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Weekend Warrior

Kenosha, WI, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 2 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 94 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Diana B. Henriques
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Who is Bernie Madoff, and how did he pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme in history? These questions have fascinated people ever since the news broke about the respected New York financier who swindled his friends, relatives, and other investors out of $65 billion. Many have speculated about what must have happened, but no reporter has been able to get the full story - until now. Diana B. Henriques of the New York Times has written the definitive book on the man and his scheme.

    Reed says: "The second act is just as interesting as the first"
    "The second act is just as interesting as the first"

    The Wizard of Lies tells the story of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, but its a story in two acts. The first act is predictable; how Bernie Madoff got started, how he developed his scheme and how he managed to fool very sophisticated investors into believing that consistent, steady returns could be obtained without ever incurring a loss. That story is worth the trip alone, but it's really Act Two in the book that is equally compelling. That portion of the book tells the story of what happened after Madoff was caught (or gave himself up - he was never really "caught" although he should have been many times before his ultimate demise). That story tells the continued greed of the defrauded investors, with the "net winners" claiming that they were entitled to what turned out to be ill-gotten gains at the expense of the "net losers." The efforts of the bankruptcy trustee to recover as much money as possible for those who lost money given to Madoff is as fascinating, and complex as the story of the original scheme. Sorting out the truly "innocent" victims from the opportunists was no easy task.

    The narration by Pam Ward is smooth and she keeps the narrative going. As so little of the book is "dialogue" she does not resort to different voices to help the listener distinguish the participants. However, with slight inflection changes, she is able to convey the essence of some of the key players, for example, the arrogance of the two original accountants who profited off of Madoff's scheme and left before the house of cards came crashing down.

    There are some shortcomings in the book. Madoff's purported investment strategy is mis-described by the author at some points, so if you already know the finer points of option trading, you will be slightly jarred to realize that the writer may not fully understand what Madoff claimed to be doing. However, for the listener not schooled in options, this is a minor point and should not distract from the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dismissed with Prejudice: J. P. Beaumont Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    J. P. Beaumont investigates the death of a Japanese-American businessman, which appears to be a Samurai suicide.

    Bette says: "Took time to 'get into' story"
    "While Not Jance's best Beaumont story, still good"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It was pretty clear that Jance was using this book as a transition on the main character's life - as an alcoholic poice detective that has to confront the nature of his addiction. However, the actual mystery plot line was pretty thin, and without giving anything away, Jance never really explained the eventual murderer's motiviation. Too much was

    Would you be willing to try another book from J. A. Jance? Why or why not?

    While this was not Jance's best, the series in general has been a compelling mystery series, and I will continue to follow the career of J.P. Beaumont.

    What about Gene Engene’s performance did you like?

    One consistent hallmark about the series has been the performance of Gene Engene. He has perfectly captured the persona of J.P. Beaumont. As so much of Jance's writing is personal narrative by Beaumont, the voice that reads this takes on greater importance. At times, Engene's performance is reminiscent of 30's radio mysteries - and that's a good thing.

    Was Dismissed with Prejudice worth the listening time?

    If this was the first Jance book you listened to, you might dismiss it as a lightweight mystery that failed in the critical plot development. However, if you start the series from the beginning, it's a still a good listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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