Book Review – BOOMERANG The Meltdown Tour by Michael Lewis

Boomerang by Michael LewisBoomerang : The Meltdown Tour Synopsis

Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in The Big Short, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn’t begun to get grips with the full story. How exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke are we really?

Boomerang is a tragi-comic romp across Europe, in which Lewis gives full vent to his storytelling genius. The cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack. The Irish wanted to stop being Irish. The Germans wanted to be even more German. Michael Lewis’s investigation of bubbles across Europe is brilliantly, sadly hilarious.

He also turns a merciless eye on America: on California, the epicentre of world consumption, where we see that a final reckoning awaits the most avaricious of nations too. This is the ultimate book of our times. It’s time to brace ourselves for impact. And, with Michael Lewis, to laugh out loud while we’re doing it. (


I work in the financial markets and so a non-fiction title on this subject matter rarely finds a place on my leisure time reading pile. But Michael Lewis’ Boomerang sounded like something special – and I was not disappointed.

Michael Lewis is a wonderful storyteller – Boomerang reads like one part mystery thriller, one part comedy, one part anthropological study and one part travel memoir.

In Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour Michael Lewis presents a very human face to the global financial crisis.

Lewis obviously has a good grasp of his subject matter, but I was most impressed by his talent as an observer of people. He digs far deeper than the newspaper headlines and brings to the forefront the very compelling stories behind the stories.

Which way entire nations jumped when the money was made freely available to them obviously told you a lot about them: their desires, their constraints, their secret sense of themselves. How they reacted when the money was taken away was equally revealing.

Where does the humour come in you may ask? Lewis’ pulls no punches when describing the harsh reality and at times sheer stupidity of the players, but he does so almost as one does at a roast, with a genuine empathy for his target. I found his comparisons of societal behaviour and motivations across the different nations very perceptive and highly amusing.

If you read one book on the financial crisis, and you should because the lessons learnt have much broader application than simply on the financial market trading desks, it should be Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour. This ebook is imbibed with an irreverence that those who have shed their rose coloured glasses will find captivating.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5

BOOK DETAILS:  Boomerang (BooksonBoard – ebook) ; Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour (Amazon) ; Boomerang (Audible) ; Boomerang (Booktopia)

Genre: Non-fiction, Humour, Action-Adventure

Author Information: Michael Lewis is an American non-fiction author and financial journalist.

 – Watch an interview with Michael Lewis discussing Boomerang (PBS Newshour)

Another reviews of Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour: The Guardian ; NY Times ; Seeking Alpha

Other titles by Michael Lewis: The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Money Culture