- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Oneworld Publications (6 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1851689788
- ISBN-13: 978-1851689781
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.3 x 22.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 603,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Octopus: The Secret Market And The World's Wildest Con Paperback – 6 Sep 2012
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Grippingly written. --Bookseller previews mention
"Riveting – sometimes genius and often sickening... mind-boggling." Andrew Ross Sorkin – bestselling author of Too Big to Fail
"Fascinating. Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is more brutal, adrenaline-charged, and dangerous. Sam Israel makes Gordon Gecko and Madoff look like provincial bank managers." Cameron Addicott – author of The Interceptor: The Inside Story of the Ultra-Secret Unit that Hunted Down Britain's Deadliest Drug Lords
“Absolutely irresistible. It’s a hell of a book.” Sebastian Junger – author of War "A fantastic story that delivers shocking insights into the greed and corruption at the heart of the financial system" Geraint Anderson – author of Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile
"One of the best crime books I've read. Really enjoyable – it made me glad that I haven't got a pension." Graham Johnson – author of The Devil: Britain's Most Feared Underworld Taxman and other true crime bestsellers
“Lawson [has] found gold…This is a fantastic story, in both senses of the word, with a freshness that recalls Liar’s Poker.” New York Times
“Penetratingly comprehensive… An eye-opening window onto Wall Street’s destructive culture of unchecked hubris and a harrowing thrill ride into the unraveling mind of a desperate operator.” Kirkus Reviews
“Brings to life one of the most colorful, and often engaging, con men of this or any other century…an entertaining, well-told tale.” Washington Times
‘Extraordinary’.FT best books of 2012
THIS IS IMPROBABLE by Marc Abrahams
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Top Customer Reviews
It tells the life story of San Israel, who came from a wealthy background and follows his progress as he begins to plough his own furrow in the world of Wall Street,with considerable success initially. However, it all begins to unfold and he ultimately falls from grace in spectacular and incredulous style. Along the way the journey takes some remarkable twists worthy of an espionage thriller, which if they are based upon fact almost defy belief as to the gullibility of people looking to make easy money, and also the shady goings on in the world of high finance.
A good and thought provoking read a little light on more specific detail in some parts,
but nonetheless one that i would recommend to those who have an interest in the mechanics of the world of high finance and in particular the many con men who frequent it.
To be fair, the book was well written and the plot keeps moving, but I found it difficult to believe in the main characters as they became increasingly unlikeable and disconnected from reality. As ever, one guy with the ability to stand back and ponder the old adage that if something looks too good to be true then it probably is, begins to unravel the whole scheme. It seems, however, that there's no fool like rich fools and that while in the world of finance, greed might not be good, it is almost endemic. I finished the book thinking that there was a deeper and better story to be told from this tale, one that looks at just what is wrong with the systems and psychologies that allow the worst excesses of capitalism to happen. When we begin to understand that then we might start to make the world a better and fairer place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As true-life stories go this is absolutely barking mad! Well worth a read though.Published 9 months ago by DaffyDuck_55
Sadly it seems, this IS for real! But, as is stated over and over, "You can't con an honest man!" 'Too good to be true' is for sure a warning!Published on 30 Sept. 2013 by stephen barraclough
A man who was determined to succeed and was prepared to do anything to achieve his objective, only to fail in a big way!Published on 2 Sept. 2013 by John Barham
Long held belief that we are all living on a promise is confirmed in this very readable account. Everyone of us is dependent on someone to look after our assets and no-one can... Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2013 by boydy
I'd never heard of the man,but after reading it I did go and search for a bit of info regarding Israel. Read morePublished on 29 July 2013 by David Clark
Not sure I can praise this book highly enough. As tightly wound as any Hollywood thriller, Lawson makes the story jump off the page. Read morePublished on 19 July 2013 by ross evans
This is entertaining enough, but becomes a little repetitive when it come to all the rather far fetched shenanigans concerning the con man, Bob Nichols and his cohorts. Read morePublished on 12 Mar. 2013 by H. L. Mason
a rollicking read, easy for someone (me) with little comprehension of the financial world. The web and complexities of fraud was incredulous.Published on 13 Feb. 2013 by F Brown
If this was a film people would leave the cinema saying how it was too far fetched. Unbelievable account of how a con turns into a mega con and the hunter becomes the hunted.Published on 28 Jan. 2013 by Blueboy