The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons to review. This is A Tale of the City of London.

The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons

Here is the book blurb.

1973: the year of the oil crisis, the secondary banking collapse, the three day working week and the collapse of the stock market. In a riotous ride through the City of London we meet the characters and events that filled the social and City pages of the press in that roller-coaster year.

Guy Magnus, an ambitious young share dealer, makes a daring takeover bid in the face of opposition from the City Establishment. Will he follow their rules, or his own: never to fall in love with a deal? Will he come to repent his challenge to the powers-that-be? Is Guy’s story fiction or fact? Was a Norfolk Broads canal boat really moored in the marina of Monte Carlo? Did a Henry Moore sculpture really become the most expensive work of art in the world? And did a bet for a lunch at Maxim’s for the first to make a million, Guy or his friend and rival Harry Griffin, bring a merchant bank to the verge of collapse?

THE SHELL COLLECTOR tells a cautionary tale of the City when its buccaneering spirit was at a peak. Whether true or false, it is never less than entertaining.

The blurb for this story sounded really promising, when I was offered a selection of titles to choose between. However in contrast, I struggled reading this book. I persevered and it got slightly better towards the end, but not by much and as it was a lengthy book, it certainly took me a while to read.

It swaps between the viewpoints of two city traders Guy Magnus and Harry Griffin and involves their associates too. But sorry all I can say is yawn, boring, boring, boring. Trading stocks and shares, wheeling and dealing, fingers in pies should have grabbed the reader’s attention, but no this story did nothing for me. However it has been well researched.

Also I couldn’t work out the relevance of the title. However it is referenced in a Roman snippet at the beginning of Part 2.

This book will be published later this week and is on Amazon currently priced for pre-order at £10.99 in paperback and also available in Kindle format. Sorry but it is not a read I can recommend.

About the author

Born in Leeds and educated at Rugby School and Oxford University, Robert Lyons spent seventeen years working for retailing conglomerate UDS Group plc., starting as a door-to door credit salesman in Glasgow before rising to run the parent company’s property management and development operations at its London head office. In 1974, he spent three months at the Harvard Business School on its Program for Management Development. On returning to London, he was appointed to the Group board, and to the board of Allders Department Stores, of which he became chairman in 1979. In 1983 the UDS Group was taken over by Hanson Trust plc, and Lyons left corporate life behind to move into property investment. Married with two children and six grandchildren, Robert Lyons has lived in Highgate, north London, since 1968.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour. Hopefully they enjoyed it more than me.

The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons

And look out this afternoon for an interesting guest post on my blog by Robert.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

10 thoughts on “The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons

  1. Lorna Holland

    Ooh I love the cover! I have to admit this sounded intriguing but I can see why it left you a bit unengaged, it sounds like a lot has been packed into the story #readwithme

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  2. sarahmo3w

    Thanks for the warning! I think I will give this book a miss. I liked the sound of it just because it is set in 1973 – the year I was born. I actually don’t know very much about the year I was born.

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    1. mumjd Post author

      I’ve only read a few stories set in the 1970’s and mostly they don’t particularly hit the spot, but if you want to read a good book set in 1973, check out my review a while back of Hippy Dinners

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  3. Robert Lyons

    Hi Claire,
    Sorry you didn’t enjoy my book. The title alludes to two things: a shell company is a term describing small corporate vehicles used to leverage takeovers such as Mallard and Magical; Caligula’s failed invasion of Britain, a prototype for Guy Magnus’s ultimate failure to take over Britton. Abstruse, I admit, but it worked for me.
    Best wishes, Robert

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