I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in business culture and how Enron literally changed the way business are today.
The performer does an excellent job of putting a vocal twist on each character.
I am a bilingual high school teacher. I mostly read non-fiction, especially history, but I am also a sucker for science-fiction and fantasy novels.
I went into this not sure if a 30-hour book about Enron would really be all that interesting. However, I ended up really enjoying it. It was very, very detailed and thorough, and the author did a great job of making the financials easy to understand. I could follow what was happening with the money with no problems and I have no financial or accounting background. The book is very much a narrative, and in spite of the large cast of characters and the detailed series of events, you get so that you are really engrossed in the story. It was hard at times to remember that this all really happened! The author obviously went to a lot of trouble (as he discusses in the interesting interview with him at the end of the book) to tell the story based on facts and not demonize anyone. The people come across as authentic and complex, just like they should. Even the corrupt people can be sympathetic (or at least pathetic) at times. I was a teenager when Enron went bankrupt so I really didn't know anything about the story going in, but that didn't affect my ability to follow the book - the author didn't make any assumptions about what people already knew about Enron.
I really enjoyed the narration. It engaged me in the book and was neither over-dramatic nor monotone. There were only two or three mispronounced words that I caught, which is honestly pretty impressive in 30+ hours of reading.
My only complaint is that there wasn't another 10 hours about the trials and the aftermath. I understand why - because the trials were ongoing when the book was written - but I still wanted it to continue! In general, the ending wasn't that satisfying, but it is real life, so obviously it couldn't all get neatly wrapped up. Overall, I would recommend the book to people interested in history books, actually, since it reads like a good history book, with a clear narrative and interesting in-depth coverage of the whole history of Enron as well as its demise.
Fascinating subject matter. I've read/listened too Smartest Guys in The Room and loved it, thought I'd try this for a different angle. The narration is awful. I've bought over 100 tiltles here on audible since I became a road warrior, and this is without a doubt the worst performance yet.
Nothing. Was that actually a human being? Thought for sure it was a speech synthesis machine. It is GREAT for inducing sleep though.
Incredibly researched and written account of Enron. I would venture to say this is the best non-fiction book I've ever listened to. It is written more like a novel and is very easy to listen to and follow. If you like a good scandal, you'll love this book!
This is a book I would recommend to anyone that is willing to listen. It captivates you from the very begining.
It was difficult to put down as soon as it got started.
When the numbers start flying, you have to be memorized! I was stuck in thought as to how something like this could fly by with none the wiser to the real motives of such crumby convoluted ideas.
The author does an excellent job unraveling this mystery and explaining it so everyone can understand. No special schooling needed for this book. Also have to give credit to the excellent narrator for this audio book. He makes it even more interesting.
Overall, my expectations were far surpassed and im very glad I had the opportunity to enjoy this book. It is a little lengthy but worth every minute.
The in-the-room experience that you typically don't get with non-fiction crime thrillers.
It feels genuine and thoroughly reconstructed.
Jeff Skilling was a particularly artful performance, from the high-powered successful corporate young gun to exhausted, pensive and depressed convict.
Corporate hubris and demise
I am not even waiting until I finish this book to write this review. We already know how the story ended!
This book, in my estimation, is a spellbinding unwrapping of all the events, large and small, that meshed to create the disaster that was Enron.Having worked for a major global corporation for 25 years myself during the same time period that Enron's business environment was evolving, what with the lack of central controls and the general confusion that prevailed, along with, I might add, the free reign that some new hires who were seen as "young geniuses" were given, I identified strongly with this book's description of the events that culminated in total collapse of not just the business, but countless lives and fortunes that were destroyed as a result. Many of us at my company were experiencing the same fright and uncertainty that plagued many of Enron's and other corporations' employees during that intense period, when the structures we had helped to build were blasted away with seemingly not a thought given to the consequences. I worked in accounting, so it all comes across as very real to me.
While this book does mainly break down the more complicated aspects of the financial constructs coming to life within Enron at the time, I will admit that a certain minor percentage of these are still not clear to me. (And never were to Enron, I believe.) But mainly, the book does make clear most of the events and their settings that caused the ruination of Enron. And to no one's surprise, I imagine, your basic unbridled greed was underlying the entire course of events.
The narration of this book is excellent. I have not encountered any irritations with it. The way it is read allows the listener to not even pay attention to the narration, but just to actually be a part of the action. This is as it should be.
There have been many books on this same topic; I have read some of them and did not even finish a couple, due to the way the material was treated. Because general corporate accounting is a foreign language to an average person on the street, the subject has to be made both understandable and most importantly, interesting, objectives hard to attain. This book definitely meets that challenge.
It also provides a realistic acquaintance for the listener with the characters involved, on a personal basis. This is important in understanding the motivations of characters who veered so far off course.
To my taste, this book accomplishes both of the above objectives better than any other I have read on this topic. It is a very long listen, 20-some hours. But that only serves to extend the pleasure of listening.
I believe very few listeners would be disappointed in this excellent book.
great insight, put together in very engaging way, scary reality
very good at captivating me
scary what can happen when greed takes over...
Compelling take on the Enron disaster. The author makes complex financial issues easy to understand. He seems to give Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay more of a pass than they probably deserve. I'm listening to The Smartest Guys in the Room to get another perspective on the issues. Both books together give a more full picture of why what happened did.
Not having much of a business background and unfamiliar with the jargon used on Wall Street I felt unprepared. Just a word of caution to those in a similar place as mine.
Not assume that everyone knows financial acronyms and jargon.