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Trading Futures

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This is Matthew Oxenhay at 60: a stranger to his wife, an embarrassment to his children, and failed former contender for the top job at his City firm. Seizing on his birthday party as an opportunity to deliver some rather crushing home truths to his assembled loved ones, it seems as though Matthew might have hit rock bottom. The truth, however, is that he has some way to g ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Pan Macmillan
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I find it puzzling that some novels which I find just so-so get read so widely, whilst receiving generally high ratings and even critical acclaim. On the other hand, Jim Powell's "Trading Futures" which I thoroughly enjoyed, currently sits at 3.27* here on Goodreads and NONE of my GR friends has even read it.

What does it take for a novel to be a hit? Does it have to have likeable characters? An unending series of twists? Does it have to talk about child abuse, rape or racial discrimination? Doe
Kris McCracken
A dark little book about a man in the throes of a breakdown. I guess this is what happens when you reach the end of your working life, look back, and realise that you've betrayed everything you planned and wanted.

A slim, but dense novel, it does leave you despairing at the end.
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-radio
Listened to BBC's Book st Bedtime - started off promising but the hoped for events didn't materialise and it continued into predictable nothingness.
Josephine Hagan
A quirky wee book. The last couple of chapters were not what I expected, quite dark. 3.75 stars.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nudge
Review copy courtesy of

Here we have the story of a man in mid-life crisis, trying to evaluate what he has achieved over the years. Matthew has been working as a City trader, a professional gambler of corporate money, and it has bought him a very comfortable life. Now he is middle-aged and no longer values that safe, secure, suburban existence. Why hasn’t he achieved those things that in his twenties he thought he would? When the girl he lost forty years ago reappears and is available t
David Pope
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a rule that if I can't wait for the next page, then I give the book a 5 star rating. Trading Futures is quite thought-provoking. I am approaching fifty, so despite being slightly younger than our main character, it did make me ponder about how life can turn on a dime. What if work went down the tubes? What if my financial security was compromised? In his case, he was made redundant. How would you react? How would you deal with it? Some take it in their stride and get on with finding other ...more
Maya Panika
I didn’t realise, when I first picked up this novel, that it is by the same author as The Breaking of Eggs, a book that bored and irritated me to an immense degree. I probably wouldn’t have embarked on this if I had realised, but I’m glad I read it. This, to my mind, is a far better read than The Breaking of Eggs, though still not really my thing. It suffers from the same problems as the previous novel. The protagonist and first-person narrator of his tale, is so disagreeable, so arrogant and se ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I'm surprised by the average/negative reviews on here. I just read this as part of a work assignment and found it compelling, witty and ultimately tragic. I don't get the criticism of Matthew's character being pretentious- he's clearly very intelligent, painfully self-aware in some ways and others, seriously lacking in introspection. But he often takes the p*ss of himself and his 'pretentiousness', mocking others who take that aspect of themselves seriously. I also didn't guess ' ...more
Pedro L. Fragoso
Lucid assessments of the meaning of our urban, middle-class, middle-age existences are always exercises in despair and frustation, even if self-deprecating humour is invoked. Better to not be lucid, if at all possible (unfortunately, you may be sure that eventually reality will come calling, normally at the worst possible time).

N.B.: This review is based on Jill Waters abridgment of the original text for BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.
Mar 11, 2016 marked it as lookedinto-decidedagainst  ·  review of another edition

I'm depressed even before this kicks in, best mark it as best not...
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given the state of mind of the main protagonist, I feel a bit bad saying that I really enjoyed this story, but I did. Nice job Jim.
Isca Silurum
Maybe sympathetic as personal parallels.
Dani Wils
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea
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