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Ghosts of Manhattan

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  979 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
This instant New York Times bestseller offers a withering view of life on Wall Street from the perspective of an unhappy insider who is too hooked on the money to find a way out, even as his career is ruining his marriage and corroding his soul.

It’s 2005. Nick Farmer is a thirty-five-year-old bond trader with Bear Stearns clearing seven figures a year. The novelty of a wor
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Touchstone
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James Wooten Jeff is right. Read "Bonfire of the Vanities". Or, for a depiction of a marriage disintegrating in Manhattan, "Bright Lights, Big City". For a more…moreJeff is right. Read "Bonfire of the Vanities". Or, for a depiction of a marriage disintegrating in Manhattan, "Bright Lights, Big City". For a more intelligent depiction of bond trading on Wall Street and the origin of mortgage-backed securities, read "Liar's Poker".

This book might be worth $1.60. But not more than that.(less)
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Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never worked in finance, so I was surprised by how much I loved this book. Doug Brunt has written a really compelling, funny, and realistic novel that is--on the surface--about the world of Bear Stearns in the lead-up to the financial meltdown: we see the traders at work and their crazy nights out, as well as the signs that in 2005 the economy isn't as fantastic as everyone's pretending it to be. All of that was very interesting (and it really feels like Brunt knows the world he's writing a ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So…"Ghosts of Manhattan” has been on my “to read” pile for a while. The premise was intriguing to me, a trader at Bear Stearns having a bit of a moral quandary in the years just leading up to the collapse of 2008. You can get a good novel out of that. Having read it, I am ambivalent (at best) about the experience.
The author, Douglass Brunt, is a decent writer and storyteller. The novel makes that much clear. However, he is not a consistent writer (at least not in this text). Starting the novel,
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, fiction, finance
It appears as though most people who reviewed this book liked it. I found it to be one long insufferable whine about a guy working on Wall Street who hates his job, the culture he works in, and most of the people he works with. He belongs to a group of people who financially bankrupted the US with worthless securities, and yet at no time does the main character, Nick, even seem interested in the consequences of what the financial community sold to investors. There is very little in this book abo ...more
James Wooten
Mar 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this book was even published - the fact that it was an "instant best seller" simply boggles the mind.

You will learn nothing about bond trading or selling, mortgage-backed securities or the reasons for the financial crisis of 2008 from reading this book. Whatever you learn from Brunt's supposed "insider" view is trite, recycled or simply incorrect.

It wouldn't be so bad if the plot was believable or the characters finely drawn. But there isn't much of a plot, the characters are as
Andrew Shaffer
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ghosts of Manhattan" is sort of like, "What if Bret Easton Ellis wrote 'Bright Lights, Big City'?" Yuppies boozing and coking their way through Manhattan, pre-economic collapse. The protagonist is difficult to relate to--very angsty, and he doesn't take a lot of initiative in his own life. Therefore, despite all that's happening to him and his colleagues, the narrative is emotionally detached and a little flat. The writing itself is excellent.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after watching an interview with Doug Blunt and his wife, Megan Kelly. I have always admired Megan for her intelligence and her on-the-air presence and skill. I was interested in a view into her personal side and watched the interview she conducted with her husband. I came away with a " the princess found her Prince Charming" feeling. Sappy, I know; but they were just so darn cute and funny, and smart together, I developed a desire to read the book. Douglas Blunt writes with a g ...more
Titus Burley
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a book jacket and have a feeling for where the book will go before you've passed the title page. A book set on Wall Street before the fall of 2008 has a feel of imminent Shakespearean tragedy. It's simply a matter of whom will the author blame for the debacle. But "Ghosts" was not that kind of book. It was much deeper. It was about flawed people struggling to find sanity and meaningful relationship in the midst of surreal environment. It is not a book about politics, it is not ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give Ghosts of Manhattan 5 stars for entertainment because it's an enjoyable read about the drug and booze-soaked lives of Bond traders at Bear Stearns in 2005.

However, the main character's struggle never felt real to me. The question you're supposed to be asking throughout the book is, "Will Nick Farmer make it out of Wall Street with his soul intact?" And yet Brunt provided no real reason why Farmer had stayed at his job to begin with. His wife wants him to quit, he constantly complains a
Maria Riegger
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast-paced read and quite an eye-opener into the world of Manhattan high finance/trading. I mean, if even half of that stuff is true, wow.

Great writing and narrative. As far as the main character, he's unhappy with his job and I think it's a great example of how a seven-figure income cannot buy happiness. He lacks direction because, as he says in the book, he got this job right out of college and hasn't done / doesn't know how to do anything else. I identified with that feeling.

Roger Wetlaufer
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner. Quite racy in parts yet tasteful. A look into, what to me is a very unfamiliar world. If you liked the wolf of wall street you will enjoy this book. Although a work of fiction, I believe there is a lot of truth here. I am officially a big Douglas Brunt fan and can't wait to read his latest novel.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nick Farmer lands himself a job at Bear Stearns right out of college and he is really not sure why or how it happened. Twelve years later he hates himself, he hates his job and his marriage is falling apart but he doesn't see any way to leave a position that pays him so much money when he and his wife have gotten used to living on a seven figure income. As he stumbles further and further into an abyss of drugs, alcohol and disgust he learns that an analyst in the firm is predicting a financial A ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Ghosts of Manhattan a lot. Brunt is an excellent writer, filling in feelings and thoughts of characters that may surprise and often edify the story. Metaphors are excellent. The plot and subplot weave well, so it's hard to tell if the marriage or the Wall Street issues are the focus. This is a good thing; both are viable and bear following to discover the outcome.

Two relatively small complaints: The sex scene near the beginning was unnecessary and cheapened both characters. Because of i
David Carraturo
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Ghosts started out so strong, I did not want to put this book down. By the middle though, I could not wait for it to end. Douglas Brunt did a great job in the beginning with character development and making the reader want to see what was going to happen next. Unfortunately, the story - which was set up for a nice climax, fizzled. He built up and introduced supporting characters that ended up dangling in obscurity when they should have been integrated into a climatic finish. The hype of the Bear ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel pulls up the shade on the morally bankrupt lives of the hot-shot Bear Stearns traders who made millions prior to the company's implosion in 2008. While the book does allude to the details behind the financial crisis - the sale of bad mortgages in bundles fraudulently marketed as low-risk - the author is a gifted storyteller who is a master at characterization. Yes, many of these characters will dishearten and disgust you, but they are fascinating in a lot of ways, and you will keep re ...more
Joel Cigan
I read this because I had finished Megyn Kelly's Memoire, "Settle for More," and Douglas Brunt is her husband. He clearly needs to stick to being CEO of Aventium Inc. because he seems to struggle with his writing. There are just too many characters and the story itself was hard to follow. For many parts, it can be summed up as "coke and strippers" for those employed on Wall Street.
Andrea Proser
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scribd
I've read this book before. I've seen this movie before. Sorry to say that Brunt's version doesn't feel original at all. The Big Short is better - and not even fiction. Also, since I just read his wife's book, even his relationship feels recycled since she covered several of those interactions too. Maybe if it's your first exposure to all of this, you'll enjoy it much more.

Still, I think it's his first book, so I'm willing to give him another chance because his plots all seem to have potential.
Josue Lagos
Feb 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Solo diré que el libro no me gusto para nada, pues no tenia trama, y los personajes no tenían ningún fondo alguno. Fue aburrida y agobiante.
This book has many similarities with Tom Wolfe's _The Bonfire of the Vanities_, i.e., working on Wall Street can provide very fat paychecks, but some may find the price too high in ruined marriages, loss of self-respect, etc. It's more realistic than Wolfe, and pretty good as a suspense novel. Truth be told, I read it primarily because the author is married to Megyn Kelly and she talks about it, and him, in her book. He sure is gorgeous!
Paula Dembeck
Nick Farmer is a thirty-five year old bond trader working on Wall Street. He has worked at Bears Stern for about 10 years and is making great money, much of which is spent with his co-workers on alcohol binges, cocaine, hookers and strippers. But he is growing unhappy, realizing that he has traded his soul for a life style he no longer appreciates. His years as a bond trader have left him with very specialized but non transferable skills, so if he leaves he is not sure what he will do and in no ...more
Jash Dholani
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The thing about working in the money business is that we don’t make anything but money. The upside is, we make a lot of it.”

The Ghosts of Manhattan was released in 2012. It’s written in the voice of one Nick Farmer. He is a dissatisfied insider at Wallstreet who continues to work for people he considers jerks. Also, he rears, with a mix of bullying and indifference, kids fresh out of college to lead a life he so thoroughly despises. He has a lingering sense of disgust for what his life has beco
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-to-read
I won this ARC via a Goodreads giveaway.

Nick Farmer is a callous, self-deprecating trader at Bear Stearns. He hates his job, doesn't like his coworkers, and is sick of the late nights and the strain it's been putting on his marriage to his wife, Julia. In the course of the novel, Nick gets nearer and nearer to a moment of crisis and an existential meltdown. The threads of Nick's life keep ripping, one by one.

While most of the time the reader hates Nick Farmer, he hates himself so much that you
David Brown
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Douglas Brunt is married to Megyn Kelly of Fox News, who recently had a tete a tete with Donald Trump during the debates. I read the she was married to this best-selling novelist and so I wanted to read the book and see what sort of writer he is.

I wasn’t expecting a very good novel despite the fact that it is a New York Times Best Seller. But from the start I enjoyed it and could not put it down. I thought that he might be lightweight. Boy was I surprised!

His dialogues were a reflection of what
Paul Pessolano
“Ghosts of Manhattan” by Douglas Brunt, published by Touchstone Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature

Several years ago I read a book called “The Wolf of Wall Street”, the true story of a Wall Street broker who lived an unbelievable life of incredible amounts of money, alcohol, drugs, and sex. The extravagance was so great that he ran up a hotel bill of over $700,000.00 and never blinked an eye.

The “Ghosts of Manhattan” is a fictional story of a Wall Street broker that pretty much fills the same bi

I bought Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel because the e-book was on sale, and it sounded interesting enough. The world of Wall Street is way different from what I know or live in my day to day, so it was interesting to have an "insider" perspective. That being said, I hated every single character, especially the narrator, our main character, Nick Farmer. He hates his job completely, but feels stuck because the money is so great and he really hasn't developed any skill or talent that can make him th

Amanda Liston
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the full review here at!

Although I was excited to start this book, the thought of reading a fictional book about banking, lending, and finance was a little daunting at first. I worked for a major bank for almost five years and I like to view reading as an escape from all those things so I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it. I was so pleasantly surprised though, Douglas Brunt did so many things so well!

Douglas Brunt does for financing what John Grisham does for law: mak
Ken Kugler
Finding “Ghosts of Manhattan, A Novel” by Douglas Brunt was a surprising find. I thought that the premise of a bond trader for Bear Stearns, who was 35 and no longer happy with his seven figure salary or his life was a promising idea for a novel and I was right. It is 2005 economic problems are about to hit the world hard. Nick Farmer, the main character, questions his life and was no longer happy with the booze and cocaine soaked frat party nights that had become a way of life for him. He quest ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars)
There’s no place like Wall Street to showcase a mid-life crisis and that is what Ghosts of Manhattan is about.

Brunt is an entertaining writer and proficient in the way I imagine a Hollywood scriptwriter would be – smart, incisive, fast-paced, with a pulse on the times. He captures the angst of a mid-30s bond trader who perhaps has always had an escape route planned but never taken it. The money at Bear Stearns is just too good, and the perks legendary. The lifestyle, however, has tak
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
This is more like a 3.5 rather than a 4 star book for me. It was a very interesting look into the greed and corruption of the financial world before it's recent collapse. It started off a little bit slow, but picked up speed. It's not an action-packed book and yet I had a hard time putting it down.

Most reviews I see, people didn't like Nick...for some reason he grew on me. At first he was unlikable, but maybe I identify with him a little in his struggle to do what's right even when his instinct
Douglas Brunt delivers an expose of the activities taking place at Bear Stearns prior to that firm being prominent in the mortgage collapse that cause bank failures.

Nick Farmer is a successful trader with a seven figure income. His work includes motivating the people under him and other traders toward working hard for Bear Stearns and selling their products. This after work activity includes alcoholic binges, cocaine, strip joints and prostitutes. Eventually, this life begins to take a toll on N
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Douglas Brunt is an American novelist and entrepreneur. He was the CEO of Authentium, Inc., an Internet security company, which he sold in 2011.

'Trophy Son' is his third novel. He is the author of New York Times bestseller 'Ghosts of Manhattan' and 'The Means'.
More about Douglas Brunt...