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The Takeover Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Corporate financier Frey's debut novel concerns a secret society of powerful businessmen who attempt to engineer a large-scale economic disaster to topple the President.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The unlikely hero of this first novel, an investment banker with (gasp!) a conscience, risks all in probing a crooked takeover scheme. Plans for a motion picture from Paramount are underway.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; First Edition edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451184785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451184788
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,844,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I had bought this book second-hand at a street sale because it sounded ok from the description and the reviewer quotes, and also because it was only $1 - and I'm really glad that I did. Right now, I'd definitely include The Takeover in a list of my favorite books. To put it into some context, I'm also a fan of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy books.
This is the first book by Stephen W. Frey that I've read - I will definitely look for and read other books by him.
The story is fast-paced and entertaining, and the plot is terrific. One thought that I had as I read it was "This would make a great movie!" And obviously others, including Paramount, thought that too as I believe Paramount has optioned it.
The depiction of Wall Street, and its reach into the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the press, and Washington is spot-on. A few years ago I might have thought it far-fetched, but since Bush, Enron, the market action of recent years, etc. I've become much more aware/cynical of how things work in the US and in the world. The Takeover was published in 1995, but I found I related it to recent events and the current corporate and political environment (ie. Enrons, Wall Street scams, CEOs, questionable elections, generally self-enrichment at the expense of the public.) Again, to put this in some context, the author, Stephen W. Frey, is a Wall Street investment banker at the executive level so he's able to provide insights into that world.
Wall Street has too much power for my taste and this book reinforced that opinion. Yes, it's fiction, but so was Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor's incredible closing scenario - until it happened.
Great read, definitely worth it. This is the first time I've been moved to write a positive review for a book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having been a banker myself, I am always disappointed at how
badly financial mysteries are researched and don't really
capture the dynamics of the market. However, Frey, who is a banker
himself, knows exactly what he is writing about. The plot
is superb, with its many twists and surprises. This is a book that
gives you a glimpse into the high powered world of
investment banking and is extremely entertaining, for both
insiders and outsiders. I lent the book to my brother, who
is an investment banker and never has time to read for pleasure. He
read the book in a couple of days and loved it! What else do I
need to say?!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Frey outdid himself in this book. Andrew Falcon is the epitome of the hyper over-achieving investment bankers that control the pursestrings on Wall Street. A million dollar first year bonus? Not good enough for this investment banker. Falcon goes out and tries to start up an internet style company, which through various circumstances, including his former employer's tampering, fails.
From there Frey weaves a trap for our hero Falcon, a trap that is ends up involving a Presidential assassination and a super secrete seven society from Harvard (presumably based on the UVA sevens.) While some elements of the story, and even Falcon's abilities, seem to be a bit to extraordinary, Frey still does a superb job in telling it.
Of his work, this one is clearly Frey's best and most suspenseful. There were so many details that Frey dove into that made the book really enjoyable.
My only real problem is not of this book, but of Frey's other works, which happen to mirror each other. If you have one financial thriller (doesn't that sound like an oxymoron?) to chose from, pick this one and you will be very well rewarded.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on August 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My biggest problem with this book is that the characters are all shallow and stereotyped, and none of them are at all likeable. The supposed hero, Andrew Falcon, comes across as totally self-centered and selfish and amoral, just the kind of person anyone in their right mind would avoid having as a friend or lover. I'd prefer to read a book where I can identify with the hero.

Another problem is that the book is unrealistic in its description of how top businessmen interact. There are descriptions of meetings at the Federal Reserve Bank, where the Chairman acts like a petty dictator and treats the other committee members like school children. These supposedly high-level, experienced and intelligent bankers accept the chairman's treatment submissively! This is totally crazy. Nobody gets to rise to the top of the business world with the kind of personality problems being described here.

Finally there's a major plot problem at the end of the book. The "hero" and the bad guys both have incriminating evidence on each other, so the hero is prevented from sending the bad guys to prison. But then, after we're told that the bad guys have succeeded in toppling the President of the United States and bumping off one of the hero's girlfriends, then the hero does go to the authorities and gets the bad guys sent up. There's no explanation of why he couldn't have done that six months earlier and thus saved the President and his girlfriend. (Fortunately, he has a "reserve girlfriend" that he can spend his declining years with, so the loss of one girlfriend is no major problem.)

There are some positive things in the book, for example the interesting information about how investment banking and especially a leveraged buyout work. It's also interesting to read about how the stock exchange, and Wall Street in general, functions. But this doesn't make up for the problems I've described above.

Rennie Petersen
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