-pressure environment would relate, and there's plenty to like outside 'the office' in here.
John
Soapy novel that centres on a man working in the city as a stockbroker, or analyst or something, during the period leading up to and after the GFC. The novel starts with a group of friends in University in Edinburgh, and then leads on to a series of incestuous relationships between them. The scenes in the trading house are pretty well archetypal.
Aleksandra
Liked it. I could make quite a few parralells with my own life and deliberations. Managed to extract the main idea, which I found quite useful. Rethought some of my persuasions on the purpose of being and on perception of the surrounding reality. To add, I am absolutely not a fan of modern literature.
Jon White
Very depressing book. I didn't care about the characters at all.
I met the author and questioned him about the reality of the book and how he based his characters. To be fair, he took the criticism well. No-one in my library book club liked the book.
Dmitry Lovermann
A agree that story line is not one of the most interesting I've ever seen, but I liked the way it was written: hesitant young boy with his own imperfectness, - just the same as most of young graduated professionals. I liked Preston's narration style.
Layla Rohan
Pretty gritty but a good look into the world of banking/finance and how the world revolves around people who clearly have no clue. Scary to think this could be going on behind our backs. Nothing but doom and gloom though.
Saif Hasan
An extremely clumsy book. Too cluttered. No scope for the emotional spaces to even out. Predictable right from word one.

AVOID.
Ineke van Mackelenbergh
Fast--paced well-written insight into City hi-money - but sad to realize what materialism can do and how it can pervert good sense.
Gunter
Gunter marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
Julian Patton
Julian Patton marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2014
Ben
Ben added it
Oct 03, 2014
Imogen G
Imogen G marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Nat
Nat marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
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