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The Fall of Princes

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  941 ratings  ·  196 reviews
In the Spellbinding new novel for #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Goolrick, 1980’s Manhattan shimmers like the mirage it was, as money, power, and invincibility seduce a group of young Wall Street turks. Together they reach the pinnacle, achieving the kind of wealth that grants them access to anything – and anyone – they want. Until, one by one, they fall.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Algonquin Books (first published August 28th 2014)
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3.42  · 
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 ·  941 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time. "

----Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street

Robert Goolrick, #1 New York Times bestselling author, pens his new novel, The Fall of Princes that screams being rich and leading a fast life with all the millions that allows one to lead such a lifestyle, and also the 80s when the golden dreams of Wall Street ruled everyone in America, along with it's sp
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love reading about the 80's. It's excessive, fast, cocaine infused, and egotistical. In a nutshell that describes the main character. He didn't set out to be that way, but he's a product of the lifestyle he found himself living while climbing his way to the top. He's a complete ass, reckless, and his sexuality is confusing and on fire. I like a main character that can be humbled as he reflects on the past and come to a satisfying conclusion.

I enjoyed reading this and I thought Goolrick did a g
Larry H
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

The 1980s were the decade of excess, the decade in which the Gordon Gekko-esque "Greed is good" mantra ruled Wall Street (and not just the Oliver Stone movie of the same name), and young "Masters of the Universe" raked in millions upon millions of bucks in financial trading, only to blow it through excessive spending, drugs, and sex. It was also the decade in which the promiscuity of the 19
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is totally different from his other reads but I was addicted by the third page. It was fascinating to be part of this overindulgent lifestyle. I think the author was actually making a small joke by the very end. The main character ends up selling books in a mega bookstore. It was kind of funny after being exposed to his life before "selling books." This author is one that I think readers are overlooking. I've given all his books 4-5 stars and he's got a new one coming out. Talented to ...more
Oliver Schnusenberg
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I have to say I was a tad disappointed in this one, although I had high hopes when I started. I loved "A Reliable Wife" and thought Mr. Goolrick's noir first-person narrative worked fantastically in that book and for that setting. For this book, to me it largely fell flat. The focus ended up being too much on the almost indifferent-sounding "Yeah, well, it was nice, we messed up, and now I just have to live with with the consequences" Rooney. This would have worked well for maybe 100 pages, but ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Bright Lights, Big City
Shelves: 2015-reads
Holy cow, did I love this book. It's my favorite of the fall reads so far. (Yeah, I know it's early. Whatever.)

I was a little hesitant because I was not a fan of A Reliable Wife but I've always been curious to read more from Goolrick. When I saw this one on NetGalley, the description was compelling enough to give it a try.

Normally I don't like books about spoiled rich people, old money or new. The characters are typically flat and their behavior bad. Boring.

I think knowing that Rooney has fal
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.
Being a huge fan of Robert Goolrick, I was thrilled to have received an ARC of this book from Algonquin Publishers. Having loved his memoir and previous two novels, I had high expectations for this one. I am sorry to say that I was disappointed in this Bonfire of the Vanities-like tale of a narcissistic guy who won and then lost everything in the world of finance in the 1980s in an entirely foreseeable fashion. As others have mentioned, there was not much of a plot, and I found little
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

I received a free copy of this book from Algonquin publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: The Fall of Princes tells the tale of one man's rise and fall in the hedonistic world that was 1980's Wall Street. Money, power, greed, love, lust, sex, drugs, and alcohol provide the all of the interest once could hope for in Goolrick's latest novel. From the excess and decadence of top of the Street's food chain to city's underbelly filled with drugs, h
I really enjoyed Goolrick's previous novels - Heading Out to Wonderful and A Reliable Wife - so I was very excited to tear into his latest one. I liked The Fall of Princes . . . but it definitely doesn't compare to his other two books. It was like a bunch of random short stories about the main character's life - one chapter spent reminiscing about a friend's Vegas bachelor party, one discussed the beginning of the AIDS epidemic (probably the one I found most interesting), another went over his d ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a net galley ARC copy from Algonquin for a fair and honest review: I'll do my best.

Yes, indeed, this is The Wolf of Wall Street meets The Bonfire of the Vanities. Maybe more Bonfire than Wolf but the protagonist in this book, Rooney, is not as fascinating a character as Sherman McCoy from Bonfire. This is 1980's NYC in all its excess, narcissism, rudeness and Rooney and the other junk bond and trash security sellers are known as the BSD's (Big Swinging Dicks). So, that gives you a pic
Jewel Gilbert
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of "The Fall of Princes." I loved "A Reliable Wife" and "Heading Out to Wonderful," so I was excited about Goolrick's newest novel. Goolrick writes like few other authors, except maybe Wally Lamb and Colin McCann. His protagonists are original, and his stories are loaded with irony, emotional depth, and even a touch of humor.

Goolrick's latest novel makes for compelling reading, but it has a tendency to ramble and repeat, making it tedious at times. I got the point about obscen
Cindy H.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for providing me with an ARC of The Fall of Princes by Robert Goolrick. Below is my unbiased review.

Part Bonfire of the Vanities, part Wolf of Wall Street ,The Fall of Princes is grittier, dirtier, wickeder and way more scandalous. This tale reads more autobiographical than fictional. One senses that every haunting thought and depraved act was in fact committed and procured. As with his other novels, Robert Goolrick writes seductive characters and rich
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Kalen
Shelves: audio
A well written and honest look at life in a 1980's wealthy trader life. As the title suggests and the book opens to his "fall" from wealth and employment. I loved his story and the focus on love relationships whether he is in one, out of one or looking for one. Drugs, sex and money all make for good novels but the way in in which Goolrick tells this short novel is very human and heartfelt. I want to read more Goolrick now. He knows how to capture my attention and tell a story. Thank you Kalen fo ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: august-2015
“I loved this novel about the rise and fall of a man in NYC during the 80s, when money was easy to make and easy to spend. What happens when you can get anything you want, and what does it really end up costing you? The story of the people working in the financial industry during that time is interwoven with the reality of AIDS, cocaine and the changes going on in society. So many sentences were so well-written that I found myself stopping to take them in and relish them.”

Jennifer Cook, Cheshire
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book because I love the writer. The subject didn't interest me much at first and I was afraid after 50 pages I was reading another American Psycho without an insane serial killer. The similarities turn out to be minor. This is a beautifully written love letter to excess. I enjoyed it despite myself.
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Too trite; too many cliches; excessive luxury brand name dropping, to justify the weak, repetitive themes of sexual confusion and the emotional pains/schadenfreude of greed, narcissism and sexually transmitted disease.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With money comes opportunities; both opportunities and money have the power to change you. Whether those opportunities is a better life or a life filled with issues is dependent on each person. Surrounded by ruthless Wall Street types and a certain lifestyle expectation, the consequences compound quickly for the protagonist of Robert Goolrick's The Fall of Princes.

To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website:

Doors open to the group of Wall Stre
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Inside Cover:

New York City, the 1980's. Young men, princes all. Too much money. Too much freedom. They thought it never would end.

... best selling author Robert Goolrick brings to vivid life a world of excess and self-indulgence ... where drugs were bountiful and not refused. Where no price was too high and flesh was always on offer. Where a quick trip to Europe or a weekend on the coast or a fabulous Hamptoms beach house were part of what was expected. When the money just coming, and com
Mike Cuthbert
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The title of this novel tells most of the story. The “Princes” are those privileged hustlers from the 70s and 80s who made and lost fortunes on Wall Street. If the author is correct, most of them knew they were scam artists but were just too greedy and too hedonistic to slow down and get a real life. The accounts of conspicuous consumption in this account are mind-bending but not beyond belief. “Greed is good” had to have some resonance in these men and women and they spent as if they had to pro ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this semi-autobiographical novel, author Robert Goolrick takes us to Wall Street in the boom era of the 1980s. For those men on the Street, life was a never ending party. Loose women, fast cars, high fashion, and an endless supply of drugs and alcohol fueled their nights. But it was also the advent of the AIDS epidemic, and all around them they watched their friends die, fearful of the disease, but also unheeding of the choices they were making.

I was fascinated by this book from start to end
Alex Meeks
Normally I just give books however many stars I think they deserve and don't write a review, but I'm not sure I can do that here.

I'm not opposed to putting a book down partway through if I'm not enjoying myself, and I came very close to doing that a few times with this book. I didn't feel like I could connect with any of the characters until I met Holly, and she remained the singular character about whom I cared even in the slightest.

I kept feeling that I'd heard this story so many times before
Mike Zinn
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free. I really liked it. At first I was a bit put off that it didn't read like a novel. There was no real linear flow to it. It read more like a group of short stories, but as I moved through the chapters I came to see that this was the best way to tell the story - the story of a fall from the excitement and madness and fortunes won and lost in the world of the stock market in the 80s. I would have been pleased to read any of the chapters as a short story. They are all g ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reading copy through Netgalley.

This was seriously great. I didn't know if I could really care about rich assholes making millions of dollars in finance in NYC in the 1980s, but Goolrick pulls it off like it's no big deal. I was completely absorbed in the world of the book and had a hard time putting it down, even if the downfall of the main character is telegraphed in the title.

The book is written in vignettes that jump around in time and space. At first this style was jar
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, from-publisher
1980 saw the lightning fast rise of the boys of Wall Street; young men who worked long hours making huge wealth off other people's money in a game that didn't care who was hurt as long as the profits rolled into 'the Firm' and their bonuses. Young men who played hard in their off hours with excessive partying and sex, spending money like it would never stop. For them, it was a time of great wealth and a life of decadence.
Then, the rules changed; the hedonistic lifestyle took a hard toll when acc
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Let me say I'm not sure how to rate this book. I listened on audio and the narrator was awesome and it may have helped. This really wasn't the book described in the blurb. This was about a man reminiscing about his sins. At times there was very little actual story and it felt monotonous. But it was so well written that you could feel every word and every heartbreak. The characters were excellent. Often making me laugh out loud. I couldn't stop, no matter how many times he talked about sheets. Do ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Beautifully written, this part memoir, part fiction tale of a Wall Street Wolf's rise and fall spans four decades. It felt like Hunter S Thompson and Bret Easton Ellis got together to write the Valley of the Dolls. Each page dripped with beautiful phrasing, while the "scrapbook of memories" paints a vibrant picture of a city and lifestyle that burned brilliantly, but briefly, until it was nothing but smoke and ash.

Read my full review on

I received an advance copy from NetGalley in e
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley for a review. I love Robert Goolrick's other novels Heading Out To wonderful and A Reliable wife. I could not put them down. So I was very exited he had a new novel . However the subject matter was not one I was the least bot interested in. But as usual with this fine writer he sucks you right into the story. set in the hedonistic 80s the young wall street men have it all, money and power. Until they begin to fail. You will be riveted by th ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a galley of this book from BEA. I really enjoyed it. It was very well-written and along the lines of Wolf of Wall Street and Bonfire of the Vanities. It's too bad the publication date isn't early in the summer since it would make a great beach read. The only criticism I have is that Chapter 17 seemed a out of place, so much so that I thought I'd lost my place in the book. It didn't really makes sense and seemed to disrupt the flow of the story. The editor should have cleaned that up a ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, fiction
I received this book as a first read. It's easily one of the best books of the year. Gorgeously written and fluid. The story sucks you in instantly. It reads like a bad car wreck and you can't look away from the pages. You dislike the narrator from the get go and can't wait for them to go down. The book perfectly captures the greed and decadence of the 80s. The storytelling is good and the writing is clean. An all around good read that's bound to become a classic.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A book about the wealth and life of a trader on Wall Street - living very high sexually, financially, with extreme taste in trips, clothes, dining, every way but morally - and then his firing and now living the middle class life. It is a bit witty and insightful but basically just a story of degradation, rather like the movie Wolf of Wall Street. Tender Bar was a better book, in my opinion, about the generally same topic.
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