The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson

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The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson

Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It looks like memoir with some economics thrown in but it's actually hilariously funny. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 210 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Short Books
ISBN: 978-1780721026

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William Nicolson was a student - well a student of economics, to be accurate. He had an uncanny knack of losing girlfriends far too quickly, the last one having departed in a personal best time of six weeks. Actually I don't think that was too bad - I've encountered a lot of men who only ever managed about thirty minutes - but it worried Will and he considered applying what he had learned as an economist to his relationships with the fair sex. Girls were something of a mystery to him but he was sure that if he used his ability to reduce a complex world to a set of rational principles then he should be on to a winner. Or two.

It has all the appearance of a memoir plus popular science, as girls slip into Will's life - and out again even more quickly - and friends give advice as to where he's going wrong. If you're playing hard to get then reducing the supply seems the obvious way to proceed - but Will had missed out the bit that says that the supply must be wanted - desired - for the ploy to work. Finding an undervalued asset seemed like a good way of finding a girlfriend, but it was only after one or two near disasters that the full meaning of the efficient market hypothesis dawned on him - there is a good reason why this girl has not been snapped up. Yes - it has all the appearances of memoir but it's actually hilariously funny.

It's a brilliant insight into the mind of the boyman who is totally self-involved and hasn't yet realised that love is not about what you get but about what you give. (There's a bit of Keynesian philosophy in there too, you see.) There will be times when you could weep for him and others when you want to tell him to grow up, but the real pleasure of the book is that Nicolson writes with more self-awareness than I was expecting. If you feel sympathy with anyone it's usually with the girls who're subjected to his theories. It's a quick read and a very enjoyable one. Nicolson is now training to be a solicitor - and I hope that we can look forward to his next book having a legal slant. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of this book to the Bookbag.

Another memoir we've enjoyed recently was the Costa-shortlisted The Crocodile by the Door: The Story of a House, a Farm and a Family by Selina Guinness. For more economics we can recommend Free Lunch - Easily Digestible Economics by David Smith.

Buy The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces by William Nicolson at Amazon.com.


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