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Once upon a Time in Russia Audiobook

Once upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Bringing Down the House (63 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and the basis for the hit movie 21) and The Accidental Billionaires (the basis for the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network) delivers an epic drama of wealth, rivalry, and betrayal among megawealthy Russian oligarchs - and its international repercussions.

Once Upon a Time in Russia is the untold true story of the larger-than-life billionaire oligarchs who surfed the waves of privatization to reap riches after the fall of the Soviet regime: "Godfather of the Kremlin" Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was running an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his dashing young protégé, who built a multibillion-dollar empire of oil and aluminum. Locked in a complex, uniquely Russian partnership, Berezovsky and Abramovich battled their way through the "Wild East" of Russia, with Berezovsky acting as the younger man's krysha - his roof, his protector.

Written with the heart-stopping pacing of a thriller - but even more compelling because it is true - this story of amassing obscene wealth and power depicts a rarefied world seldom seen up close. Under Berezovsky's krysha, Abramovich built one of Russia's largest oil companies from the ground up and in exchange made cash deliveries - including $491 million in just one year. But their relationship frayed when Berezovsky attacked President Vladimir Putin in the media - and had to flee to the UK. Abramovich continued to prosper. Dead bodies trailed Berezovsky's footsteps, and threats followed him to London, where an associate of his died painfully and famously of Polonium poisoning. Then Berezovsky himself was later found dead, declared a suicide.

©2015 Mezco, Inc. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

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  •  
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 08-23-15
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 08-23-15 Member Since 2011

    My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain

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    "...and the rise of Vladimir Putin."

    There are the oligarchs, but the most interesting part of the book is how they were reigned in and Vladimir Putin gained power. This book is entertaining, and at the same time gives you bonus points in the intellectual department.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Methvin 07-23-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Must Buy"

    Incredible book. A storyline I could not get enough of. Extremely well written. Must buy book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sameer Advani 07-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great novel. Amazing story"

    Amazing story, very well put together. Fascinating story about the lives of truly extraordinarily flawed men.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gomeezy 07-16-15
    Gomeezy 07-16-15 Member Since 2013

    GomEZ

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    "Ben Mezrich does it again!"

    I definitely enjoy the style and manner in which Mezrich incorporates illustrative literary expressions to intermingle and exist within a historical interpretation of A time Russian oligarchs dominated the Russian political and business landscapes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 07-08-15
    James 07-08-15
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    "Well worth the time."

    The story is well presented and very believable. It is not slow nor is it redundant. The only missing details are the early years of the characters. Overall very good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Bagley 06-08-15
    Ron Bagley 06-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A very interesting story"

    Ben Mezrich always has such compelling stories and this one was no exception. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-29-16
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-29-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Fascinating story, well-written"

    Ben Mezrich does an amazing job here of translating his meticulous research into an interesting narrative. The historical figures we deal with in the text become characters in their own right; Mezrich writes like a fiction narrator, giving the reader a glimpse into his characters' thoughts, goals and actions. Simply put, the book reads like a story, rather than a nonfiction historical account, and this makes for a fascinating listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kmanaz 09-01-16
    Kmanaz 09-01-16
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    "Fascinating History."

    I find Russia one of the most fascinating subject. This book only adds to my disbelief of the absolute craziness that goes on in the beautiful and amazing country. Previously I had hear part labor these stories but this book pills them all together in a way that makes more sense and explains much about what is the current situation in Russia. Highly recommend to anyone that loves business, politics, and history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Chad Dyjak Oro Valley, AZ USA 08-22-16
    Chad Dyjak Oro Valley, AZ USA 08-22-16 Member Since 2016
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    "oligarchs"

    great look into Russian history and well-read by the narrator, see how crazy money corrupts all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael J Canning 07-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Oligarchs, Operatives, Explosives & Intrigue!"

    Excellent book. I had some reservations as I have read a fair bit in this area (for an American) and felt I would already be familiar with the narrative. I need not have been concerned. The book is a great addition to the limited literature dealing with this period in Russia and much more than just a rehashing of previously reported facts.

    Mezrich takes the reader back into Russia at is was during Yeltsin and early Putin years by telling the story through the experiences of the oligarchs that dominated the country's politics during this time -- their origins, personalities, rivalries, agendas, and public vs. private selves. The story he tells is a rich and three dimensional one, and generally the author nails it, grabbing the reader from the opening chapter (which begins in the clouds of smoke following a failed assignation attempt in Moscow) and never really letting up. The scope is historical rather then contemporary, but the ark of this narrative told by Mezrich is unfolding even in 2016, so the information is the book remains relevant today. The book is full of interesting information, but by its conclusion the reader is left with a lot to think about and at least as many questions than answers. Exactly as it should be in my view.

    The time flew by and I would have welcomed additional chapters.

    Well worth the credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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