Originally “Cityboy”: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile by Geraint Anderson was an anonymous column” in the free hand-out “The London Paper”. Purporting to lift the lid on the sordid existence of the average city banker, Cityboy’s column continued for about two years until his unfortunate motrocycle accident, which led to his premature retirement. In June 2008 Cityboy “came out” to the world as Geraint Anderson, an MP’s son, and announced his intention to break into the world of novel-writing.
The book is an interesting read, and there are moments of real humour in a blokey arrogant kind of way. But the thing that doesn’t sit with me very easily is that he feels very bad about his previous incarnation as a banker, and so his book is intended as a kind of morality tale, warning us that we, too, might well have behaved in a similar manner had we too been faced with the kind of temptations.
Anderson’s claim of being “a good boy now” isn’t all that convincing. It’s pretty clear that he’d love to carry on his openly-rude “Cityboy” persona, but both his concern for his reputation and events in the international financial sector have necessitated a display of public confession.
Geraint Anderson is a classic story of working the system to his benefit, having fun on the way, sacrificing those around him and then leaving the city as he ‘felt uncomfortable’ with it, despite having earnt a fortune from it. Smells of double standards to me – is he donating the royalties from this book to some worthwhile charity?
This is a classic holiday book – it’s easy to read – and whilst funny at times, doesn’t really change our view on the City.