“Teddy Wayne has written a brilliant book. Karim Issar is one of the freshest, funniest heroes I’ve come across in a long time.”
— Ben Fountain, bestselling author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara
“An innovative and incisive meditation on the wages of corporate greed, the fundamental darkness of its vision lit by the author’s great comic intelligence and wit.”
— Kathryn Davis, author of The Thin Place, Hell: A Novel, and Versailles
With a fresh and singular voice, Teddy Wayne marks his literary debut with the story of one 26 year old Middle Eastern man’s attempt to live the American Dream in New York City. Like the award-winning Netherland and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Kapitoil provides an absorbing look into American culture and New York finance from an outsider’s perspective.
Magazine writer Wayne's strong and heartfelt debut novel, set in New York City in the months leading up to the millennium, follows Karim Issar as he leaves his home and family in Qatar for a programming job at a Wall Street firm preparing for the Y2K bug. On the side, the very socially maladapted programming genius creates Kapitoil, a morally troubling computer program that allows his company to make a killing by modeling oil futures based on political instability. Meanwhile, a romance simmers with Rebecca, Karim's colleague and his guide to American culture. Ultimately, Karim must make a choice about his and his family's financial security and Kapitoil's potential for (perhaps) doing good in the world. Wayne zips through a minefield of potential clich s and comes out unscathed, striking a balance of humor and keen insight that propels the story through Karim's education about the West's ethics and its capitalism, while in the background the World Trade Center looms. It's a slick first novel that beautifully captures a time that, in retrospect, seems tragically na ve.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Fantastic Read
Teddy Wayne has buried treasures for you throughout his wonderful debut. Purchase KAPITOIL and discover them, then tell everyone you love to do the same.
Engaging! Brilliantly Written!
Very well written! I am marveling at how the author cleverly plotted this in the pre 9/11 days, without which a big portion of Karim's life and experience of the US would have been different and the simple beauty of his observations would have been lost.