The Dismal Science

The Dismal Science

3.6 (288 ratings by Goodreads)
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he Dismal Science tells of a middle-aged vice president at the World Bank, Vincenzo D'Orsi, who publicly quits his job over a seemingly minor argument with a colleague. A scandal inevitably ensues, and he systematically burns every bridge to his former life. After abandoning his career, Vincenzo, a recent widower, is at a complete loss as to what to do with himself. The story follows his efforts to rebuild his identity without a vocation or the company of his wife. An exploration of the fragile nature of identity, The Dismal Science reveals the terrifying speed with which a person's sense of self can be annihilated. It is at once a study of a man attempting to apply his reason to the muddle of life and a book about how that same ostensible rationality, and the mathematics of finance in particular, operates--with similarly dubious results--in our world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 230 pages
  • 117 x 196 x 25mm | 318g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1935639722
  • 9781935639725
  • 1,947,878

Review quote

""The Dismal Science" is exuberant art, a deep, moving comedy about grief, guilt, and the heart's geopolitics. Mountford writes with soul and style and makes the plight of his protagonist count."
-Sam Lipsyte, author of "The Ask"
"In his fiercely intelligent second novel (after "A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism"), Mountford examines, with wry humor and sympathy leavened with a realistic accounting of Vincenzo d'Orsi's flaws and failings, the repercussions of a decision made in haste and--perhaps--regretted at leisure. Or not regretted. Who could have ever predicted that an economist at the World Bank could be such a terrific main character? I absolutely loved "The Dismal Science.""
--Nancy Pearl, NPR commentator and author of the "Book Lust" series
"Peter Mountford's elegantly written "The Dismal Science"--an advance on his superb first novel--is an extremely impressive imagining by a relatively young writer into a relatively old man's life. It also is a brilliant extrapolation of the economist's 'dismal science' into a metaphor for the difficult fate of any living, breathing, dying human being."
--David Shields, author of "The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead"
""The Dismal Science" is a beautiful novel: stark, powerful, and life-affirming. Vincenzo's haunting journey will stay with me for a very, very long time."
--Garth Stein, author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain"

"Peter Mountford's striking debut novel is a smart and entertaining book. Set near the peak of the financial bubble in 2005, the book charts the story of a young financial journalist, Gabriel de Boya, recently hired as an analyst for a notoriously unscrupulous hedge fund. Gabriel's first mission is a test of his abilities: go to Bolivia and find a way to profit from the Bolivian presidential election. In Gabriel, Mountford creates a complex, charismatic, and engagin
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About Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford s debut novel, "A Young Man s Guide to Late Capitalism," was the winner of the Washington State Book Award and a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. NPR.ORG selected it for the Books We Like series, the "Daily Beast" picked it as a great summer read, and the editors at Kindle named it one of the most exciting books of the season; it was also featured in the "New York Times Magazine," "Vanity Fair," "Town and Country," "Interview," and the "Wall Street Journal," among other venues.
Mountford s work on "The Dismal Science" has won grants from 4Culture, Seattle s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. The Corporation of Yaddo awarded him its 2010 Wallace Fellowship for a Distinguished Writer so that he could work on the book. His short fiction and essays have appeared in the "Atlantic," "Best New American Voices 2008," "Conjunctions," "Salon," "Granta," "ZYZZYVA," and the "Boston Review." He s currently a writer-in-residence at the Richard Hugo House and at Seattle Arts and Lectures. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Rating details

288 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 21% (61)
4 36% (103)
3 28% (80)
2 12% (36)
1 3% (8)
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