Micro-Review #24: The Return of the Player

by Michael Tolkin

The sequel to the 1988 novel that became the famous Robert Altman film. Studio exec Griffin Mill is back, and he’s still Gordon Gekko with an introspective streak. For him, greed is not only good; it’s the yardstick by which all good things are measured. This is a guy who will literally kill to keep his kid in private school—and he’ll justify it as part of the larger game.

You’ll like this book only if you’re into chaotic interior monologue, half-page sentences, and words like “ensorcelled.” The strained metaphor-making is enough to wear down even a patient reader, but the immodest cleverness plays into the story’s satirical ethos. Free-range self-importance may be gross to look at, but then so is everything else in the world—unless it’s brightened up by the presence of a whole lot of money. Reviewed on Dec. 3, 2020

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