Mergers & acquisitions

Washington, D.C.


I’ve just finished a great book by Dana Vachon, a blogger turned novelist, who was born in Greenwich, raised in Chappaqua, and had his first stint at JP Morgan after graduating from Duke in 2002. Mergers & Acquisitions isn’t what you think it is — not a business school textbook, but instead a roman a clef. Think Devil Wears Prada or Nanny Diaries but with eyes set on Wall Street.

It was an amusing read, with its frequent Westchester references and an insightful and over the top look at the world many of my friends now inhabit. The book’s main character, Tommy Quinn, is a your typical Rye prepster:

“I didn’t go to Portsmouth Abbey, or any other such private institution. I went to Rye High School, which was decent, and in this way a good match for me: I made decent grades, dated decent girls, played decently at junior-varsity sports, and go into Georgetown, a decent school.”

And Rye Country Day actually gets a mention too:

“After Chaim and I failed first grade for the first time, our parents had signed us up for summer school at Rye Country Day. Chaim made loud noises, yes, and fine, I couldn’t subtract, but we didn’t really belong in this class. It takes a real moron to fail first grade, is what I mean, and that class was filled with every hopeless case in Westchester. There were paste eaters and kids who pissed themselves and kids with incredibly thick glasses and kids who bit other kids. There were kids who had been born weighing too little, and kids who had been born too early. We spent that full summer with them, and let me tell you, it was no place to be.”

Check out the book for a stereotyped — yet really kind of intriguing — view of life on the Street and in the suburbs. Or, if you’d rather see it on the big screen, that’s fine too. The rights to M&A have been optioned to the producers of Babel.

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