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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 November 2007
I never met Gerald although i worked in the jewellery trade for many years which is why this book appealed to me ,everyone knows the story of Geralds rise and fall and what an amazing story and well worth reading ,so many things i thought i knew but didn't , I usually read a chapter a night of any book but this one i couldn,t put down totally gripping and inspiring stuff ,you really couldn,t see this coming to such an energetic ,passionate man.
Some valuable life and business lessons to be gleaned from this book also a great book for would be enterpreneurs and also a moving fascinating story and a nice account of Geralds early life , the honesty and sincerity of the author shines through , i really enjoyed it , i was feeling down before i read it but its really spurred me on and makes you realize just what you can achieve and what really matters i give it five gold stars ....
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on 1 December 2007
I have read many bio's from business leaders and most are boring 'how to get rich' or 'let me tell you a long list of not very interesting stories, with all the good bits missed out'. Gerald's book is very different it is a great read, I could not put it down. If he wrote it, he has a great writing skill. The story is so interesting because he has nothing to hide, the papers have dragged everything out over the years and worse, so his version of events is amazing and shocking and show the classic British media's love of building people up and knocking them down. His detail of all the events is very useful and very educational. A must read.
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on 31 December 2007
In an often boring genre dominated by US titles like How to Get Rich and Stay Rich it is refreshing to see an honestly written business autobiography that acknowledges that dynasties, luck (good and bad), contacts and the age one operates in play as much as a part as business acumen. It's a great story because it covers ups and downs: failed business 'stars' rarely come out from under their stones.
My only niggle was Gerald's mis-spelling of some of the prominent business names of the era. He or a proof reader has done the book a disservice as Sir Hector Laing becomes Sir Hector Lang, Roger Seelig (who figures frequently)is now Roger Selig, Paine Webber is Payne Webber and Bejam were apparently Beejam.
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on 4 January 2008
This book is a great antidote to all those books out there telling you how great British business is and how great the City is. The guy made a mistake and boy did he pay for it.
Sobering and enlightening at the same time. A great read and a morality tale of our time.
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on 14 December 2007
Essential reading for any ex-employees ( of which I am one, and proud ), and anyone requiring an interesting and motivational read. Extremely well written with complete frankness and honesty. Highly reccomended !
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on 5 June 2009
I worked for Gerald Ratner so reading this book was a deeper insight into his highs and lows of the Ratners empire and his life, it's great to see that he is now back on top where he should be, one mistake cost him everything and he well deserves a second chance - 10/10 for this book.
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on 11 December 2015
As an ex employee who met him on many occasions I found this book to an interesting read. It was wide of the mark in many points, totally disparaging about my old boss Andrew Coppell, who, oddly went onto greater things than him! Ratners was doomed to fail, they say the second generation never carrys on the family business name and it was true. Driven to expand at all costs, never took time to consolidate his acquired businesses and then came a cropper when interest rates turned and consumer spending fell. Any idiot would have known that when you are contemplating a takeover of a completely different company, Dixons, then the world's gone nuts. He would have failed regardless of the speech, far too overgeared. Still, an interesting read and nice to remember some good times that I had forgotten about.
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on 31 March 2008
I read this and couldnt put it down... Reading the transcript of the speech is eye opening...

Ill probably even use his new online service now - its true what they say, people buy from people...
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on 30 May 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I found it very interesting how Gerald was humbled by his mis timed speech. It goes to show that one unfortunately mistake can change the outcome of your life. I have no doubt that if Gerald had used a different 1990 speech instead of the capitalist 1980s speech he would still be the Managing Director of the largest jewelry company on the planet. This book also provides insight on management boards can really throw you under the bus when your down.
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on 22 February 2010
Great read - refreshingly honest, warts and all!
Good to read a biog actually penned by the subject.
Thanks Gerald!
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