If by 1970 I had started to slip, it wasn’t by much. To make more of the decline would be easy: exaggeration resonates in candor. My income had fallen, though not to any depth. That would have required a spectacular reversal, and, contrary impulses notwithstanding, I seem to avoid spectacular actions of any kind… .
So begins The Arriviste, a work of “slow-burn noir” (Washington Post) in which Neil Fox laments the suburbanization of his Long Island Arcadia though he himself plays a hand in the process. As a young man, Neil made a healthy living on heads-I-win-tails-you-lose venture capital deals. Now, years later, that cunning has calcified into a principled isolation, which Neil hopes to preserve even as a new neighbor, Bud Younger, builds his home on a lot that Neil himself once owned. But when Neil’s wife moves out, Bud draws Neil in with his solicitude. A bottle and a ride in an Alfa Romeo later, they have an offshore business partnership and a woman between them—to Neil’s dismay and also, possibly, to his advantage.
Tracing one man’s longing for his own estate against a nation’s obsession with wealth’s ephemeral security, The Arriviste is a gripping and timeless tale of influence, power, and isolation.