Synopses & Reviews
In a world still uneasy after the financial turmoil of 2008, Justin Cartwright puts a human face on the dishonesties and misdeeds of the bankers who imperiled us. Tubal and Co. is a small, privately owned bank in England. As the company's longtime leader, Sir Harry Tubal, slips into senility, his son Julian takes over the reins-and not all is well. The company's hedge fund now owns innumerable toxic assets, and Julian fears what will happen when their real value is discovered.
Artair Macleod, an actor manager whose ex-wife, Fleur, was all but stolen by Sir Harry, discovers that his company's monthly grant has not been paid by Tubal. Getting no answers from Julian, he goes to the local press, and an eager young reporter begins asking questions. Bit by bit, the reporter discovers that the grant money is in fact a payoff from Fleur, written off by the bank as a charitable donation, and a scandal breaks. Julian's temperament and judgment prove a bad fit for the economic forces of the era, and the family business plunges into chaos as he tries to hide the losses and massage the balance sheet.
A story both cautionary and uncomfortably familiar, Other People's Money is not a polemic but a tale of morality and hubris, with the Tubal family ultimately left searching only for closure. Bold, humane, urbane, full of rich characters, and effortlessly convincing, this is a novel that reminds us who we are and how we got ourselves here.
"A tale half comic and half cautionary—and all compelling—about the financial crisis. Witty, thoughtful, briskly paced and entertaining—a terrific novel about excess, hubris, class and the age-old (usually one-sided) tussle between art and commerce."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"With wit and keen observation, OTHER PEOPLES MONEY is an entertaining, observant, and informative excursion into a distant world surprisingly close at hand." —Booklist
Sir Harry Tubal, having had a stroke and retired to the family villa in the south of France, has left the reins of the family's elite private bank to his son Julian. Harry retains the services of his longtime secretary, now a septuagenarian herself, but has greater difficulty connecting to his sexually adventurous wife, Fleur. When Artair Macleod, an actor manager and ex-husband to Fleur, discovers that his company's grant has not been paid by Tubal and Co., he goes to the bank in search of the money. He gets no answer from the Julian, and so goes to the local press; an eager young reporter begins asking questions. Bit by bit, the reporter discovers that the grant money is in fact a pay-off from Fleur, written off by the bank as a charitable donation, and a scandal breaks. Julian's alpha personality and poor judgment prove an especially bad fit for the economic forces of the era, and the family's business is plunged into chaos. The story of Cartwright's latest novel is both cautionary and uncomfortably familiar. His tone, as always, is expansive and often profound. Though Old Money offers plenty of gallows humor, it is not a polemic but a story of morality and hubris, with the Tubal family ultimately just searching for peace. Bolder than To Heaven by Water and more timely than The Song Before It Is Sung, this is the most marketable book we've ever had from this prodigiously talented novelist.
About the Author
Justin Cartwright is the author of In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Leading the Cheers, winner of the Whitbread; The Promise of Happiness, winner of the Hawthornden Prize; and White Lightning, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread. He was born in South Africa and now lives in London.