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Editorial Reviews

This suspenseful debut by former financial manager Vonnegut is a wild ride down Wall Street. Grove O'Rourke is a top producer, someone at the high end of the financial scale whose work ethic is second to none. When he offers to help a friend's widow with her financial portfolio, he uncovers the plot that led to his friend's death - and may well lead to his own when the markets close. Mel Foster's voice is that of the everyday man: simple and honest. These qualities work well in his portrayal of O'Rourke, who may wear a finely tailored suit to work but still manages to be a regular Joe in the rest of his life. While Foster provides little shift between description and dialogue, his vocal personality adds to the story's enjoyment.

Publisher's Summary

In a world that moves as fast as finance does, top producers have to think three steps ahead and make snap decisions. Theirs is a blurred version of reality, one that conceals moves as much as it rewards the bold ones. All too easily, scams can be disguised as success, and plotting can be mistaken for killer instincts. And as Grove O'Rourke finds out, "Nothing obscures vulnerability like success. Nothing that is, except for friendships." But this book isn't about stocks and bonds---it's about people. It's about Grove O'Rourke, top producer at the investment firm of Sachs, Kidder, and Carnegie, and about his best friend, Charlie Kelemen, whose spectacular murder is carried out in front of hundreds of horrified party-goers at the opening of the novel. It's about Charlie's widow, who comes to Grove for help after her husband's death, even though she's hiding a dark secret. And it's about how money---vast sums of money---can cover up even the most glaring imperfections in relationships and fool everyone. Well, almost everyone. With the ease of someone who has lived in the world of top producers, Norb Vonnegut has crafted a sharp, dark thriller that will make you think---and then double-check your investments.
©2009 Norb Vonnegut (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Vonnegut's debut meets the gold standard for financial thrillers as it puts the frenzied, cutthroat world of Wall Street's best stockbrokers (aka the 'top producers') on brilliant display." ( Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 9S
  • 11-16-09

Top Producer is Top Notch

I listened to Top Producer in just two days. At a little over 12 hours, that was a lot of time taken from other tasks. And other things were indeed interrupted, because I wanted only to hear what Grove O'Rourke was going to do next. This is one of the better thrillers I have downloaded in a long time and I highley recommend it to anyone who likes fresh, tightly written books in the first person style. There was not a dull or unrealistic moment during the entire book. Get this one folks.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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brokers beware

great book. once into it you can't put it down. sat at home and listened to the end.

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Listening experience ruined by awful reader

What disappointed you about Top Producer?

There is a kernal of an interesting novel here but, in my opinion, it is not well written. It is remarkably cliche ridden and the charactors are cartoonish.

Would you recommend Top Producer to your friends? Why or why not?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I have listened to dozens of books. Some narrators are better than others but Mel Foster is in a class by himself. What is with his inappropriate attempt at a Southern accent (the protagonist)? I've never heard anyone, Southerner or not, who sounds like this . In this narration most males speak in a phoney gruff voice and the female voices are off ridiculously off kilter. Mr. Foster's natural voice is actually rather appealing but he really needs to improve his acting chops.