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A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novelby David Liss
Synopses & Reviews
THE HISTORICAL THRILLER OF THE YEAR Benjamin Weaver is an outsider in eighteenth-century London: a Jew among Christians; a ruffian among aristocrats; a retired pugilist who, hired by London's gentry, travels through the criminal underworld in pursuit of debtors and thieves. InA Conspiracy of Paper, Weaver investigates a crime of the most personal sort: the mysterious death of his estranged father, a notorious stockjobber. To find the answers, Weaver must contend with a desperate prostitute who knows too much about his past, relatives who remind him of his alienation from the Jewish faith, and a cabal of powerful men in the world of British finance who have hidden their business dealings behind an intricate web of deception and violence. Relying on brains and brawn, Weaver uncovers the beginnings of a strange new economic order based on stock speculation--a way of life that poses great risk for investors but real danger for Weaver and his family. In the tradition ofThe Alienistand written with scholarly attention to period detail,A Conspiracy of Paperis one of the wittiest and most suspenseful historical novels in recent memory, as well as a perceptive and beguiling depiction of the origin of today's financial markets. In Benjamin Weaver, author David Liss has created an irresistibly appealing protagonist, one who parlays his knowledge of the emerging stock market into a new kind of detective work.
"In "A Conspiracy of Paper, " David Liss has woven a tale of 18th-century finance, murder, and religion that is a remarkable debut and a thoroughly satisfying novel."--Arthur Golden, author of "Memoirs of a Geisha."
In A Conspiracy of Paper, Benjamin Weaver must investigate a crime of the most personal sort, involving the mysterious death of his estranged father, a notorious stock-jobber. To find the answers, Weaver is drawn into the labyrinthine world of British finance, where powerful men from the South Sea Company are among the first to issue certificates of stock, an innovation that sets off a frenzy of speculation among investors and wariness among directors of the Bank of England.
As Weaver immerses himself in this strange new economic order, he must also contend with a garrolous prostitute who knows too much about his past and an estranged family that doesn't know quite what to make of him.
Written with scholarly attention to the detail of the period, A Conspiracy of Paper is one of the wittiest and most suspenseful historical novels in recent memory, as well as a perceptive and beguiling depiction of the origins of today's financial markets.
About the Author
David Liss was born in 1966 and grew up in south Florida. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of English at Columbia University, where he is completing his dissertation on how the mid-eighteenth-century novel reflects and shapes the emergence of the modern idea of personal finance. He has given numerous conference papers on his research and has also published on Henry James. He has received several awards for his work, including the Columbia President's Fellowship, an A. W. Mellon Research Fellowship, and the Whiting Dissertation Fellowship. He holds an M.A. degree from Georgia State University and a B.S. degree from Syracuse University. Liss lives in New York City with his wife and can be reached via his website, www.davidliss.com.
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