Rich Cohen - The Fish That Ate the Whale (12)

Subtitle: The Life and Times of America's Banana King 

Still on the memoir/biography kick. Clearly that’s my 2016 thing. This one has been on my reading list for a long time, but I’ll confess. I didn’t really want to read another book about an American with an idea who struck it rich, business lessons were had by all, and so on and so forth.  I’m more interested in common experiences and people than rare experiences and people right now … but I needed something to bring me back to life after the Great Lakes/ Murakami slog of June. This did the trick.

The book is positioned as a business biography, but it’s the colonial, meta-Colonial (what’s it called when colonies start colonizing other colonies?), corporate political influence angle that was most interesting. This is exactly the kind of book that would have blown my mind in my early 20s - true life stories of people doing unheard of things and shaping government, politics, and history on an epic scale. For example, regime change in the Americas to make it easier to sell bananas. 

It’s not a perfectly written book, but it’s an easy read so the flaws are easy to overlook. The content itself is so thought-provoking that I appreciate the author’s work and am glad he put this out into the world.

What’s next?

Fiction, please. Something in which the intrepid detective Logan McRae doesn’t play a leading role ...