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Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals Hardcover – July 14, 2015
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One of Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Must-Reads of Summer
A Time magazine Ultimate Summer Reads Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month in Business/Leadership & Humor/Entertainment
Shocking and sordidand so much fun.”New York Daily News
Shots are drunk, nether parts are exposed and rubbed against food, bread rolls are hurled, drugs are inhaled and prostitutes paid. It’s Bertie Wooster’s Drones Club via the darker corners of Edward St. Aubyn and Bret Easton Ellis.”Wall Street Journal
LeFevre . . . sharply observes the lives of globe-trotting, overindulging, investment bankers.”Entertainment Weekly
If you thought the Wall Street culture portrayed in his tweets was bad, the one in LeFevre’s new book Straight to Hell is worse.”CNN Money
LeFevre’s workplace anecdotes include tales of nastiness, sabotage, favoritism, sexism, racism, expense-account padding, and legally questionable collusion.”New Yorker
Don't mistake this book for something it doesn't strive to be. The core themes of Straight to Hell survive attacks on its claims to credibility, and the book is not about boasting so much as entertainment. So should you read it? Maybe. It depends on your appetite for debauchery . . . Straight to Hell . . . offers a window into a deviant culture, and suggests the mechanisms by which it perpetuates itself, even in today’s climate.”Newsweek
There's no question that [LeFevre] knows his way around the business, and it's a dirty one. There's collusion, competition, nepotism, and a whole lot of reprehensible stuff going on in the business side, and it's fascinating. . . . A great read.”Business Insider
LeFevre’s stories are eye-opening. Also I’m pretty sure he confesses to several felonies, and there’s a price-fixing conference in a Hong Kong hotel room that I hope he ran by his lawyer. But you don’t want to read about bond deals. You want drugs and hookers. LeFevre delivers them with overwhelming force . . . Teenage boys at Choate will want to be investment bankers after reading Straight to Hell.”Bloomberg Businessweek
LeFevre . . . has a clear talent for storytelling and writing.”Global Capital
In some memoirs, the author tries to pull back the curtain to provide a glimpse into a particular time and place, but LeFevre attempts to rip the drapes right off. He gives a naked look at how business in the world of finance is conducted. LeFevre . . . doesn’t shy away from witnessing and partaking in some of the seedier antics . . . You may not like LeFevre's tact, but he knows what he's talking about.”CNBC
Informative and . . . highly entertaining . . . After all the wheeling and dealing, the drinking and snorting, the cheating and fucking, there is only John LeFevre, gleefully riding to hell and taking as many other sinners down with him as he can . . . LeFevre’s contributed a classic to the genre. Anyone interested in global finance, credit markets or cocaine-fueled debauchery should give it a read.”Reformed Broker
The Wall Street tell-all tome has been done before, but never quite like this. Straight to Hell is career suicide as literature; an interlude at a Filipino house of ill repute, all on its own, would be enough to render the author unemployable by any bank . . . If there were such a thing as witness protection for former bankers, John LeFevre would be eminently eligible.”Barron’s
Reads like a frat boy’s fever dream of the highflying life: morning drinking, late-night drinking, and drinking all the hours in between; pranks, bar fights, cheating, travel, and prostitutes. . . . Equal parts fun and train wreck, this is a tale engineered to astonish.”Publishers Weekly
Bad Behavior 101 . . . No, it’s not a day at Hunter S. Thompson’s ranch but . . . a day at an ordinary big ticket investment bank. . . . You’d be forgiven for keeping your money under the mattress henceforth.”Kirkus Reviews
Stories . . . that entertainingly and unapologetically flesh out the excesses of the banking industry.”Library Journal
Full of shocking lawlessness, boyish antics, and win-at-all-costs schemes, this is the definitive take on the excessive world of finance.”IndieBound
Beyond the shock factor, it’s the humour in the book that stands out. . . . [LeFevre] flinches from nothing: the Herculean inappropriateness of trading-floor antics, the hookers, the cocaine. . . . This book is going to annoy and offend a lot of people, with good reason. It is a vicious, vacuous, caustic world he illuminates. But it would be a shameful waste if we didn’t have LeFevre to find the humour in it all.”Euromoney
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Top Customer Reviews
I have recently read Ice-T's autobiography. There is a revealing quote in it:
"One thing I've learned from straddling two worlds: Hollywood is way more gangster than the streets. It comes down to this. The higher you go up the mountain, the colder it gets. I’ve been around some of the most ruthless gangsters in the streets of South Central L.A., but I’ve never seen anything like Hollywood’s gangsterism. When cats are dealing with billions of dollars, anybody—I mean, anybody—is expendable."
Now imagine that multiplied by a billion. The world of banking is corrupt to the bone. The difference is that the 'collateral damage' are whole states, millions of people who aren't even aware why the system works the way it does and why the bailouts always cost the common man and not the bankers themselves.
Whether it is worth the money and time a reader invests in it probably depends upon one's available wealth and leisure as well as upon one's interests. For my time and money, "Straight to Hell" is worth a quick laugh or two. In terms of abstract political-economic thought, Keynes and Hayek -- and their mutually respectful disputations -- remain unsurpassed in recent literature. The most valuable description of how The Money Power works today, IMHO, is still Doug Henwood's "Wall Street", to which I frequently return despite its age (1998).
That aside, it's an entertaining read that sounds a lot more like fiction than reality (one can only hope), but there are some incredibly funny passages - the private jet is one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author had great short stories about his time in banking world that average people could only imagine, like living at the Four Seasons for over 6 months! Read morePublished 2 days ago by Bert V
The author is a jerk but he's a funny jerk. Just be glad that you don't have to work with him and that he's not dating your daughter.Published 10 days ago by Terence D. Condren
The only reason I give this book any stars is that now I have a better understanding of the workings of a narcissist. Read morePublished 19 days ago by I. ReadThis
Unabashed greed and suspension of common morals in the vacuous pursuit of MORE.
Brutally honest, funny, and self introspective.
Awesome if you have some decent amount of brains. Accountants please refrain.Published 28 days ago by MMolina
Confirmed why I was wrong in wanting my son to go to Wall Street. Gross behavior. Amusing read, but not a sales piece for a career on Wall Street!Published 1 month ago by Sarah S. Moser