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The Chairman: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Frey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

No one knows the dark side of “The Street” better than master storyteller Stephen Frey, author of such riveting novels as Shadow Account and The Day Trader. Now, in his most ambitious work to date, Frey proves that no writer can put a high-powered hero at greater risk, nor offer readers more thrilling rewards.
A towering legend among New York private equity partnerships, Everest Capital is aptly named. When its founder meets an untimely death, thirty-six-year-old superstar Christian Gillette gets the top job. But with the power and prestige come risks. The day he narrowly escapes a fiery explosion that consumes his limo and takes two innocent lives, Gillette instantly understands how intense those risks are.

It comes as no surprise to him that he has enemies in the world of multibillion—dollar deals. But now that he controls Everest, he’s not going to let those enemies keep him from taking the firm–and himself–to even greater heights. Gillette has never hesitated to be aggressive, even ruthless, in his pursuit of success. This time will be no exception.

But in order to forge the alliances necessary to achieve his goals, Gillette forsakes a cardinal rule: Never trust anyone. The only certainties are the insidious campaign of corporate sabotage that could cost Gillette his job and the relentless assassination attempts that could cost him his life. To break a deadly conspiracy of greed, he’ll be forced to walk–then run–an ever-blurring line between loyalty and betrayal, attack and retreat, survival and destruction . . . in the ultimate game of profit and loss.

With The Chairman, Stephen Frey presides with intensified skill over the market he has so dramatically cornered–sharpening his patented brand of hard-boiled high-finance intrigue to its keenest cutting edge yet.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Diminished by dull prose, but distinguished by colorful, well-drawn characters and an arresting, labyrinthine plot, this 10th novel by Frey (after Silent Partner) illuminates the machinations of big business and high finance. Frey introduces Christian Gillette, who will be a continuing character in this inaugural volume of a projected series. As 36-year-old Gillette walks out of a Park Avenue church after delivering the eulogy following the suspicious "accidental" drowning of the late chairman of Everest Capital, he is nearly killed when a firebomb obliterates his waiting limo. Undaunted, newly elected chairman Gillette steps into another car and carries on with his planning: he's determined to make the company's new equity fund, Everest Eight, the biggest in the history of private equity and to eliminate his competition within the firm. Corporate chicanery, boardroom sex and backstabbing abound, and conspiracies proliferate, as Gillette enters into a deal with the chief of a mega-insurance company to increase Everest Eight's capital to $15 billion in a bold attempt to surpass rival Paul Strazzi at Apex Equity and become the nation's dominant private equity firm. Sadly, a perfunctory denouement does no justice to the clever plot. Agent, Cynthia Manson. (Mar. 29)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After the chairman of Everest Capital dies and private-fund manager Christian Gillette is elected successor, Gillette finds himself wielding previously unimagined power and exposed to equally unimagined danger (he barely averts being assassinated when his limo explodes). He doesn't mind wielding his might, first by firing one of the managing partners, then by snubbing a U.S. senator; however, accumulating enemies does not stop Gillette from planning the biggest venture fund in history. Frey does not characterize Gillette as a purely evil money-grubber; he is also shown to have a weakness for the downtrodden and gives generously to many needy families--even going so far as to buy them homes and establish trust funds for their children. Frey tries a bit too hard with this fast-paced financial thriller, and his plot contains a few glaringly implausible scenarios--would billionaire Gillette really frequent pool halls in seedy neighborhoods just to win $5,000? This is Frey's first series so perhaps the next Gillette venture will be a bit smoother. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 365 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345457609
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 29, 2005)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK1XY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,663 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3 1/2) Worth Reading Despite Unrealized Potential April 17, 2005
Format:Hardcover
The factors which have made several of Stephen's Frey's previous novels extremely enjoyable are his detailed knowledge of the financial markets and investment industry together with his ability to create action filled plots with enough misdirection to maintain the reader's interest. Thus, I have been willing to overlook what I regard as their main failures - the minimal character development with the usual exception of his central character and the completely unrealistic assumption (usually central to his plots) that desperate business leaders in positions of power who find their secrets or wealth threatened will routinely resort to murder in an attempt to solve their problems. Unfortunately, the plots of his recent books have gotten more unbelievable and extreme; THE CHAIRMAN continues that trend. In addition, this book suffers from several instances of extremely sloppy editing and a conclusion that fails to tie up several loose ends and leaves in doubt the fate of one of the major characters. My four star rating is due to the fact that my enjoyment of the plot, the strong character development of THE CHAIRMAN Christian Gillette, and a few other positive factors outlined below offset the several negative aspects which I will mention. Approximately half way through the story, I was actually tempted to speed read to the conclusion; I was sufficiently hooked to want to follow the plot to its conclusion but was increasingly frustrated at times by excesses in which the author indulged. However, the relative brevity combined with some interesting insights made me glad that I paid attetion to the details until the conclusion. Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Corporate World at it's Very Worst June 26, 2008
Format:Hardcover
First of all, let me state forthwith that I certainly don't consider myself to be a moralist, Anchorite, Anarchist or any other like kind. But nonetheless, I found the characters in this book to be absolutely appalling. At the very beginning of the novel, Chris Gillette, who after working with his peers for a decade suddenly becomes its Chairman, states immediately, "you will now call me Christian". The author may just as well have substituted "Your Excellency" with "Christian." And from that point on the tone of the book seems to be set. Only one other reviewer seems to have been disturbed by the central character's flawed behavior, and stated "in terms of extreme behavior, Frey's corporate world would put Caligula's court to shame. Spot on. I am recently retired from an ultra competitive Fortune 50 company myself, and coming from a very high level of upper management what I found most lacking in this novel was any form of business ethics, and most importantly, honor. I am not naive, and yes the business world today is ruthless and hardcore, but I found that the most successful people, even while being competitive and ruthless, still have a sense of honor, and not always, but for the most part, demand it from those around them. If not, they are doomed, both as a person and as an executive. No man is an Island. This book is a horrible example for young people, who espouse to become successful executives themselves. I just hope that they won't come away thinking that dishonorable behavior is as acceptable and commonplace in Corporate America as is displayed within this novel. I hope they realize that honor and fairness are important and still have meaning, and that this book is fiction, and not very good fiction at that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great writing, less than solid ending. July 24, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
wow. Frey as an author has produced several tight stories over the last decade. The Chairman is his best work. A good third of the story is just deal making. The Chairman starts off with Gillette (the main character) at a funeral. Gillette is the newly minted CEO of the 2nd largest private equity company in the U.S. The funeral is for the ex CEO who died in mysterious circumstances. But the story doesn't go into this for quite a while. Instead Frey spends a good chunk of the novels real estate just talking back room deals. Its sort of like the God Father with Don Corleone in the back room at the wedding while he's making life & death decisions.

I may be remembering how I feel about Frey in a negative light. But it seems to me that I have always almost really enjoyed every one of his books. And I stress the 'almost'. His characters are always stand-offish. He writes in an almost impersonal manner. For the first time he has found a protagonist here in 'The Chairman' where this negative turns into a positive. Gillette is a brutal CEO. Time and time again he is relentless and ugly. But as a reader, you forgive him for this... after all he is a CEO of a powerful modern business entity. What else would you expect. One mistake that Frey makes however, is about half way through he shifts the character of Gillette and tries to make him a Coben style everyman hero... odd and doesn't work. So over the ending of this story Gillette switches between good guy/evil CEO.

One thing that struck me was how mysterious this whole book was for the first half at least. The story starts, as I said, at a funeral. Its chaos. 20 small deals and stories are told in rapid fire. This helps flesh out the characters and the situation... but we still dont know what the heck is going on...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved the plot, and continuatin of charachters and hope we see more in future books
Published 29 days ago by Stuart Busse
5.0 out of 5 stars book you can't put down
When you think you know the answers don't be surprised that you don't. What a great read. Frey is the man
Published 1 month ago by rkstone
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chairman
This is the first book I have read by Stephen Frey. I will definitely read some more of his books
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chairman
Stephan Frey deals with a subject very foreign mysterious to most of us in his novels and cranks up a suspense that is palpable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ernest F. Pagragan
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Action thriller
This is a fast paced action thriller involving mega corporations and finance world. I could not put the book down.
Published 3 months ago by Rajeswar Juvvadi
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
The story starts fast and exciting and never slows down. This is the first book by Stephen Frey that I have read but, it won't be my last.
Published 4 months ago by Bob
1.0 out of 5 stars It Got Dirty Quickly
I had read the reviews and was looking forward to it, but after read for 45 minutes it started getting very sexually explicit. Not my cup of tea. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steve Day
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex intrique
I enjoy his writing style. He draws characters together in a way that helps remind the reader who a previous character is and how he/she fits into the plot. A must read.
Published 6 months ago by Thomas J. Eppinga
4.0 out of 5 stars Twists & Turns
A very engrossing and educational book. I didn't want to put it down. The author did a good job with character development and interaction.
Published 8 months ago by Thumper
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
kept me wanting to finish book in one sitting cant wait to read other books by this author in the future
Published 13 months ago by vincent wade jr
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More About the Author

Stephen Frey has written 18 novels. The latest, a political thriller entitled, ARCTIC FIRE, was published by Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing) in October 2012. The sequel to ARCTIC FIRE, entitled RED CELL SEVEN, is scheduled for release by Thomas & Mercer in January 2014. The series follows the activities of RED CELL SEVEN, a top-secret intelligence group which has no formal reporting responsibilities to anyone inside the United States government and funds itself entirely with private sector money. Stephen is currently working on the third book in the series, KODIAK SKY, which is scheduled for release by Thomas & Mercer in January 2015.

Stephen began his career in finance, working at JP Morgan's New York City office in the mergers and acquisitions department before moving to Washington, DC in 1999 to work at Winston Partners in the group's private equity business. At Winston he led the investment into and chaired three of the firm's portfolio companies.

His first 14 novels involved the financial world, beginning with THE TAKEOVER which was published by Penguin Putnam in 1995.

In order, his other works are: THE VULTURE FUND (1996), THE INNER SANCTUM (1997), THE LEGACY (1998), THE INSIDER (1999), TRUST FUND (2001), THE DAY TRADER (2002), SILENT PARTNER (2003), SHADOW ACCOUNT (2004), THE CHAIRMAN (2005), THE PROTEGE (2005), THE POWER BROKER (2006); THE SUCCESSOR (2007), THE FOURTH ORDER (2007), FORCED OUT (2008), HELL'S GATE (2009) and HEAVEN'S FURY (2010). The first four novels were published by Penguin Putnam, the next 10 by Random House, the next 3 by Simon & Schuster and Stephen is published by Thomas & Mercer.


Stephen lives in northern Virginia, is an avid fisherman and has three wonderful daughters: Christina, Ashley and Gabriella.

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