Michael M. Thomas
In 1976, The Crash of '79 established Paul Erdman as a "brand name" author. He quickly became the leading practitioner of "fi-fi" (financial fiction), a genre that has proliferated like money-market funds as big bucks have come to be an important subject for writers, if not a subject for important writers. The novel's apocalyptic title and awesome topicality overshadowed certain deficiencies that appear to have become incidental to the manufacture of best-selling novels: characterization, language, atmosphere, style. The book was a great popular success; parts of the business community hailed it as a fifth gospel.
The title of Erdman's new novel, The Last Days of America, also...
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