FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Octopus: The Secret Marke... has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Octopus: The Secret Market And The World's Wildest Con Paperback – 6 Sep 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£1.71
Paperback, 6 Sep 2012
£12.99
£0.01 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£12.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Octopus: The Secret Market And The World's Wildest Con
  • +
  • The Laundry Man
Total price: £21.98
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.




Product details

  • 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)

Product Description

Review

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

Review

‘Extraordinary’.FT best books of 2012

THIS IS IMPROBABLE by Marc Abrahams

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Great book, a real page turner! This is a bizarre tale to say the least, Sam Israel defenitely followed the dictum that "if you are going to lie, lie big". Despite his many faults you actually find yourself rooting a bit for him to somehow pull it all off and undo the damage done by his deceits. The story brilliantly details how a persons motivation can twist their judgement to the point where a clever man can so easily be taken in. The really frightening part of this tale is how easy Israel was able to pull off his big lie. The complete lack of oversight by regulators and due diligence by his investors (including sophisticated fund managers who are handling our money) is disheartening. This book makes you want to put your money under a mattress!
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book certainly endorses the theory that fact can indeed be stranger than fiction.
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.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The definition of modern schadenfreud is reading about how a hedge fund manager's life goes down the toilet, and the dirtier and more foul the toilet, the better. Octopus promises such a tale but it becomes, almost literally, a tale told by an idiot. As the main protagonist in the book develops from being an apprentice Master of the Universe on Wall Street to inhabiting a different Universe altogether, I began to feel I could be told a similar story from a number of patients on a mental ward who think they're either Nelson Mandela or Napoleon. As you read of how this hedge fund trader became duped by a series of con-men trying to rob him of his millions, you actually begin to feel sorry for him. He's clearly mentally ill but the author resists making this diagnosis, instead trying to con us, the reader, into thinking that there may well be a "shadow market" in the world, run by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful. Baloney. Wall Street isn't much more than a casino that outlandishly rewards dumb luck and privilege. Books like this try to lend it an aura that it doesn't deserve.
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.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A real page turner, I read it in one day, well written and an eye opener. But the hyperbole on the cover is misleading. The fraud is not even on the same scale as Madoff, Isaac's fraud was very small potatoes by comparison. This book is not about the fraud, I see it as a study of one aspect of human nature and how any of us, when faced with a seemingly inescapable disaster, especially if it is one of our own making, could be tempted to take extreme measures to recover, however unlikely those measures might be. Isaac came from a top drawer American family, which is extremely well connected, hugely wealthy and successful. He was personable and had an extraordinary range of contacts and friends. He set out to show that he could independently carve out a successful business using his talents and drive. So it is easy to understand his determination to put things right, but once he had strayed there was no return and step by step he fell into an abyss of self deceit and destruction. And the book will cause many of us to look into ourselves. Have none of us ever dreamed of a quick exit from life's challenges, especially financial ones? Never purchased a lottery ticket in the hope it will release us from daily routines even though we know deep down the odds are impossible yet justifying in part the purchase because we know a percentage of the ticket cost goes to a good cause? This writ large was what drew Isaac into an ever more bizarre web of false promise of ever increasing returns from ever more unlikely scenarios. Read it!
Comment 9 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a completely fascinating story. The rise and fall of a highly talented and gifted man born into a world of money and high level social connection in one of the most important financial powerhouses of the world, New York City. He was a player in the most serious game of all, the game of money. There are few people who have much respect for the Bankers and Wall Street 'masters of the universe' since the events of the past years took place and the disasters those had caused for the lives of millions of ordinary people, after reading this perfectly crafted and meticulously researched book, that number will be reduced by one. This is a story of how money makes men mad and how they make a world of madness seem sane to the uniformed and the uneducated in its ways. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback