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The eagerly anticipated debut novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist You Are Not a Stranger Here a deeply affecting portrait of the modern gilded age the first decade of the twenty first centuryAt the heart of Union Atlantic lies a test of wills between a young banker Doug Fanning and a retired schoolteacher Charlotte Graves whose two dogs have begun to speak to her When. In an interview Adam Haslett said My interest is always to get as deeply as I can into the minds and spirits of the characters and let the readers empathize or judge as they will Well he uite succeeded in doing this in my opinion With Union Atlantic he tells the story of group of people whose lives intersected for a little period of time Haslett gives all dues to each character and easily drew me in making me feel that particular character The loneliness the confusion the passion that was Charlotte the loss the pain the escape the want of Nate the sleekness the barrenness of Doug etc He knows how to write peopleAs I read this during the time of the Greek bailout the story struck chords than just what happened in the past Because money meddling is not just a thing of the past I don t think that we found the perfect solution yet Our world is controlled by might is right not by fair and just Maybe like Henry I too have to be pragmatic enough to bend my wish for the better for the greater good even if this galls Or no should I be like Charlotte A stalwart Don uixote fighting at windmills But without the Charlottes where would we be Much worse than we are We need them at least to brake a little the headlong rush of greed Because our world is a good breeding ground for the sleek sharks that do not get wet like Doug Shortsighted yes because they need to drink that water to live But then maybe my definition of live is not the same as theirsAn enjoyable group read where we talked this to death

Review ¶ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ☆ Adam Haslett

Union Atlantic

A watchful eye on Union Atlantic and the entire financial system Drawn into Doug and Charlotte's intensifying conflict is Nate Fuller a troubled high school senior who unwittingly stirs powerful emotions in each of them Irresistibly complex imaginative and witty Union Atlantic is a singular work of fiction that is sure to be read and reread long after it causes a sensation this sprin. Watching the Congressional hearings into Goldman Sachs made me appreciate the prescience of Adam Haslett s brilliant novel Union AtlanticWritten in the year before the economic collapse of 2009 Haslett s novel features a young gun investment banker Doug Fanning whom we first meet in 1988 when he is stationed on a US naval ship that is escorting Kuwaiti tankers through the Straits of Hormuz Fanning sees an unidentified plane on his radar and alerts his commander A decision is made to fire upon the plane and 290 people lost their lives as their Iranian Airbus passenger jet was shot down by the AmericansThe incident gets covered up as well as the fact that Fanning failed to tell his commander that the jet was ascending not descending as the commander was told This incident and its aftermath leads Fanning to become the kind of man who later sets in motion a financial disaster that threatens the US banking systemFanning becomes a big success as an investment banker at Union Atlantic He takes risks there as well and as long as he produces big profits for the bank and in turn himself he can cut all the corners he likes His boss is willfully ignorant of Fanning s schemesWhen Fanning builds a huge McMansion next to property owned by Charlotte Graves he underestimates her The land was owned by her grandfather and Charlotte believes his house is obscene Charlotte a retired teacher is eccentric slipping into insanity She believes that her two dogs are the incarnated Malcolm X and Cotton Mather and they freuently share their conflicting advice with CharlotteCharlotte ends up tutoring Nate a teenage boy whose father recently committed suicide Nate and his mother are barely existing together He breaks into Fanning s home and ends up in a dangerous sexual relationship with Fanning Fanning wants Nate to help get Charlotte off his back and he is willing to use Nate s vulnerability to get what he wantsWhen a colleague working for Fanning runs a scheme that unravels Charlotte brother Henry Graves the president of the New York Federal Reserve becomes involved in trying to keep this from ruining the entire entangled U S economy Hank Paulson anyoneHow Haslett weaves these stories together is a wonder He doesn t write this novel he crafts it It took me along time to read this book because I freuently reread passages they were that beautiful Of Nate realizing that Charlotte needed him he writesThese last many months the intuition of others needs had become Nate s second nature as if his father s going had cut him a pair of new lidless eyes that couldn t help but see into a person such as this this marooned and specter drivenHis characters are vivid and complex Nate is flailing about wanting to be loved and willing to debase himself to do it Charlotte is a genius bordering on insane and Fanning is amoral sinking further into the morassIt is astonishing that a fiction writer created this dialogue in 2008 when Henry the NY Fed Chair says to the CEO of Union AtlanticLet me start by saying that if you or your board is under the impression that Union Atlantic is too big to fail you re mistaken There s no uestion here of a bailout If you go under the markets will take a hit but with enough liuidity in the system we can cut you loose I hope you understand that This of course was a bluff Henry has already begun receiving calls from the Treasury DepartmentThis novel is one of the best books I have read this decade The story is relevant and the characters are powerful Haslett is a true craftsmen If you like good fiction this is a book you must read

Adam Haslett ☆ 7 Characters

Doug builds an ostentatious mansion on land that Charlotte's grandfather donated to the town of Finden Massachusetts she determines to oust him in court As a senior manager of Union Atlantic bank a major financial conglomerate Doug is embroiled in the company's struggle to remain afloat It is Charlotte's brother Henry Graves the president of the New York Federal Reserve who must keep. How interesting that this has an average rating of only 334 For me it s one of the strongest novels of the 21st century I ve read so far Granted I don t read a lot of current literary fictionIt combines the pacing of a thriller the social acuity of Tom Wolfe and the phrase crafting of Jonathan Franzen I d rank it above Privileges by Jonathan Dee a somewhat similar novel Haslett writes with eual facility about leveraged stock trades and margin calls and the mechanics of gay sex which explains why the novel was both a Financial TimesGoldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Nominee and got a Lambda Literary Award for Gay FictionSometimes good writing is deceptively simple He said nothing for another moment or two time enough he figured for the man to begin wondering about his own liability once the shareholder litigation began A fairly ordinary sentence yet think about how much a writer has to know both about finance and human behavior to create it And This was the kind of Business Roundtable chump who spent his lunchtime decrying government intrusion and now found himself on a cell phone in the middle of the night pleading with the government to save himOr this Zeitgeisty sentence Now and again Sabrina employed this sort of presumption a compensatory fantasy he imagined for the inherent powerlessness of a person with an advanced degree in short fiction OuchAnd Like a luxury car with poor turning radius it took some effort for her to steer back through the door which Doug closed behind herThere are a few false notes Charlotte serves Nate a tray of tea and biscuits as if we re in some country other than America And a huge Fourth of July party thrown by a megabank CEO and his wife descends into farce as the flock of sheep he owns in order to get a farming tax deduction are accidentally let loose and begin to nervously shit on the partygoers feet and fireworks explode prematurely setting the lawn on fire We visit Charlotte s youthful live in love Eric in flashbacks Eric is a heroin addict who in Charlotte s and Haslett s eyes seems near Christlike We are also subjected to too much of high schooler Nate s friends and their drug binges I always find myself hoping that a book aimed at adults featuring adult characters will remain that way and always cringe when the teens and their bongs emerge


10 thoughts on “Union Atlantic

  1. says:

    Union Atlantic So good even negative reviews are basically recommendationsOne star reviews mention unsympathetic c

  2. says:

    In an interview Adam Haslett said “My interest is always to get as deeply as I can into the minds and spirits of the characters and let the readers empathize or judge as they will” Well he uite succeeded in doing this in my opinion With Union Atlantic he tells the story of group of people whose lives intersected for a little pe

  3. says:

    I was skeptical Yes I had really really loved his collection of short stories You Are Not a Stranger Here But in his NPR interview I heard the description of this novel and it had to do with banking And all of those things that made our economy nearly collapse Not that these things aren't important but I generally don't understand them swaps and trades and mortgage backed securities and markets and exchanges

  4. says:

    I love books that put me in the morally compromised position of rooting for a villain In Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country for example we watch Undine Spragg a creature of pure ambition and greed as she goes through husband after husband in her search for wealth and status She leaves in her wake a neglected son and a suicid

  5. says:

    How interesting that this has an average rating of only 334 For me it's one of the strongest novels of the 21st century I've

  6. says:

    45 starsBasically what Apeiron said in her beautiful reviewThere were a lot of scenes small and bigger that were marvelous This author has a rare keen eye for interpersonal dynamics and at some point I felt driven to google his age There is something really mature in the way he brings characters to life a compassionate yet detached

  7. says:

    Watching the Congressional hearings into Goldman Sachs made me appreciate the prescience of Adam Haslett's brilliant novel Union AtlanticWritten in the year before the economic collapse of 2009 Haslett's novel features a young gun investment ba

  8. says:

    Very good with so many beautiful scenes insightful observations and interesting characters But the first chapters are pretty boring Still wondering how this got the Lambda because the LGBT part is just so minor

  9. says:

    Union Atlantic has everything one could need from a contemporary novel except for perhaps a sense of humor Which isn't to say that it isn't a pleasurable read it is Just not exactly satisfyingMuch of the pleasure here comes from Haslett's pr

  10. says:

    Another capable fictional response to the banking crisis Main character Doug Fanning is seemingly invincible he thinks he is perfect and untouchable – that the property dispute threatening his mansion will just go away that he can have an offhand sexual relationship with a teenage boy and no one will be any the wiser and that he can commit fraud without getting caughtWhen his inevitable fall comes and he is returned to the Middle East s