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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2016
A gripping account of an entrepreneurial man gradually pushing the boundaries of his money making empire too far. Intriguing and gripping all the way. A perfect example of someone digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself and the suspicion surrounding his bizarre​ death.
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on 15 October 2012
This is one of three titles by the same author I recently downloaded for my Kindle, after having read a number of books about Maxwell.
Even though the events covered in the book took place over twenty years ago, Bower's style of writing helps the reader forget the time which has passed since Maxwell committed - what was then - the fraud of the century.
Well-researched and well-written, Bower lives up to his reputation by delivering a finely crafted work covering the fall of one of Britain's then most controversial characters.
One would have to make their own mind up as to whether the sons were equally corrupt or simply living in fear of their father - although the information delivered by Bower would leave the average reader in no doubt as to Kevin Maxwell's part in proceedings.
The trial proceedings are well documented by Bower, and leaves the reader wondering just how the jury could have arrived at it's final decision.
A fine read for anybody with an interest in corruption and fraud in the business world.
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on 16 June 2014
Robert Maxwell hated Tom Bower. And he would have hated this well researched fearless book. Bower spent years investigating Maxwell whilst he was alive and this book also includes years of research into his death. Maxwell died in 1991 but many of the lessons from his downfall are still very relevant today. A really brilliant biography.
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on 6 January 2016
The first three quarters of the book are an engrossing read. Sadly the last part that deals with the court case mostly goes over old ground dealt with in the first part of the book so it was a bit hard going from a boredom "I've already read this!" point of view.
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on 31 January 2016
An unbelievable insight into the despicable behaviour of that slob Maxwell and his lying toad of a son, Kevin. The jury members should hang their heads in shame for finding Kevin innocent of his blatant and pervasive fraud.
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on 4 January 2015
You did feel that Maxwell was right there in the background watching what the author was writing but I found it worth the read. Covers all sorts of fields & business dealings yet by the end you still feel him an enigma! I found his origins & beginnings of most interest. I'd read again at some stage. My niece who went to Newcastle University, her mother is now married into this family after a Welshman & my brother. See also Tom Bower's Fayed on my Profile page too.
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on 27 September 2014
Pretty awful read… The writer insists on coming back to “lifestyle” (the yacht, private jet, heli, pink champagne and such) and how Maxwell and Kevin managed to keep the banks at bay by lying their heads off. Trifles…
The writer does not answer the key question: How come a man so smart, so charming, so ruthless and so driven as Maxwell lost so much money? He owned reasonably profitable companies and knew every trick to max profits and minimize tax. So why did the empire melt down? It wasn’t a technology shift (the internet). That would come 20 years later. And it wasn’t bad deal making. Somebody who could out-manoeuvre Saul Steinberg (in the Pergamon deal) was no fool.
In short, the book offers only a surface treatment of one of Britain’s most interesting business failures and for that reason remains unsatisfactory.
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on 7 July 2011
A very detailed book covering the later life of Robert Maxwell, by someone who is definitely no fan boy. At times, it is a bit difficult to read because of the amount of supporting evidence the author provides (perhaps partially to avoid legal action). Despite this, Tom Bower's view of the events is fascinating, especially if you like tales of greed, intrigue, spending vast sums, and large loans turning bad.
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on 9 February 2015
The feel of the book is very disappointing. This book looks as though it has been reprinted very cheaply. The photographs are rough as is the paper. Doesn't make it a pleasure to read.
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on 14 October 2014
This is an excellent review of the collapse of the Maxwell Media Empire and the raid on the employees' pension funds in a last desperate attempt to save the empire
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