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"By far the most rollicking, trippy book to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis."
“Lawson [has] found gold…This is a fantastic story, in both senses of the word, with a freshness that recalls Liars Poker.”
--Bryan Burrough, New York Times
“Read this book to understand Wall Street…Someone is going to Octopus into a movie. By this time next year, Lawson will have a fat deal…The reason for that is that Octopus is an incredible dark comedy with one of the craziest true-life ironic twists you can possibly imagine.
--Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
"Lively...turns a lens on the fast and loose ways of Wall Street...would make an excellent gift for a regulatory complicance officer...or a shrink."
“A cautionary tale of the highly sophisticated, often endemic fraud that still lurks on Wall Street…I was riveted by Mr. Lawson’s telling…the story is mind-boggling.”
--Andrew Sorkin, New York Times (Dealbook)
“Entertaining…a colorful contemporary story about greed and ambition warping judgment, about con men duping other con men…replete with secret markets, shady intelligence operatives, and even a space alien that overdosed on ice cream.”
“Full on Twilight Zone…features not just rampant fraud but guns, supposed CIA double agents, drugs, JFK’s assassination, and oh yes, world domination. Did I mention that this is a nonfiction book?...An outrageous but definitely movie-worthy tale. Lawson’s reporting is prodigious.”
“Like The Sting…An astounding story that forces you to remind yourself that this actually happened not ten years ago, to real people with real money.”
“[Features] a series of spy-thriller escapades that could have been plucked from a Jason Bourne movie…More fun and thrilling than any work of journalism about hedge funds has the right to be.”
“An inside look at a savage tribal society [of Wall Street traders] that also reminds one of that rollicking farce concocted by Mel Brooks, ‘The Producers’… Brings to life one of the most colorful, and often engaging, con men of this or any other century…an entertaining, well-told tale.”
“If you dig movies about cons, like Catch Me If You Can, The Sting, and The Spanish Prisoner, you will blow through Octopus, Guy Lawson’s deftly and enthusiastically told tale of Same Israel and the Bayou hedge fund.”
--The Daily Beast
“Penetratingly comprehensive…Lawson nimbly traverses the labyrinthine depths of a worldwide banking con that managed to involve looted Federal Reserve notes and the JFK assassination…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.”
GUY LAWSON has traveled the world reporting on war, crime, politics, and sports. His work has appeared in many national publications, including the New York Times, Harper's, GQ, and Rolling Stone, and he previously coauthored The Brotherhoods. He and his family make their home in upstate New York.
True story that reads like a fictional novel.
Sam started on Wall Street when traders could still make money on their feelings about the market, coupled with a bit of insider trading and tips from their brokers.
More, his presentation of the story and his writing style are as clear and direct as the story itself is convoluted.
Sam Israel is not your normal financial guy. No, he's like Jordon Belfort without all of the pazzaz! Read morePublished 3 months ago by William Rossetter
Somehow, we all "know" that something criminal is going on behind the scenes. OCTOPUS describes how it happens and why. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Grandma Sharing
A good book about bad people never thinking about what they were really doing and if it was right or not.Published 4 months ago by UWSJoe
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. True story that reads like a fictional novel. Definitely kept my interest throughout. Never got bored.Published 6 months ago by Gary Stromberg
Do not believe that a sophisticated Wall Street pro could be drawn into this kind of con. Pyramid scams, yes, but secret markets with participants skimming off the top---NO.Published 7 months ago by Clyde Farnsworth
Please tell me the difference between George Washington and Sam Israel? Easy. George Washington never told a lie and Sam Israel never told the truth. If you offered Mr. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jerome Lawrence Castle
I found this mildly interesting at the outset and then it bogged down seriously. About half way through, it picked up again and moved along better. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joanna Nichols
Octopus is an action packed thrill ride with the stock market and the crooks that run rampant in the industry .Published 9 months ago by Ross Lehner
I knew sam israel since he was a teenager. I can say without an ounce of equivocation, he was and is a world class screw up and BS'er. Read morePublished 13 months ago by DInBeantown