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The Umbrella Men

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A witty and acerbic novel for our times about corporate greed, the hubris of bankers, contradictions of the clean energy economy and their unintended consequences on everyday people. Finance, environmentalism, rare-earth mining and human frailties collide in a complex of flawed motives. We follow Peter Mount, the self-made Chief Executive of a London-based rare-earth minin ...more
Hardcover, 454 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Neem Tree Press Limited
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  16 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Kasa Cotugno
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading a lot of claustrophobic, navel-gazing books, it is refreshing to pick up The Umbrella Men -- Rich, immersive novel of the type that really isn't seen much these days. Helpful that there is a cast of characters and their locations at the front, a glossary, at the back. With so much detail (at times, maybe too much for the casual reader), this is a mature novel that truly hops the globe. Keith Carter, with his background in investment banking, presents his debut novel using rare eart ...more
Lel Budge
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anne-cater
This is a novel with a difference….it’s the tale of people, greed and consequences.

Peter is the CEO of a small mining company, his wife Ivy spends money they do not have, all based on his shares in the company….

“Oddly, considering her soft left wing views, Ivy was an enthusiastic, free spending, brand-name snob”

There’s, Amy used to work for an investment bank, but seeing what money does to people, left and moved to a cabin in Oregon.

Hoxie, is a Yale educated, Native American man, living on a res
Seema Rao
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wonder if the book illustrator was thinking of Magritte or the Thomas Crown affair when coming up with the cover for this one. In some ways this book is a bit of both, surrealist and a caper. This book reminds me a bit of the Oracle or Golden State. A book about our world and the drawbacks of our corporate culture but in a novel. I found this quick read interesting and thought-provoking. I would recommend this for anyone who is a bit fed up with our state-of-affairs in our country but is tired ...more
Helen Lewis
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Umbrella Men is not what you'd expect - it's a novel with many layers, a story of a corruption, selfish greed, over-spending, flippancy regarding the impacts of one moment in time on future generations - and it's incredible to think that the impacts are still being felt by us - and will be by our children - in years to come. I knew little of the rare-earth mineral mines before I read this, a little of the financial crash of the late 1990s, but now understand more about both, which is unusual ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I do not know what drew me to this book in the first place, but I am really glad something did. If one reads as many books as I do in the time that I have, a pattern emerges. This relates to the type of books and stories that become some sort of standard. This book shook that standard at its root.

The narrative in this tale reads like a non-fiction report of situations in multiple places around the globe with tenuous but ultimately important connections to each other. More than the core story whi
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was not what I was expecting for some reason, but it was refreshingly good. The author has a unique style which I enjoyed, along with the globe trotting. Also an interesting take on corporate culture and society. I always look for well written characters and dialog, and this fit the bill. Mr Carter is a talented writer and I look forward to more. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!
In The Umbrella Men, Keith Carter directs various characters in a plot to act out the financial crisis of 2008. The author specifically wants to highlight the role played by RBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, in a process that might be described as financial vandalism, wrecking things by financing them, but there are plenty of other actors who get it in the neck as well in the fusillade of the author’s invention.

The Umbrella Men brings fictional characters into real-life scenarios. This is, of course,
Paula Darwish
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although the mere whiff of banking and finance normally sends me running for the garlic and crucifix, I was totally spellbound by the twists and turns of this fantastic book. It's quite a feat to explain the background to the 2008 financial crash in such a riveting read. At first glance, it might seem a bit daunting: firstly, it is quite a long tome; secondly, it opens with a reference page listing the book's generous helping of characters; thirdly, it mentions financial products - the mere ment ...more
Elizabeth Ducie
The Umbrella Men features a sometimes bewildering cast of characters: businessmen in UK; investment bankers in UK and US; environmentalists in Oregon; analysts, lawyers; Chinese politicians; and Italian ex-pats in London. There are love stories; and stories that might be love stories but aren't. Family dramas. And above all, the circumstances surrounding the banking crisis of the 2000s which hurt many people very badly. Although the bankers seemed to come out of it okay.

Keith Carter has a backgr
Unzila Ali
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It was extremely witty, which I really wasn’t expecting! It talks about business especially how the competitors try to get on each other nerves. Writing style was pretty great! I really liked how the author has managed to describe every single character with such a realistic touch that it literally left me in awe! But I still got kind of confused from time to time because of the uncountable number of characters like in every single chapter, there was a new character s ...more
Reading it in parts during two distant time chunks, I thoroughly enjoyed it as a reader who wanted to learn more about the the big credit crunch of 2008.

Structured mainly as the fictional story of an international small-to-medium-sized mining company in rare-earth minerals business trapped with the greed of the finance sector and capitalism, politics, environmentalism and human traits, the author with a background in economics and banking successfully draws an absorbing picture of the non-ficti
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This interesting and witty book looks at things from a different point of view and makes you think. We are fast forgetting the last financial crisis – the one caused in 2007 by the banking industry going rogue: The Umbrella Men looks at it from the perspective of a victim – but, unusually, a corporate one. We are all keen on renewable energy – this book gently asks us to consider its environmental costs as well as the benefits. We hold marital fidelity as a high standard – the author invites us, ...more
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