By Sabin Willett
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812969559, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 14, 2004
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Fritz Brubaker and his wife, Linda—an attractive couple in their mid-forties—have it all. He’s a toy-company executive and she’s a million-dollar-a-year lawyer. Their children are in private school; they have a McMansion in a Boston suburb and a cottage on Nantucket. But their comfortable world is suddenly turned upside down when Fritz’s company’s stock tanks and he is arrested for insider trading. Linda’s image-conscious ﬁrm suspends her. Their houses get repossessed. The kids go haywire. Watching the Brubaker family’s lives unravel is the best way to see the stuff from which they’re really made.
This clever, very funny novel is a post-millennial snapshot of America that shows what happens to an economy built on greed when its chickens come home to roost. It’s the story of a family gone wrong, and its attempt to reset its course.
The author of two successful thrillers, Sabin Willett delivers in this ambitious new novel the kind of witty social commentary we associate with Tom Wolfe, Jonathan Franzen, and Zadie Smith. But he writes in his own original voice, breaking new ground as he describes a changed world. Present Value is a provocative, wonderfully entertaining ride—an irreverent, clear-eyed view of the way we live now.
Sabin Willett is a partner with the law ﬁrm of Bingham McCutchen llp. He is the author of two previous novels, The Deal and The Betrayal. He graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law School and lives outside Boston.
“Present Value is a really good story…and much more. It’s a trove of useful information about the law, the economy, and Wall Street, with intriguing insights into some of the flimsy threads of today’s culture and the sturdier values that can redeem it. Willett’s intelligence, sense of humor and craftsmanship are even more impressive.” -Mario Cuomo
“Out of nowhere, this novel grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go until I finished. It takes you into boardrooms and bedrooms, it explores the post-9/11 psyche, the culture of business, pokes below the surface of a "perfect" marriage, and provides a comic description of the noisome Blackberry culture that leaves us staring at the tops of people's heads. Sabin Willett has the eye of a fine satirist, and the fluid writing style of a Tom Wolfe.” -Ken Auletta
“If you love to hate lawyers, psychotherapists, political correctness, suburban oppressiveness, Blackberrys, CEOs, and/or CFOs; if you have a taste for tales of corporate intrigue told from the inside out; or if you enjoy dead-on 21st century comedies of manners, then Present Value is your book. “- Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century