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Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, from Wall Street to Dubai (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 12, 2008

3 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, August 12, 2008
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Editorial Reviews


Praise for BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE: 'An extraordinary story... a book that will surely become a classic of its genre' Sunday Express Praise for BREAKING VEGAS: 'A very enjoyable read that makes you feel like you're right there in Vegas playing along. Semyon's story is a fascinating, true-life adventure' Kevin Spacey 'Glamorous, exciting and true, it's a tale to send the Ocean's Eleven back to bussing tables for tips.' Arena 'Stylish and captivating ... A must read at all costs' Daily Mirror --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. Since then he has published twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in twelve languages and became the basis for the Kevin Spacey movie 21. Mezrich has also published the national bestsellers Sex on the Moon, Ugly Americans, Rigged, and Busting Vegas. He lives in Boston.


Product Details

  • Series: P.S. (Book 17)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061252735
  • ASIN: B003A02X98
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.

New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of billionaire Russian Oligarchs.

Meet two larger-than-life Russians: Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician who got his start in a car-reselling business, moved into other more lucrative ventures as well as politics, and became known as the Godfather of the Kremlin. And Roman Abramovich, a dashing young entrepreneur who went from trading in plastic children's toys to building a multibillion- dollar empire of oil and aluminum.

After a chance meeting on a yacht in the Caribbean, these two men became locked in a complex partnership that would irrevocably change their lives. They surfed the waves of privatization after the fall of the Soviet regime, amassing megafortunes while also taking the reins of power in Russia. With Berezovsky serving as the younger entrepreneur's krysha-literally, his roof, his protector-they battled their way through the ''Wild East''of Russia.

A true-life thriller, this story reveals how Abramovich built one of Russia's largest oil companies from the ground up as Berezovsky's protégé-until their relationship soured after Berezovsky attacked President Vladimir Putin in the media. Dead bodies trailed Berezovsky's footsteps before and after his escape to London, where an associate of his died painfully of Polonium poisoning, creating an international furor. And as Abramovich continued to prosper, Berezovsky was found dead in a luxurious London town house, declared a suicide.

With unprecedented, exclusive first-person sourcing, Mezrich takes us inside a world of unimaginable wealth, power, and corruption to uncover the true story of Berezovsky and Abramovich, in one of the great epics of our time. Once Upon A Time in Russia will be brought to the silver screen by Warners Studio.

Mezrich has authored sixteen books, with a combined printing of over four million copies, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which spent sixty-three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and sold over 2 million copies in fifteen languages. His book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal - debuted at #4 on the New York Times list and spent 18 weeks in hardcover and paperback, as well as hit bestseller lists in over a dozen countries. The book was adapted into the movie The Social Network -written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher - and was #1 at the box office for two weeks, won Golden Globes for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best score, and was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning 3 including best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin. Mezrich and Aaron Sorkin shared a prestigious Scripter Award for best adapted screenplay as well.

In addition to these prestigious awards, Mezrich currently has multiple movies and TV shows in production based on his books. Newline Studios is producing The 37th Parallel, Fox Studios is close to green lighting Seven Wonders, and FX and WBTV are producing the Ugly Americans TV Show.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book hoping it might be something on the order of "Liars Poker" or "Barbarians at the Gates" or "The Pay Pal Wars," books that imparted huge amounts of information about the businesses that they covered. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

Mezrich's characters are suitable for comic books, the business concepts he imparts are perhaps the level that would be explained to fourth-graders on a field trip, and the plot is close to non-existent. I'd say his writing is boring but it seldom rises to that level.

I trade futures and FOREX, so I know a bit about markets and finance. Most of the narrative-type business books I have read give me at least one or two important pieces of information about the business itself. What Mezrich imparts about the Merc can be put into a one-page pamphlet.

I was most of the way through this piece of dreck when I realized what the point of this book was-- Mezrich is hoping to land a movie script. He tried to write it simple and shallow enough for Hollywood mogels to understand, and he tried to incorporate glitz and money and sex.

Save your money, save your time-- skip this book. Mr. C.S.
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Format: Hardcover
I first encountered Ben Mezrich when I read his book "Bringing Down the House" about a team of MIT blackjack card counters. The book was weak, but I put this down to the fact that the author was a fiction writer and this was his first work of journalism. Unfortunately, Mr. Mezrich's feel for journalism has not improved since then. In fact, I think that it's safe to say that journalism or even a good term paper is beyond Mr. Mezrich.

One of the most staggering weaknesses of "Rigged" is that Mr. Mezrich seems to know nothing about modern markets and computer driven trading. What passes for his journalism seems to be nothing more than interviews with a few people, which he then embellishes to the point where I would not believe anything I read in his books. Mezrich does very little research and does not interview the range of people that would add any depth to his books. He is, in effect, writing a "non-fiction" novel.

The best part of Mezrich's books is his description of the New York Merc. floor traders. Mezrich seems to understand on some level that these "Meatheads" are vestiges of a rapidly fading trading era. Apparently Mezrich has never visited any of the equally huge trading floors run by large companies that trade even larger volumns via computer. There he would have seen huge networks of computer systems and staffed by highly intelligent traders. Mezrich does not even seem to have any idea that something like computer model driven trading exists.

Computer driven trading is what drives markets now. The topic of the book is the construction of an oil trading center in Daubi.
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2 Comments 85 of 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Hardly. This book was a chore. There was no excitement in this book whatsoever. I had to force myself to finish it. I wanted to double slap the main character more than once for being such a milquetoast. I kept waiting for the intrigue. Well, if that's what your after, don't bother buying this book, because there is none. This book is a terrible failure on Mezrich's part.
2 Comments 32 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Wow . . . what agendas do the negative reviewers have?

To be sure, I did take away a star because it does look like this book was written/edited in too much of a hurry. A bit more TLC with the language would definitely have helped. But come on folks, the piling on is a bit much.

First off, this book in not presented as literal history. The author is very clear, up front, that time periods have been compressed and composite characters created to allow real-life individuals to remain anonymous.

As to the author failing to appreciate the shift to and impact of automated trading, what are those reviewers talking about. That shift, in progress at the time of the events, is one of the prime setups for and drivers of the story line.

Some reviewers were downright cruel in bashing the scene where Russo's mother faints a the thought of her son making a business trip to Dubai. I have no idea whether or not the real-life mother did faint. But toe fictional mother could have considering that her husband was trapped in one of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 when the attacks occurred and saw it all from the inside. Considering that, and the very very real emotional reactions in NY afterward -- and the major political flap when it turned out that a Dubai-based company was managing NY ports (I believe the contract was taken away), and the short time that elapsed between 9/11 and the events of this story), the fainting thing, while probably not the greatest literary device ever, is hardly as dreadful as some reviewers suggest.

Bottom line: This is not a perfect book, but many of the negative reviews here are needlessly and often-erroneously cruel. It makes me wonder if there are side agendas we don't know about (displaced floor traders?).
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