Sections

User Functions

Events

There are no upcoming events

Lost? Follow me...

If you have never been to this site, a good place to start is the "About Me" section.

The most visited areas on the site - resume, portfolio, and photo albums - can be accessed via the top nav.

If you've been given a user account, login here.

RSS & RDF Feeds:

AdrianCrook.com

My Photo Albums

Selected News


Welcome to Adrian Crook

>

Monkey Business - by John Rolfe and Peter Troob

  • Email Article To a Friend
  • View Printable Version
  • Thursday, August 18 2005
  • Contributed by:
  • Views:
    3,899

August 2005
A co-worker mentioned that he'd heard this was a good book, so I bought it and read it. Turns out it was a horrible book.

Monkey Business is a "book" written by two young investment bankers on how - gasp! - investment banking is miserable work. The writing quality is below that of many amateur blogs with goonish similes and metaphors slammed together, sentence after sentence. It was truly painful to read and not remotely enlightening. It smacks of two kids who went into investment banking for the money and instead got their first dose of the real world, companies who lie, long hours, crappy bosses, and everything else adults have long since accepted as par for the course. Pass on this book.

Here's the summary of the book from Publishers Weekly:
As eager-beaver business school students, Rolfe and Troob garnered job offers as junior associates at the elite Wall Street investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, lured by dreams of wealth, glamour and power. Readers whose fascination with Wall Street shenanigans has been fueled by Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker will find this thorough rundown of an investment bank associate's daily routine sobering. By the time Rolfe and Troob were able to discern the key fact that the "investment banking community has long been an oligopoly, with only a handful of real players with the size and scale to drive through the big deals," they were already grappling with the gritty reality of performing grunt labor in an environment ruled by despotic senior partners who called innumerable meetings to set unrealistic deadlines and make superhuman demands on anybody within screaming distance. The authors' resulting disappointment and disaffection leaps off every page. Unfortunately, they take out their frustrations with indiscriminate potshots at such easy targets as word processors ("Christopher Street fairies"), copy center personnel ("a platoon of patriotic Puerto Ricans" they offhandedly refer to as "militants") and female research analysts (whom they describe as "under-sexed, eager-to-please"). Long before the hapless authors have stooped to expressing their fury at the bank by such puerile antics as urinating into a beer bottle while seated at a banquet table at the Christmas party, readers will have had enough.

The Best American Magazine Writing 2004 - Introduction by Susan Orlean

  • Email Article To a Friend
  • View Printable Version
  • Saturday, August 13 2005
  • Contributed by:
  • Views:
    3,244

August 2005
This was the best book purchase I made this year. I bought it as one of my reading materials on our Cuban honeymoon in January and read it all down there. I'm posting it now because I forgot to post it then.

As you'd expect, there are some incredible stories in The Best American Magazine Writing 2004. My favourite was "Columbia's Last Flight", an exhaustively researched piece exploring the investigation into the most recent shuttle disaster. An astonishingly vivid and insightful piece better than any suspense novel.

Some of the other incredible articles included are "The Stovepipe" (Dick Cheney's funneling of Iraq intelligence to bypass CIA filtering), "A Sudden Illness" (eye-opening story about the extreme toll of chronic fatigue syndrome) and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (Tucker Carlson's retelling of his trip to Africa with Al Sharpton, et al).

Can't recommend this book highly enough for those of you whose short attention spans still demand quality content.

Autumn of the Moguls - by Michael Wolff

  • Email Article To a Friend
  • View Printable Version
  • Wednesday, August 03 2005
  • Contributed by:
  • Views:
    2,442

August 2005
Still catching up on my posts about books read this summer. I'm a little too busy to write real "reviews" of these books, so I'll write as much as I can and fill in the rest with text cut-and-pasted from Amazon.

Autumn of the Moguls was another one of my New York media books that I fell into reading. This one, as the title states, focused on the culture of media moguldom and how true moguls are on the way out. The author spends a lot of time analyzing/rumour-mongering over the likes of Redstone, Diller, Eisner and Murdoch. But we don't learn much besides the fact that Wolff is a high-paid gossip columnist.

Here's the summary of the book from Publishers Weekly:
When the Internet boom began, Wolff set out to make a fortune and wound up with a bestselling memoir chronicling his failure (Burn Rate). Successfully reinventing himself as an industry pundit, most notably for New York magazine, he's reached the point where, as he boasts here, "[I]f there was a media party, I'd be invited to it." (He can even produce a guest list as proof.) This book centers on one such party: an industry conference where he's enlisted to interview Rupert Murdoch. Onto this foundation he piles digression after digression until he has offered up a catty remark about just about every major player in the media biz. Thus "gray and corpulent" Fox News head Roger Ailes is "one of the great creepy figures of the age," and even Walter Isaacson, acknowledged as the "fantasy life" figure for journalists of the author's generation, is eventually skewered as "the most self-important person in [his] class at Harvard." All this heel-nipping serves as anecdotal support for Wolff's contention that the industry is a chain of con games in which the last domino is about to fall and Wolff is the only one brave enough to say so. Eventually, every topic returns to the subject of the author as industry outsider, with other people existing so that he might have opinions of them. A thin veneer of self-effacement does nothing to blunt the tremendous display of ego slathered over this superficial analysis.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - by J.K. Rowling

  • Email Article To a Friend
  • View Printable Version
  • Thursday, July 28 2005
  • Contributed by:
  • Views:
    3,177

July 2005
There's not much point me "reviewing" this book as everything's been written about it already. I never thought I'd read Harry Potter, but in the interest of not criticizing something I'd never read, I accepted this book on loan from a co-worker. I read and enjoyed it. Rowling's definitely mastered the art of managing short attention spans as there wasn't one part of the book where I found myself thinking "ok, ok, get on with it". So even though this book was just a couple hundred pages, I imagine her latest (around 700 pages, I believe) would be just as briskly readable as this one.

My co-worker also loaned me the second book in the series, but I decided that as good as Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone was, I didn't need to read two in a row.

Here's the review from Amazon.co.uk:
Say you've spent the first 10 years of your life sleeping under the stairs of a family who loathes you. Then, in an absurd, magical twist of fate you find yourself surrounded by wizards, a caged snowy owl, a phoenix-feather wand and jellybeans that come in every flavour, including strawberry, curry, grass and sardine. Not only that, but you discover that you are a wizard yourself! This is exactly what happens to young Harry Potter in J K Rowling's enchanting, funny debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In the non-magical human world--the world of "Muggles"--Harry is a nobody, treated like dirt by the aunt and uncle who begrudgingly inherited him when his parents were killed by the evil Voldemort. But in the world of wizards, small, skinny Harry is renowned as a survivor of the wizard who tried to kill him. He is left only with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, curiously refined sensibilities and a host of mysterious powers to remind him that he's quite, yes, altogether different from his aunt, uncle, and spoilt, pig-like cousin Dudley.

Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans - by Dave Eggers (editor)

  • Email Article To a Friend
  • View Printable Version
  • Thursday, July 07 2005
  • Contributed by:
  • Views:
    2,674

July 2005
Dave Eggers has the sense of humor and writing talent I wish I had. And even though he's merely edited - not written - the content of this book, it's still deeply steeped in his humor. Eggers is the author of "A Heatbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "You Shall Know Our Velocity", two of the better books I've read in the last few years. He also runs McSweeney's, a quarterly literary journal that publishes fiction, with some humour. Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans (CiDbTA) is a compilation of humour articles and lists from McSweeney's and the McSweeney's website.

It's a very quick read, really not meant to be read front-to-back but I did so anyway. Some of the funnier articles are "Fire: The Next Sharp Stick?" in which one caveman attempts to sell two others on the merits of the newly discovered fire. Super funny, believe me. "Journal of a New COBRA Recruit" is pretty good as well as we're walked through the first few days of a new recruit's life in COBRA (yes, a la GI Joe). "On the Implausibility of the Death Star's Trash Compactor" argues that said device is not feasible or at least not very well thought out. Among the lists, "Cancelled Regional Morning TV Shows" had me crying I was laughing so hard. "E-mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give Out Over the Phone" is also funny, as is "Possible Follow-up Songs for One-Hit Wonders".

I was laughing out loud all the way through this book. Lara was trying to read and I kept interupting her to read her lists or articles from the book. It's cheap, funny, light reading - get it.

First | Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | Next | Last

Game of the Year

Producer of the Year

My Xbox 360 Gamer Card

My Flickr Photos

www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Crook Family. Make your own badge here.

Poll

Tell us your opinion about Geeklog

What is the best new feature of Geeklog?

  •  MS SQL support
  •  Multi-language support
  •  Calendar as a plugin
  •  SLV spam protection
  •  Mass-delete users
  •  Other
This poll has 1 more questions.
Other polls | 0 voters | 0 comments