Paul E(mil) Erdman Critical Essays


Paul E(mil) Erdman 1932–

American novelist.

A former economist and banker, Erdman uses his knowledge of international finance to provide his readers with realistic detail. While most commentators admit that his novels are fascinating and hold some relevance for the contemporary lay-person, they fault Erdman for stereotyped characterization and far-fetched plots.

Beginning with his first novel, The Billion Dollar Sure Thing, Erdman moved to the forefront of the relatively new genre of fi-fi, or finance fiction. Skillful at selecting the commodities which inspire greed and corruption on a global scale, Erdman centered this first thriller around the collapse of the gold market. The plots of his next two books, The Silver Bears and The Crash of '79, concern the manipulation of silver prices and the oil crisis, respectively. In his recent novel, The Last Days of America, Erdman gives readers a glimpse of sinister dealings within computerized corporate America and creates an apocalyptic scenario for the rise of Germany.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 61-64).