On The Carousel
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First Published on Jan 25 2021
In the early hours of New Year’s Day 1980, Adam Gough – a recent graduate, whose career was put on hold following a traumatic event the previous year - is walking home through the deserted City of London to his small bed-sit in Bow. He is suddenly confronted by three strange-looking women, one of whom addresses him with a prediction: “You will have riches. But you will also have a secret. A secret of death and fire”. Shortly afterwards, he takes up a post as a Junior Analyst with a firm of economic consultants.
Adam finds that the people with whom he is working are a mix of characters – the intelligent, the diligent, the vacuous, the bombastic, the spiteful, the useless. The Chief Economist - a media darling – is consistently and spectacularly wrong with his forecasts, but in continual demand for his views on the future economy. Another senior colleague - a continual fount of pretentious management jargon – is, to Adam’s astonishment, no less successful when dealing with the company’s major clients.
Adam thrives in this environment, progressing through the company’s hierarchy and up the property ladder. He is feted for his expertise in identifying the key business trends at home and overseas.
However, as the 1980s unfold, Adam derives a growing awareness of the variable fates of those with whom he comes into contact – whether on the walk from Holborn to Waterloo Station or on a trekking holiday in the Himalayas. This causes him to reflect on the values – love, family, respect – that he holds most dearly.
The decade produces winners and losers, the cast list of which extends to those with whom Adam is (or has been) most closely involved. The narrative concludes in a dramatic final climax, as the precise meaning of the woman’s prediction is revealed.
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