A powerful, sexy, and exquisitely written heart-of-darkness tale of an unusually gifted, irrepressible and indefatigable salesman who must find redemption in his old age
The Dream Merchant explores the capacity of a good person to do bad things. Jim is a charismatic and caring, yet increasingly flawed salesman who becomes an addicted gambler, womanizer and criminal as he wins over countless people, through his charms and a series of financial scams. Just as quickly as his fortunes rise, he loses everything, leaving people ruined in his wake.
Eventually he becomes a modern Lord Jim, operating a lawless and violent gold mining operation in the Brazilian Jungle, South of Manaus. As an old man, he meets Mara, a beautiful young Israeli woman with dark ambitions of her own. In the process of their unlikely life together the girl finds herself turned on by this old man, as if his profligate history of glory and big money, and finally his weakness and proximity to death in her embrace, create an urgency that is erotically charged.
Narrated by a writer equally mesmerized and, at times, repulsed by this larger-than-life character, the novel recalls classics by Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Marquez and Roth.
Though some have described The Dream Merchant as a dark morality tale, a label that implies that this novel will have a "moral" or lesson to take away by the end, the novel refuses to proscribe a view on whether Jim's behavior is right or wrong. Depending on the chapter in his life, the answer can cut both ways. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
In The Dream Merchant, Jim made his money in fraudulent ways. Aided by his business partner Marvin Gessler, who was the mastermind of the fraud, Jim made millions through elaborate pyramid schemes.
Pyramid schemes rely on recruiting buyers who then recruit other buyers and so on. The original buyer, the con man, needs other buyers to generate sales before he starts to make money. As each new recruit pays, the original buyer gets a cut. The scheme quickly collapses once the people at the bottom cannot recruit buyers and the money does not pay out. The Wealth Pools International scandal in 2007 is an example of a complex pyramid scheme. Wealth Pools claimed to sell foreign language DVDs through a global network of salespeople. New salespeople purchased DVDs that they would try to sell for profit, but these salespeople only saw...
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...