The Chain is a psychological novel inspired by real life events, based on the Anton’s experiences in the financial industry.
The book’s narrative is characterised by uncompromising social critique, raw political and cultural commentary and philosophical musings written by the protagonist, a wealthy fund manager from London, known as “A”.
The book is a statement on the nihilism that has been dominating Western thinking for two hundred years now and on the subjectivism of today’s society: if morality is what we want it to be, then everything is permitted. This idea is surfaced throughout the novel in various episodes, all visceral in their imagery, uncompromising in their approach towards human interaction and yet drenched in a feeling of melancholy that is characteristic of a soul who refuses to fade.
The world in The Chain is dystopian. However, unlike many other novels with a dystopian theme, the action does not unfold many years into the future. Rather, the story happens nearer to our time, in 2028 when the protagonist begins to write down his daily reflections and memoirs in a journal.
The Chain follows the emotional and spiritual journey of A. as the fund manager navigates a ruthless and absurd world in which skin pigment drives business success, laws and regulations are increasingly aberrant, reputable journalists conceal the truth and the academic world dissolves into orgies of abstract ideas that, when put into practice, mutilate entire populations.
By dramatizing events to an extreme, by combining the real with the surreal and by mixing absurdities with common sense, the book highlights socio-economic dynamics and cultural changes which are deeply harmful to the individual. Through the extrapolation of some of today’s prevailing values and behaviours – cynicism, exaggerated professionalism, deceptiveness, an obsession with progress and greed – the book unveils before the reader a future which, despite all the technological progress and profit generated, is deeply anti-human.
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The Author’s Pledge: For the next 12 months (December 2021 – December 2022), half of all the profit made from the sales of the book will go towards the education of children in rural Romania. A report with the full breakdown of how the money was spent will be uploaded in January 2023 on this website.
Summary of Chapters
Chapter One – At the end of night, fate favours the wickeD
After a hard day of work, the protagonist, a wealthy fund manager known as A., walks through London’s Hyde Park, reflecting on the rhythm of modern life in one of Europe’s busiest metropolises. He is heading towards a private club, located in in the heart South Kensington, to meet with his favourite escort, a Russian named Christine. Misanthropy, drug-induced visions and descriptions of the high society’s underworld dominate the chapter.
Chapter Two – Savages in Mayfair, killer dildos and the morning news
The fund manager reads a selection of the daily news, as he is driven towards his office in Mayfair. Corruption at an international bank, digital sex toys mutilating users’ bodies and the prospect of new wars over cold fusion are the stories of the day. As A. walks into the office building, he introduces his team – Damian, Clara, Michael and Luka – all representing a reflection of A.’s personality as well as parts of current society obsessed with professionalism and success.
Chapter Three – Needles are required for democracy to work
Those with money pay a hefty premium so their voices are heard by the right people, in the right place and at the right time. Tim, a lobbyist in the City, visits the protagonist to discuss a new regulation which, although makes no sense, it is about to be inevitably implemented. However, Tim is greatly incompetent and does what all bureaucrats do: “Vomiting words to fill their days with the illusion that they were busy when in fact they would only waste someone’s time.” Therefore, certain incentives are needed: needles are required for democracy to work.
Chapter Four – “The Apple of Sodom”
“Apple of Knowledge” is a project funded by major asset managers and investment banks, overseen by large technology companies and unfolding with the blessing with international authorities, designed to centralised the knowledge of mankind. However, how the information is included in the database depends on the ideological fashion of the day. As such, Stalin is a saint who liberated many from the oppression of being alive. Naturally, investors look to profit from this project as much as possible.
Chapter FIVE – Foreign investments for the greater good
The international fiat monetary system enables a continuous production of money which are parked in assets, such as real estate, driving up prices artificially and destroying communities. A foreign investor looks for the expertise of the fund manager and his team to do just that, while also asking for a special favour: deliver data from re-education camps to astute academics so it can contribute to the creation of the “new man”.
Chapter SIX – Freshly aborted foetus and charity donations
Charities are money laundering shams, established by deranged individuals who need good PR in order to defend their blood-soaked reputations. “Re-educate the Children” is the charity that focuses on re-wiring the brains of children, all of whom are born sick and must be made into the model, global citizens that the path towards progress requires. The protagonist attends a gala for this charity where aborted animal foetuses are served as exotic food.
Chapter Seven – Mechanical Bolsheviks know how to party
A. and his team host a private party in a luxury venue to celebrate the end of Summer. However, there are important rules to be followed, including “no children” allowed. This is the result of a sexual abuse scandal which involved plenty of well-known figures who kidnapped children for their own carnal pleasures. Nevertheless, as long as there is money to be made, such sins are irrelevant: the fiduciary duty must be upheld at all times.
Chapter Eight – “I want to eat shit and die”
The wealth manager sends the data from the foreign investor to a respected professor from the University of Oxford named Höss. As a sociologist, Höss is interested in what moulds the human spirit into a perfect cog for the global order. His insights are sought after by the Davos crowd and the professor is very happy to receive such important data about the dark conditions of those prisoners held in the re-education camps.
Chapter Nine – The broken ballerina in cashmere
While visiting Lake Como, A. and Christine spend some time together, going down the memory lane. She tells her story, how she ended up an escort in London and how bloodline destroyed her childhood dreams. The darkness and brutality of the world is mitigated by the shamanic power of music: the only cure for suffering.
Chapter Ten – A feast of flaccid flesh
Under the protection of a private dining room in Oxford, A. and a team of institutional investors discuss exotic and exciting investment opportunities, including cobalt mines and other goodies. The conversation is a mix between common sense questions and statements and surreal aberrations. Outside, under a cold, dark night, reality melts as suicide rates jump through the roof.
Chapter Eleven – The speed of pain: 670,616,630 miles per hour
A. decides to go to a confession with a priest that is neither man nor woman. All religions are now part of a corporate chain of businesses that treat spirituality as another commercial opportunity. However, during the confession, A. expresses forbidden thoughts and things take a turn for the worse. A nauseating pain transports the protagonist into the underground of London, where all things are made: in the heart of the economic machine.
Chapter Twelve – The economics of genocide: no fascinating graph needed
Next to Tripoli, on a large yacht, the protagonist and his team visit a group of business moguls – African warlords and Arabs with oil. It is here that the fund manager learns the economics of genocide: the more people displaced and slaughtered, the more profit can be made as volatility and geopolitical chaos opens up cheap markets with plenty of opportunities. Eager to be part of something greater than themselves, the Mayfair savages make a deal with the moguls.
Chapter Thirteen – …their eyes are melting.
Conferences are a waste of time: events during which everyone is overly polite and trying to sell others something: a service, an idea or a piece of ass. This dynamic is made worse by the fact that this one is held in Canary Warf, a humid swamp of glass towards and wet cement in the middle of London. The topic of this conference: Where can investors find opportunities in Africa during genocide?
Chapter Fourteen – In a cage with two violent baboons
Most journalists from corporate media outlets are akin to violent baboons, at least in the eyes of the protagonist who is being interrogated for a story the two jurnos already wrote. They are asking the fund manager to confirm a few grams of their fabricated truth. Things get out of hand and one of the baboons bites the other one, killing him on the spot. The scene is mundane, highlighting the nature of mass media: conform or die.
Chapter Fifteen – Into the void with a pocket knife and a wet torch
A sudden call from the hospital in Chelsea alerts A. that something happened with Christine. He leaves in the midst of a hostile interrogation by the establishment press and hurries to see what has happened. Shadows come and embrace the two people who are facing their fate as the years of broken dreams and substance abuse come to their conclusive end.
Chapter Sixteen – A pool of blood and tar
Höss has written the paper and the protagonist has to pick it up. Their meeting is in a luxury brothel in central London, around the Ned. The atmosphere is hellish, dominated by hues of red and black. Orgies, professional meetings and fiendish faces all mingle in a world of correct ideas and power. The fund manager falls into the abyss created by the forgers of souls. However, it is after the travelling through hell that he sees the only hope.
Chapter Seventeen – Larry
After years of hearing about this mythical being, the king of all kings, the lord of capital, the mighty beast of politics, the one man that rules everyone and everything, A. finally gets to meet Larry, who is upset because the protagonist’s heretical ideas have caused him to lose money: after the confession with the androgenous priest, both the number of funds launched by Larry’s firm and the money raised by these funds went down. What is to be done?
Chapter Eighteen – There is a glitch in the system, and dogs know it.
Full stop. That is the truth, and A. now is well aware of it, but nothing can stop fate. Therefore, the protagonist pursues his destiny, as already established by the future which is an eschatological wave.