Thursday, October 6, 2011

Economics of Ego Surplus by Paul McDonnold



  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Genre:  Fiction
  • Publisher: Starving Analyst Press 2010
  • Source: Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • First Sentence : ‘ Chaotic and shimmering, the waters of the Arabian gulf danced in the twelve foot tall pane of glass that served as the conference room’s western wall.
  • Review Quote : ‘For those readers who already think most economics is fiction, perhaps this is the way to go.’ The Sunday Times.
  • My Opinion:  I read over 200 pages before I came across anything I considered to be exciting action!


    When the author approached me to see if I would review this title for him I have to say I was apprehensive as checking out the following summary from Goodreads I was not sure if it was going to be to my taste.

    ‘Part action novel, part literary novel, part guidebook to economics, The Economics of Ego Surplus is the story of college instructor Kyle Linwood. Anticipating a relaxing summer with his girlfriend and his PhD dissertation, he gets recruited by the FBI to help with an obscure case of terrorist internet "chatter," which explodes into a shocking, mysterious assault on U.S. financial markets. As the economy melts down and a nation panics, Kyle follows a trail of clues from Dallas to New York City to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In his quest to discover the truth, he will be forced to confront the assumptions underlying his education as well as his life. But will it be enough to save America from the most brilliant terrorist plot ever conceived?’

    When I received my copy my interest was piqued when the back cover stated that this was ‘A Suspenseful and literate thriller that weaves heart stopping action with thoughtful discussion of economic ideas and a global financial catastrophe that is so scary because it is so plausible’. After an initially promising start I soon found it was dragging and  I read over 200 pages before I came across anything I considered to be exciting action!

    The protagonist is Kyle Linwood a college lecturer who gets recruited by the FBI to help with an investigation into a possible attack on the American financial markets, aka economic terrorism. he gets caught up in the investigation that takes him from Dallas and New York to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Will his discoveries be enough to save America from this deadly plot?  Whilst it was an ok read and I learnt a little about economics I would have liked to have seen the adventure plot developed much earlier in the novel.

    The idea of of an economic sabotage of the economy is I think a horrifyingly plausible possibility but for my personal enjoyment there was too much of the ‘guidebook to economics’ spoiling what could have been a great suspense thriller.  So I think if you are a fan of suspense thrillers you may find this a little disappointing.

    Paul McDonnald

    Press Release from the Publisher:-

    How a Homework Assignment Turned Into a Novel

    DALLAS, TX – November 10, 2010 – People are fascinated by the economy – just look at the stories that fill the typical news cycle. Unfortunately the subject’s complexity creates a sizable gap between fascination and understanding. A new novel published by the Starving Analyst Press, The Economics of Ego Surplus, aims to entertain readers while bridging this gap. 

    The author, Paul McDonnold, is a former college economics instructor who now earns his living as a freelance writer. Well published in nonfiction markets and the co author of a traditional economics textbook, his passion for the novel comes through when he speaks of its genesis. “It’s never easy to get students interested in economics. Several years ago I gave my class a homework assignment in the form of a fictional story. A terrorist attack was being planned against the U.S. economy and the assignment required figuring out the plot and using economic policy to foil it. The reaction I got from the students was so positive I decided to take the concept further. That’s when work on the novel began.” He goes on to say that the novel is not intended to be a systematic treatment of economics, but does incorporate a simplified overview of a number of the topics one would see in a typical economics-101-type course. “I decided early on that this would be a novel first. I wanted to write something that anyone would enjoy reading, not just economics students. So I let the action of the story drive everything, including any economic concepts that were explained.”

    More information and a free download of the first 54 pages of the novel can be found at

    You can also find out more about the author on his Official Website




    1. My apologies for the poor formatting of the press release which I have included in the post, despite trying I have been unable to improve the poor layout.

    2. We are living economic terrorism right now. Our economy is under attack by Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive henchmen.

      I will definitely pass on this one!

    3. Ricki Jill@ Unfortunately the theme of this novel is horrifyingly plausible!


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