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The Financier | [Theodore Dreiser]

The Financier

The first in a "trilogy of desire", The Financier tells the story of the ruthlessly dominating broker Frank Cowperwood as he climbs the ladder of success, his adoring mistress championing his every move. Based on the life of flamboyant finance captain C. T. Yerkes, Theodore Dreiser's cutting portrayal of the unscrupulous magnate Cowperwood embodies the idea that behind every great fortune there is a crime.
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Publisher's Summary

A master of literary naturalism, Dreiser is known for his great intensity and keen journalistic eye as he examines real-life subjects. This powerful novel explores the dynamics of the financial world during the Civil War and after the stock market panic caused by the Chicago fire.

The first in a "trilogy of desire", The Financier tells the story of the ruthlessly dominating broker Frank Cowperwood as he climbs the ladder of success, his adoring mistress championing his every move.

Based on the life of flamboyant finance captain C. T. Yerkes, Theodore Dreiser's cutting portrayal of the unscrupulous magnate Cowperwood embodies the idea that behind every great fortune there is a crime.

(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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3.9 (81 )
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 (29)
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4.2 (42 )
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  •  
    Peter Richmond, CA, USA 08-16-08
    Peter Richmond, CA, USA 08-16-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Outstanding classic, great narrator"

    Geoffrey Blaisdell, the narrator, brings Dreiser's characters and 1870's Philadelphia setting alive in this compelling study of a maverick stock operator.
    This is what "Wall Street" or "Bonfire of the Vanities" should have been.

    If you're looking for insight into the world and minds of the "Masters of the Universe", you'll find that human nature is timeless, and that the American financial and legal systems, which Dreiser describes in detail, haven't changed that much.

    The book opens shortly before the US Civil war and ends with the panic of 1873, when financial houses in New York and Philadelphia rose to prominence funding the Union's side of the Civil war and the subsequent railroad boom.

    The books character's are strongly drawn and compelling - especially the protagonist, Frank Cowperwood, and his mistress Eileen Butler. Dreiser's prose is a thing of beauty and his eye for detail is unmatched.

    I'm proud of Blackstone for reviving this worth book, and hope they will record all three in the series.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty 05-25-12
    Betty 05-25-12 Listener Since 2007

    Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "READS LIKE 2012 HEADLINES!"

    Do not be misled by the title. This is a novel. It is about generational families and their ways of surviving when uncontrollable events threaten their ways of life. The book was first published in 1912. It is set in the last quarter of 19th Century. The too big to fail financial houses in that era had names like Cook, Vanderbilt, Gould, Morgan etc.. The newspaper headlines then might have appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal. This was the period after the ending of the Civil War and at the beginning of the Great American Expansion to the West; a period marked by unrest, social change and financial turmoil. As always in periods of change, there are great opportunities for the building of great fortunes for those with the required intellect, insight, and discipline and for the fortunes accumulated in the past to melt away as new players and rules enter the game.

    The main characters are in Philadelphia with financial contacts in New York City, Boston and other commercial centers on the East Coast. The triggering event for the story was in the great Midwest: The Great Chicago Fire. The destruction of the financial, commercial, transportation and manufacturing districts triggered a financial panic for banks and securities houses from Chicago to Wall Street.

    Dreiser uses this setting to develop and illustrate his classic tale of love, money, power, politics, greed, lust, broken homes and prison time for the weak and for the strong. It is the story of an intellectually gifted young man who is rapidly rising in the financial and social worlds and is dealt a staggering blow when he cannot get the resources to allow him to stay afloat during the panic triggered by the Great Chicago Fire. Dreiser shows how in times of crisis the character of people is revealed, whatever their rungs on financial, political and social ladders may be. The tale he tells is compelling and is as relevant today as it was in 1912.

    Theodore Dreiser is an American Classic writer and this is one of his best. I recommend it for the writing and for the narration. It is a great read (listen).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Brantford, Ontario, Canada 08-12-08
    Jason Brantford, Ontario, Canada 08-12-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wonderfully writen"

    This was the best book i listened to on audible and i would advice you to buy this work of art if you have a interest in the condition and rules of the financial world of long ago where politicians was cheap and capital is might and demanded complete respect

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald South Lyon, MI, United States 10-28-10
    Donald South Lyon, MI, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2007
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    "A man's novel?"

    Loved this novel and loved Blaisdell as narrator. This was my first experience with Dreiser and for whatever reasons was expecting something much dryer (yah yah, I see the pun) but was really surprised how impassioned and quick the novel moved, no doubt Blaisdell played a significant role in this. I will definitely be looking into other Dreiser novels in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 03-05-13
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 03-05-13 Member Since 2005

    Audiophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dull Dull Dull"

    Almost stopped listening when, after 15 chapters, the setup had not concluded; but it was at that point when the story began to pick up so I continued. I should have not wasted my time.

    The story fits together too perfectly and drones on from one unsurprising resolution to the next, with hardly a blink.

    The Civil war is mentioned, in passing, and while it is hard to believe that the world of east coast finance wasn’t turned on its head during this period in our history the author passed over it as though it was nothing more than a minor skirmish; which had little, to no, effect on the protagonists world. There is nothing in this story that doesn’t work itself out and doesn’t end in a “happy ever after” way.

    There were beautiful descriptions home architecture and clothing, and of people, but beyond that it was pretty bland,

    The reading left much to be desired and starting in the middle of the book sections appeared to have been inserted; as though something was wrong with sections of the original reading and needed to be re-read. It was very obvious, and rather distracting, because the tone and cadence of fhe reader's voice was so different in these inserted segments. I sometimes wondered if they were read by someone else.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Long Beach, CA, USA 11-27-09
    Grace Long Beach, CA, USA 11-27-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too many irrelevant financial facts and details"

    The story could have been an interesting one but was bogged down with too much information and detail about the main character"s financial dealings.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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