Pacelle brings to life a colorful cast of characters that includes many of the most notorious players in international real estate, including Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, and the eccentric Japanese billionaire Hideki Yokoi.
"This highly entertaining, well-researched volume...is a cross between great business writing and even greater gossip." (Publishers Weekly)
"A compelling read...Empire is memorable and has all the pieces of a riveting film: sex, divorce, money scams, even some jailbirds." (USA Today)
"A priceless cautionary tale about ego, greed, and vengeance, and the inevitable bust that follows every bubble." (Amazon.com)
This is one of the best books I have read regarding New York Real Estate. Beautifully written. The books storyline is a puzzle which the reader has to figure out. The events unfold in a way that keeps the narritive interesting and exciting. However, the abridged version is terrible. Besides having the most important pieces of the story left out, the abridged version is very confusing because of the storylines nonlinear nature. Imagine if the movie Pulp Fiction was abridged and key scenes were cut out. It would be impossible to understand the story! This is exactly the problem with the abridged Empire. I wish Audible would give us a choice of abridged or unabridged. Wait until audible provides the unabridged version or buy the real book. Either way the story is well worth it.
28 of 30 people found this review helpful
Donald Trump is one of several colorfully bizarre characters in this tale of deals (and some lives) spun and un-spun. Let's say Trump's game here was as crafty and ducking-dodging and manipulative and combative as we have come to expect. Funny that the author, before our current "reality" presidency saga, termed Trump's presidential aspirations circa 2000 as even more "quixotic" than Trump's unsuccessful attempt in this story to get a piece of the Empire State Building. Trump, it is said, first employed a charm offensive with some (let's be courteous: odd) foreigners (who had covertly got ownership of the building) to get himself an essentially risk-free and cost-free deal, giving him a platform to launch a fiendishly clever lawsuit to elbow aside the building's lawful, long term tenants. Out of all this Trump would carve himself a slice of an American landmark. This lawsuit was full of extravagant melodramatic claims of alleged wrongdoings of those tenants, in bunches. Each was, after painstaking and systematic checks, found to be baseless by courts of NY (and not even good enough to get to trial). Well, the Trumpster rolled the dice again. The world is there to disrupt, right? Who would ever think such a sterling businessman capable of such things? Not me. Somebody must have been mixed up! And in the process, surprise surprise, midstream, at least one judge cracked down hard on Trump, the hardest I've ever seen from a judge, perhaps (I opine) thinking he was being toyed with. Not like anybody could ever come away with that feeling in dealings with The Donald. You live by the brand, ....