I thought this was a terrific short book that I will recommend both to my non-economist friends and to those of us who work as economists outside acadI thought this was a terrific short book that I will recommend both to my non-economist friends and to those of us who work as economists outside academia. Economics continues to evolve. Rodrik argues we should understand economics as a (growing) collection of models rather than models that evolve through scientific evolution when new models supplant old and old models are discarded when they can't stand up to the data. Economists should and in the best case do, try to select models than best help analyze specific problems in specific contexts. There's lots of excellent descriptions of recent developments in economics as well as a solid examination of both the external and internal criticisms of economics. Many of these are marked down to misunderstandings. I'm not sure why I don't give it five stars. Perhaps because it covers ground that I find pretty familiar (i.e. not much truly new to the engaged practitioners) though that ground is described very well.....more
Really enjoyed this. The story is not as dense with action as the originals but it's also, thankfully, not padded with endless accounts of furnishings.Really enjoyed this. The story is not as dense with action as the originals but it's also, thankfully, not padded with endless accounts of furnishings. After initially finding the writing or possibly the translation a bit clunky, the approach grew on me and I was absorbed by this fast-paced page turner....more
I thought this was excellent. Nearing the end of the alphabet it's hard to recall all of Kinsey's career. I'm sure some fans have done that. This storyI thought this was excellent. Nearing the end of the alphabet it's hard to recall all of Kinsey's career. I'm sure some fans have done that. This story, to me, broke the mold of the series a little. Kinsey's description of her non-investigative life didn't intrude the way they sometimes did in recent installments. There are three puzzles on the go throughout the book. A rather irritating older couple moves in next door to Henry and Kinsey, taking advantage of Henry's good nature. Kinsey is hired to track down a recently paroled con. The elegant, affluent woman who hires her says that she is the man's birth mom who gave him up for adoption when she was a teen. Kinsey is pair, however, in marked bills that had been used in an art ransom. And she is called in to help Pete Wolinsky's widow who has been called by an IRS auditor who demands to see some of Pete's old files. Riffling through the haphazard files, Kinsey comes across a coded list of women's names. What's the link that ties them together?
Ginger Coffey is an Irish immigrant in Montreal. It is winter, probably in the 1950s, and as the story begins he has worked his way through the familyGinger Coffey is an Irish immigrant in Montreal. It is winter, probably in the 1950s, and as the story begins he has worked his way through the family savings. The enterprises that brought him from Ireland to Canada have fallen through and his business connections at home have cut him loose. He is close to penniless, with a wife and a teenage daughter to support. And, true to the era, he is appalled at the thought of his wife working.
He is a bit of a dreamer and has, by his own lights, not accounted for much. He had served in the Irish army and it was a disappointment that Ireland remained neutral in the war. His wife talked him out of ‘deserting’ and joining the British army.
A friend comes to the rescue, there only Canadian friend it seems. Gerry Grosvenor is a cartoonist with a Montreal paper and he lines up a prospect for Coffey, encouraging him to invent a history with jobs in the press. He is easily exposed by the tyrannical Scottish managing editor, but with a pressing need for low-wage, non-union proof readers, he gets a job and takes it along with the ready acceptance of a promise that he would soon be promoted up the journalistic ladder.
The friend meanwhile, has his eyes on Coffey’s wife, Veronica. The untrustworthy Ginger Coffey, with little income and a history of failures faces a struggle to keep his family together.
I was surprised how much I liked the book. Initially I winced at each of Coffey’s missteps and delusions, but the characters won me over. It is a story about hitting bottom, not knowing where the bottom will be. And it was realistic, even mundane, in the challenges faced.
Is this a spoiler? Maybe, so stop reading if that’s an issue. It ends up with quiet redemption and I am a sucker for that. ...more
**spoiler alert** Perhaps this wasn't the book to read immediately prior to a first trip to Africa.
This isn't really a spoiler but right now my mind i**spoiler alert** Perhaps this wasn't the book to read immediately prior to a first trip to Africa.
This isn't really a spoiler but right now my mind is on the ending. The book seemed to me to end rather suddenly. Probably there is a follow up in the works; but the female characters have left the scene; the two buddies, veterans of clandestine activities in central Asia and now Africa have concluded a deal with shadowy groups in West Africa; money has changed hands; information about cyber-networks in Mali has been sold; highest bidders may be the Chinese or maybe , who can think otherwise these days, dark Islamist forces. The American forces, mysteriously encamped in the Congo, have released Nair. Is he working for them or not. He must be on some kind of leash, but I don't know what. I liked the book. Nair, a Danish-American ex-military, ostensibly working for NATO intelligence is a drunk, drawn to prostitutes. His sidekick, Michael Andriko is a Ugandan-Congolese who seems to have been a child soldier. He is certainly a great story-teller, whether true or confected stories isn't always clear. He's been with US special forces but seems to have gone on the run, doing something dangerous, selling enriched uranium, or pretending to. Nair is sent to find him. And there are the women. We never meet Tina, Nair's lover back in Amsterdam who also works for NATO. He writes and emails her. We do meet Michael's fiancé, a beautiful well educated African American, Davidia, the daughter of the commander of the US special force unit to which Andriko was attached. They are going to be married in Uganda. But somehow that never pans out
It's all more than a little horrific, but the story rolls along. Dark and entertaining. Perhaps not informative. I don't know. My African trip will not, I hope, reveal anything to help me decide tha....more
I loved this book which combines mystery, police procedural and a tale of redemption with an unmistakable thread of mysticism. It reminded me, regularlI loved this book which combines mystery, police procedural and a tale of redemption with an unmistakable thread of mysticism. It reminded me, regularly, of Elmore Leonard's 2009 book "Touch", though that is just a recollection. Sonny Lofthus (spellings to be checked) is a junky in a Norwegian prison. Other cons come to him to confess their sins and to receive absolution. This is, in my reading, a literal and felt removal of sins, though I suppose it could be interpreted as a bit of psychology if you'd prefer. Sonny also is content to stay in jail where his appetite for heroin is easily met. But we and Sonny soon learn, through the confession of an old prisoner who is dying from cancer, that Sonny's father, a policeman, had not committed suicide to avoid exposure for corruption, but had been executed by criminals. Sonny's descent started with his father's shame and he no longer has any need to stay in prison. In fact he needs to get out, and set the world right, and deliver judgement and punishment. Chief Inspector Simon Kefas of the Oslo homicide squad, is Sonny's counterpart in the story. He is in late middle age, recovering from a ruinous gambling addiction. He is a good cop and a good man. His wife is going blind The book is fast paced, switching locations rapidly and smoothly, with the action before the switch, right at the cliff's edge. Seemingly miraculous escapes are, always I thought, well explained. A really good book. I'm going back to give it five stores; I had down-graded it to four in punishment for the parts of the epilogue in which surviving characters converse, dispose of loose ends and reveal more of the story's prehistory ...more