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Old 16th Feb 2005, 16:47   #1
John Self
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Default Variations on a Theme

A game everyone can play, inspired by a pisspoor-sounding thriller I received a junk email for, James Harland's The Month of the Leopard. It's a thriller based in the edgy world of the financial markets - ooh! One reviewer on Amazon said:

Quote:
Frankly, I don't understand how anyone could consider this a gripping thriller at all. The characters were shallow, the plot was pedantic and the finance had so many technical inaccuracies as to be almost unreadable to anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of derivatives.

I won't waste too much time on this but suffice to say that the author betrayed complete and utter ignorance of the various financial products and markets by not even knowing the difference between futures and options.

It was made all the more ridiculous towards the end ... while I won't give away any plot details, can someone explain to me how exactly one makes the biggest killing in hedge fund history by having index options expire ATM??? Does the author understand that at expiry, the payoff for a put is X-S???

And thats just the beginning ... other subjects he completely ruins range from the use of leverage to actual market mechanics (e.g. how one shorts etc.
Er... right on, brother! Frigging dilettante. Anyway, it's painfully obvious that Harland's main intention was to confuse people who had heard of The Day of the Jackal into buying his book by mistake. Day of the Jackal ... Month of the Leopard ... geddit?? So I was thinking of other subtle variations of famous books that one might publish for a hoped-for quick buck.

I'll start us off with:

Banana Karenina: A fruity story of love crushed to a smoothie between the track and the wheel. Warning: title may cause repetitive strain injury.

Moby Tits: Softcore seafaring saga. 15 Certificate tbc.

The Thatcher in the Sky: A comic tale of metaphysical confusion when the world's most popular 20th century prime minister dies and accidentally gets sent to heaven.

A Sale of Two Titties: A searing insight into the controversial world of deregulated cut-price cosmetic surgery. Copyright 1978 by the Two Ronnies.
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Old 16th Feb 2005, 17:45   #2
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Cloud Batless: spellbinding literary fireworks chronicling six intertwining stories that lead to the extinction of the group Chiroptera. A Booker nominee for the eco-friendly reader.

Bleep House: Irvine Welsh's sex and drugs expose of the Scottish legal system
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Old 16th Feb 2005, 17:46   #3
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Greek House - a sometimes dark, sometimes uplifting story of the consequences of fraternity brothers from different social classes being tossed together in a fraternity house, and being caught up in an extended beer-guzzling competition, the origins of which they do not even understand, and the rewards of which are unclear.
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Old 16th Feb 2005, 17:47   #4
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Scrumptious idea, John. Give us a moment or two (okay - day or so) to get addled cell into action, und like Arnie - I vill be back!
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Old 16th Feb 2005, 22:28   #5
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Love in the Time of Bolero: A passionate tale of hot love in icy Sarajevo between two nice young people who must consummate their relationship in the full glare of publicity and then be marked out of ten for artistic achievement. Excellent for tackling the ironing. Warning: contains big hair.
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Old 16th Feb 2005, 23:46   #6
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A Pale View of Pils - essays on American "beer" giant Anheuser-Busch, written by Czech beer industry magnates.
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Old 17th Feb 2005, 0:38   #7
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The Piano Tuna Touching tale of avant garde musicality or animal rights gone too far? Pick up this touching tale at all good bookstores.

(how i wish this pun was original)

The Two Flowers The truth behind Merry and Pippin's friendship.

M'Dear Anglo-grecian tragedy cum soapopera.

Salami John the Baptist pizza anyone?

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Old 17th Feb 2005, 12:00   #8
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The Excercist - steamy tale of a demonically possessed gym gigolo.
The Leonardo Code - dark conspiracy thriller based on the premise that the Pope is the secret father of a Hollywood Oscar nominee who was responsible for the sinking of a large passenger liner... perhaps.
Jarfinder - shameless rip-off of the Sean Wright classic, in which the heroine hunts for glass containers in which to store her preserves. Pacey, though.
The Wind-Up Turd Chronicle - surrealistic cross-culture epic based on a hoax. It starts when the hero places a joke plastic dogshit in Shinjuku Station, and the laughs never stop!
The Cider with Rosie House Rules - mid-Atlantic tale of cheeky West Country youth in New England abortion scandal.
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Old 17th Feb 2005, 12:29   #9
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Quote:
The Cider with Rosie House Rules
Excellent, gil.
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Old 17th Feb 2005, 17:15   #10
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MK Confidential - Raw crime novel set in Milton Keynes. This book has everything you ever feared about life on the lawless edge: Parking on double yellow lines, cycling in the shopping mall, feeding wild pigeons, confectionery wrappers on the pavement, fare dodging, dog fouling, overdue library books. The author spares the reader nothing in this tense story of a beat copper under pressure.
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