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Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile
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Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
In this no-holds barred, warts and all account of life in London's financial heartland, Anderson breaks the Square Mile's code of silence, revealing explosive secrets, tricks of the trade and the corrupt, murky underbelly at the heart of life in the City.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2008 by Headline (first published 2008)
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Skybrush According to the author's info on the inside of the back-cover and the fact that the book is issued under "memoir", I'd say that it gives a quite…moreAccording to the author's info on the inside of the back-cover and the fact that the book is issued under "memoir", I'd say that it gives a quite authentic albeit strongly subjective view. I guess the author is exaggerating some parts, but as he writes himself in the epilogue "he had a point to make".(less)
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(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
City Boy is a book about a British man, being sucked into a world of easy money, sex and vulgur addictions. In other words about an average stockbrocker of the late 90s and early 00s. I got this book as a gift for my sister who started studyinc finance and economics in uni last year, and found myself drawn into that book. The writing is fast paced, and simple yet captivating, the one-liners are often hillarious, and the main character is both disgustingly hateful and weirdly likeable. You can't ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Wanker! Need I say more? Ok, tediously written, an amalgam of thoroughly superficial analysis, cheap and unheartfelt morality, and salacious anecdote. Of these, only the last is interesting - even while the scenes depicted (the investment bankers, including women, who all run into each other at 75 quid a head sex parties) are somewhat improbable. But the biggest problem is that Anderson, or his alter ego, Steve, is smashingly tiresome. He can't decide if he's holier than thou or more roguish tha ...more
Henri Hämäläinen
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Book really tries to shock you. It feasts with dirty details how money, sex and drugs play huge role in a world full of egoistic individuals of banking. Those seem to contain mainly quite young white men. It shouldn't be no surprise to anyone involved in team sports or being part of other manly activity groups that there are lot of men like this in world. These cityboys in London, just happen to get too much money and respect out of the work they do and that makes them act like this.

The book its
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Oh what fun! This is really a pretty hilarious account of the insanity of the feeding frenzy which is the financial industry, so-called.

If an African or Malaysian politician or whoever in the developing world demands cash upfront to allow you to do what you want to do, we call that graft. But in the "square mile" or on "Wall Street" the voodoo is in generating "fees" "commissions" or "bonuses" in the present from advice or "products" of dubious value. So the "rainmakers" are really better magici
Marc Aafjes
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-physical
My first book finished for 2015. I started on this few years back, and decided to start the year with this light humorous (depending on your point of view) book.

Overall a nice read about personal experiences in the investment banking sector, and the issues arising from the participants' incentives and their psychological drivers. It's clear the author has quite a negative recollection of his experiences during his time 'in the city', which -- from my own understanding and experiences -- ring tr
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a recent American transplant in London reading this, I found it to be fairly eye-opening in terms of the so-called "inside track" of life and dealings in the financial sector of the city. I found it highly entertaining and would have given it more stars, if not for the amateurish style of writing from Anderson, which for me, lessened the experience a few degrees - enough with the similes and metaphors, please! The book opens with a real punch in the gut, but then slows down to a mere crawl fo ...more
Julie Mestdagh
Much like Michael Lewis tried to do in his brilliant novel "Flash boys", so does Geraint Anderson try to explain the extravagant ways of the financial world in his book "City boys". Lewis versus Anderson: "Flash boys" versus "City boys".... "Wall street" versus "London Square Mile"… qualitative writing versus a poor wannabe version of the better thing. Anderson tries really hard to shock the reader with the harsh truth about the financial world, the hard competition, the dirty games, the corrupt ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Middleton
Mar 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book is just dreadful. Give it a miss at all costs.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
If you're looking for a light read this might be your call. At times interesting and witty, the book gives a good number of anecdotes about this financier's life in the City. The "moral parts" read quite a bit hypocritical and somehow artificial, just like "do what the priest tells you, not what he does"...
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This has been on my to-read list for years. Very glad I finally got round to it. Probably 3.5 stars- it's worth a read!
Andy Groark
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
London’s white collar criminals in an entertaining biopic rant.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great humorous review of the stockbroker's life in the City.
Avishek Halder
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Cityboy is a sometimes cruel story of how a self proclaimed left wing hippy in need of a job turns into a corporate monster thanks to Europe's biggest money market, the Square Mile. Steve in desperate need of a job secures a position as a market analyst and slowly but surely turns into everything he hates. The character bluffs his way to success and makes sums of money which can only be described as ostentatious. With money comes all the other negatives that are associated with it (drugs, obscen ...more
Eric Morand
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ankur Rastogi
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
City Boy is supposed to be an insider account of the filthy money and life lived by so called investment bankers. Written in a witty and sarcastic tone, the book does provide an interesting account.

The book's primary focus areas remain money, drugs & sex. I have read some other books on investment banker's life and almost all say the same thing. That investment bankers make a hell lot of money for doing almost nothing. True they spend almost 60-70 hrs week but the justification for earning
James Perkins
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
An unsurprising yet unsettling expose on the behaviour of London stockbrokers - but probably symptomatic of the "profession" - if it could be called that - worldwide. The writing style is very chatty, as if the narrator is telling a yarn down the pub, and what a yarn it is! When I first saw this book in the library, I thought it was a novel, but the publishers Headline have seen fit to categorise it under "Non-fiction/Memoir". Hard to say how much is fiction and how much is fact; I suspect much ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
The book had potential. The life of a "cityboy" would be interesting and how they reconcile their selfish pursuit of wealth to the detriment of themselves and society would prove a valuable study. However, the author's trite, formulaic writing ruined the book for me. A few of the more irritating points were the unnecessary, forced vulgarity - not of the subject matter, but in the writing style; the way he ended so many ideas with a comparison (eg. To say I looked sartorially challenged would be ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Addictive for the wrong reasons; yes it's (for the most part) fast paced and simplistic so that anyone who is not well versed with the financial world can pick it up and finish it, however it is in my belief that readers are more intrigued with a simplistic version of the truth as opposed to this book which is a cocktail of sensationalism, where fiction meets the truth. With that fiction, it becomes hard for the reader to get a real "inside" look into the world of excess which bankers live; I wo ...more
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I wonder if the subtitle 'Beer and Loathing' gives this one away. Like Hunter S. Thompson's drug-addled Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I read it while wondering which of the anecdotes happened to the author and which were fictional or office rumours...

It's very funny, however, although - reading between the lines - most of Steve's colleagues were spreadsheet-kissing spods, or whatever he called them, who unsportingly went home to their wives before the debauchery started.

This is probably the
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who can handle a few curse words and obscene situations
Recommended to Amanda by: Hilary Sutton
"Prescient" seems like the obvious word choice for Cityboy, a fictionalized inside look at the debauchery of London's Wall Street equivalent, the City.

But there it is, it's hard to get away from -- published in 2008, and written primarily in 2006, Cityboy predicts in uncouched, harsh terms, the subprime mortgage crisis of September & October 2008 that resulted in the largest one-day loss in stock market history. What else can you call it but prescient?

That said, not only is it intriguing to
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is all about how greedy and selfish cityboys are and hey, Mr Anderson was one of them so he should know, right? Maybe, because it is not clear what is made up. He states, that the narrator called "Steve" is not him but resembles him. Mr Anderson apparently never worked for a bulge bracket bank as Steve does in the book. I am sure this book is a mix of facts and fiction and my best guess is, that a lot of these events are stories he might have heard from some fellows. His vulgar writing ...more
Tim Corke
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cityboy has left me confused.

Anderson 'bravely' comes out and spills the beans behind the murky world of city financial institutions to inform and educate the masses but unfortunately this is something that most already knew and didn't need the book in the first place. It does, however, give a first-hand account of what exactly happens which will no doubt antagonise, but equally, entertain as it's well written and an 'enjoyable' read.

I'm glad that I've found a copy, as buying a copy wouldn't ha
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
A most entertaining read, hilariously funny and sadly very close to the truth - many situations will sound strangely familiar to anyone who has worked in the Square Mile. This book got me laughing out loud on a plane, which earned me disapproving glances from fellow City-types sitting in buz class - yes I was the only chick in there and yes, I had the bad taste of being seen reading something else than the FT in public... Some will say it's a little bit too easy for the author to be spitting in ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting but not surprising. A decent topical read on how the city operates from an author who obviously got stuck right into it. I love the moral dilemma, folk saying it's ridiculous amounts of cash to be paid and these people should be strung up and castrated, but then put the same folk on the receiving side of big piles of cash, and would they say no?? Maybe one or two altruistic individuals.

If you're in the least bit interested about how this country is in the financial state it's in, th
Aaron Weinman
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Crass, forthright and straight-up entertaining! very loathsome look into the morally-conflicting world of investment banking, private equity and stockbroking etc etc..I read this just as the Libor scandal and HSBC client listing news broke and this definitely bolstered my already negative perception of the trade and its inhabitants! Anderson is a witty banker-cum-journalist and if you enjoy abrasive writing with plenty of one-liners, you'll enjoy this read. Think of it as Ari Gold, in writing. E ...more
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very clever semi-autobiographical story of an equity analyst in the City. I love the names of the banks where he worked: Banque Inutile and Scheisse Bank. I think (and hope) that some of the sordid excesses he describes, mainly on the part of sell-side traders, are probably exaggerated. However, it does demonstrate the often repulsive excesses of the City in its hey-day. Made me laugh out loud in many parts.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Nothing new in here if you've followed the "City" in the media, and Anderson does overuse a few writing devices.
If you think stockbrokers/analysts/fund managers (or dare I say it bankers or anyone who manages your money), want to do the best for you, wake up and smell the corruption.
Does make you wonder how the current New Zealand prime minister apparently managed to stay squeaky clean while he made $50 million over his career in the markets.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Amusing real life story of trader who did actually quit the fat cat lifestyle. I learnt a lot about trading, financial markets, and the absolute bankers who work them. It confirmed all my suspicions about them being a talentless lot of chancers, but begs the question of how they were allowed to command the money and respect they did for so long. Its definitely a pertinent cautionary tale for the post-financial meltdown world.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought
Un livre qui se veut provocateur mais dont le contenu plus que stéréotypé le rend platonique. Entre folie financière et jugement moral, on ne sait pas si l'auteur se veut proche de Gandhi ou Thatcher.
J'ai néanmoins relevé quelques citations intéressantes qui mériteraient d'être approfondies.
Cependant, je reste sur mon idée que pour toute personne connaissant un minimum le milieu de la finance, sera un tantinet déçu.
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