Alas, the movie came and went, and I was lying in bed ill, with no desire to see it anymore. I'll have to catch the DVD on an evening when the whole family has other plans, because none of them will join me.
But what about the book? Well, The Big Short is the story behind, or inside, if you like, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). It tells what happened, who did what, how fortunes were made and lost, and explains how the US housing market fits in, how all the complex financial instruments were constructed and how they worked.
Michael Lewis is gifted at telling stories. I reviewed Flash Boys last year, and it got 5 stars. I loved it. He understands that even non fiction has to have character development and a plot. There is lots of dialogue and that makes the reader engage with the story. I think non fiction should read like a novel, but be (almost completely) true.
However, The Big Short, in trying to explain the story from every single angle, lost me a little bit. It got repetitive - each point of view was told, and although each was distinct, it wasn't different enough to cast a contrasting light on the story.
The insights were great though - don't invest in instruments you don't understand, and not every financial institution that does the wrong thing gets away with it. (Some people in them do, however.)
A great history lesson on the GFC - one of the most important and devastating events in our financial times.