Review of John Lanchester's I.O.U

A couple of years ago, while doing background research for a novel,the British writer John Lanchester discovered the global economic crisis. Realizing that he'd "stumbled across the most interesting story I've ever found," Lanchester began to follow the crisis closely. I.O.U: Why Everyone Owes Everyone And No One Can Pay is the result of his observations. We all owe Lanchester a nonquantitative debt of gratitude for this lovely little book: I.O.U is a must-read for anyone with even a cursory interest in the reasons for the most serious global economic downturn since the Great Depression.

As the author of works such as The Debt To Pleasure, his Whitbread and Hawthornden prize-winning debut, Lanchester brings a novelist's wit, narrative skills, and appreciation for the absurdity of the human condition to today's financial crisis. While a 19th-century novelist like Balzac spent his creative energy writing fictional accounts of systemic financial impropriety, a 21st-century novelist like Lanchester finds himself composing a factual account of a story so unbelievable that, were it presented as a novel or movie script, would be dismissed by critics as ludicrously far-fetched.

Yes, Lanchester tells a truly tall tale....