Cityboy – Beer and Loathing in the City – book review

The other half bought me the book by Geraint Anderson, “Cityboy – Beer and Loathing in the City“… this was actually meant to be a Xmas present but I really wanted to read it (she blabbed that my present had come through the post and I insisted on knowing what it was.. when I found out what it was, I begged her to let me read it right away… my persuasive charms worked and I just digested the book). Anyway, it was a fun read and an insight to how the City worked. The City being the City of London, the Financial capital of the world!! I know some New Yorkers will dispute this but London officially overtook New York a few years back (the Sarbanes Oxley stuff made it more complicated for firms to list on the New York stock exchange).. however, with what’s happening lately in the economy.. who knows, everyone knows the whole financial centre is a complete mess (particularly in London)

After reading the book, it did make me wonder if I would ever like to work in the City. You get paid handsomely and the salaries are completely disproportionate to the rest of the country but it is a dog-eat-dog world. There are a lot of egos in the City and people are only interested in their own success..  people are only interested in you if you can help them someway or another. Also, people work 70 – 80 hours a week… you really spend most of your waking life for your company. Even with all the money that you’re making, when are you ever going to find time to spend it?

Geraint’s account is viewed through the eyes of Steve Jones (his alter ego for the book) and tells of his story from when he started, wet behind the ears. It is a hilarious read and some of the stories may seem a bit unbelievable in the context of the Corporate world but I know some of these things do happen. I used to work for a recruitment company in Mayfair and recruitment guys have very similar characteristics to traders (I read somewhere that failed Traders become Estate Agents and Recruitment consultants!). Some of the things which I saw which were done to others were hilarious.. so long as they weren’t done to you!

Anyway, going back to the book.. Geraint’s story tells of how he started and progressed up the ranks starting off with a salary of £24,000 to £120,000 in 5 years. He talks about the personalities you’ll meet in the City and the conversations he had. He writes about the client entertaining and the hedonistic behaviour (drugs, alcohol and crazy spending)… it gives you an understanding of the characters and personalities in the City… about what happens behind those remarkable buildings where the the City workers make their millions. It is told in in a humourous manner and so is a great little read…

For those of you living in London, you probably know of the Londonpaper.. there was a Cityboy column which wrote about the shennigans of the City workers. Geraint had been writing the column anonymously. On the release of his book, his identity was revealed. Now there’s a Citygirl who has appeared in Londonpaper and giving her anonymous account..

Anyway, I try to keep my posts within a reading distance.. too long they just drag. If you would like to read Cityboy, you can get your copy from Amazon:

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Category: book reviews, money