Luke Fellows’ novel Snatch 2&20 is an immensely readable book about an immensely unlikeable leading man. “I’m no saint,” repeats Giles Goodenough, and by chapter 3, he really doesn’t have to tell us. He’s a harmless character with little moral fiber in an amicably open marriage to a stripper named Cherry, who has an Instagram account to sell make-up and views of her breasts. Giles augments a trust fund with a job at Merrill Lynch he knows he doesn’t deserve.
He admits his finest quality may be his flexible mediocrity, and he adds, “My theories were the worst kind of popular tripe, my methods sloppy, and my conclusions highly questionable.” One has to admire his bold humility. His assessment of the entire financial industry isn’t much better.
Using the word “snatch” in the title lets readers know right up front how the book will present the finance industry’s efforts to make money. The 2&20 refers to fee structures between money managers and their clients; and with amounts of money piling up in the millions, 2 and 20 percent of said money adds up. Giles Goodenough is traveling in rarefied air.
Following his adventures in economics is like watching a more sophisticated Forrest Gump navigate ordinary life, but Giles admits his shortcomings. He almost depends on them, rather surprised that those around him don’t notice.
It’s an entertaining ride, starting with a puzzling invitation to join a hedge fund run by a man named Peter Silver, the fund referred to throughout the book as POS Capital. (No sarcasm here.)
Giles has no idea what he’s doing, either at the office or at home with the luscious Mrs. Goodenough; but he sails through it all, surrounded by a bevy of stereotypical finance types, corrupt hangers-on, hypocritical drinking buddies, and bosomy women. Giles and Cherry face the typical milestones of marriage: struggles with successful marital communication, an unplanned pregnancy, sex, drugs, rock & roll, and an orgy complete with naked men on leashes and invitations to share sexual partners.
Giles and Cherry decline said invitations, however, and go home. Like Bette Midler, they have standards; they’re low, but they have them.
Snatch 2&20 is an edgy burlesque of everything Wall Street. Readers familiar with the machinations of hedge funds, investment banking and private equity will probably toggle between nodding in agreement and shaking their heads, but any reader will find it hard to put down.
Learn more about Fellows on his BookTrib author profile page.