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Publisher's Summary

It was wonderful to be young and working on Wall Street in the 1980s - never had so many 24-year-olds made so much money in so little time.

In this shrewd and wickedly funny audiobook, Michael Lewis describes an astonishing era and his own rake's progress through a powerful investment bank. From an unlikely beginning (art history at Princeton?) he rose in two short years from Salomon Brothers trainee to Geek (the lowest form of life on the trading floor) to Big Swinging Dick: a bond salesman who could turn over millions of dollars' worth of doubtful bonds with just one call.

A born storyteller, Michael Lewis shows us how things really worked on Wall Street. The bond traders, wearing greed and ambition as badges of honor, might well have swaggered straight from the pages of Bonfire of the Vanities. But for all their outrageous behavior, they were in fact presiding over enormous changes in the world economy. Lewis' job was to transfer money, in the form of bonds, from those outside America who saved to those inside America who consumed. In doing so, he generated tens of millions of dollars for Salomon Brothers and earned for himself a ringside seat on the greatest financial spectacle of the decade: the leveraging of America.

©1989 Michael Lewis; (P)1990 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"His description of the firm's personalities and of the events from 1984 through the crash of October 1987 are vivid and memorable. Readers of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities are likely to enjoy this personal memoir." (Library Journal)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • David
  • Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 06-01-10

okay at best

great book but abridgement ruined the audiobook

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Yegor
  • Miami Beach, FL, United States
  • 04-20-11

Never get it ABRIDGED!

An amazing book, gives you an insight on the investment banking. I've read the actual book and there are so many interesting details missed in the Abridged version!! Get it in full!!

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • Guilford, CT, United States
  • 09-03-11

Abridged

This is so infuriating that Audible posts abridged versions of books. This sounding like it could be a great book.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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A Perspective of the Financial Industry

For most people, Wall Street and finance are mysterious black boxes. This book is a story about one person who spent some time working in Wall Street in the mid 1980's to early 1990's.

For the curious, this book shows some of the inner workings of Wall Street.

For those with connections to the financial sector, this is an eye opener.

For the uninitiated, this is an accessible book which explains complex financial instruments in very easy to understand language.

At only three hours, there's no reason not to get this book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lan
  • Hamilton, NY, USA
  • 01-14-08

Liar's Poker

If you are interested in sales and trading or investment banking in general, this is the book to read.
The mischievous yet exciting inside world of a successful financial institute through the detached viewpoint of a bond salesman is extremely captivating, educative and, above all, entertaining

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Taoyuan HsienTaiwan
  • 11-18-07

Big Swinging Wimps

I bought this book in paperback when it came out. I enjoyed it then. The audiobook was decidedly less satisfying. Michael Lewis (author/narrator)has a voice that sounds exactly what you would think an art history major from Princeton would sound like. Hardly the big swinging wha-cha-ma-call-it which he said was the career goal of everyone at Salomon Bros. -- even the women Vulgarity is a major part of the book. Don't buy this audiobook if you are not thoroughly used to locker room language. That means you can't listen to it in the car driving the kids home from kindergarten. Mother-in-laws will not appreciate the colorful language either.

All in all, the guys who buy bonds all want to be seen as tough by their friends and ladies. Take no prisoners. Hells Angels who talk with authority about duration, yield curves, and Treasury Strips. Yeah... Right... None of them would dare take a stroll through Battery Park at night or walk calmly east of Amsterdam Ave after 11 pm.

Tom Wolfe was right.

But still the book is fun for looking back on the wild 80's. Well worth the price.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bad recording

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

To eliminate the random music playing throughout the book

What was one of the most memorable moments of Liar's Poker?

Good story, but not well recorded

How could the performance have been better?

To eliminate the random music playing throughout the book

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Good story

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining

What made the experience of listening to Liar's Poker the most enjoyable?

Its the writer himself playing his stories, really down to earth approach.

What other book might you compare Liar's Poker to and why?

An entertaining perspective of the dull finance world.

Which scene was your favorite?

The way he got his job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Play the game.

Any additional comments?

Excellent. Just too short.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Not much story here

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I kept waiting for the story to develop but it never happened.

If you’ve listened to books by Michael Lewis before, how does this one compare?

Disappointing.

What aspect of Michael Lewis’s performance would you have changed?

His performance as a narrator was OK.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I would ask for a refund.

Any additional comments?

Editors should have said: Michael this is a good first draft but you must have more than a Show and tell on what I did this summer. Maybe, just maybe, it is because of all the shocking stories we have heard about Wall St. that make this one seem just so-so. Stories about Wall St. characters making fat salaries, smoking fat cigars and getting fat generally get tiring after a while. Oh, and don't forget, they rip people off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kenneth
  • LEESBURG, VA, United States
  • 07-07-10

Tthe Petty Adolescences that was Wall Street

This is a classic work about the culture of Wall Street in the '80. It's as childish and as deceptive as you suspect.

The best part of the book is the little narrations. They stand out like little skits. And tell the story in such an evocative way.

However, the abridgment is too severe. Some of the charm is lost.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Judy Corstjens
  • 03-14-16

Don't buy abridged books

I read (and enjoyed) the original book years ago and I thought that by listening to a summary it would bring back the original. This didn't work, somehow. It just felt a bit frustrating, clichéd, shallow.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Doctor O
  • 05-12-16

A fascinating expose

A frank account and synopsis of life in an investment banking environment. You have to evolve into a certain kind of individual to survive the investment world. This book gives you glimpses into what it takes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JaffaCake
  • 02-01-16

Needed a Professional Reader

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No. Just read the book. As great a writer Michael Lewis is, he just hasn't got a voice that you want to listen to for 3hrs.

What didn’t you like about Michael Lewis’s performance?

Dreary, 'just reading the lines' type oratory. Sounds like a bored man reading a speech from a sheet, instead of a performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Yemi
  • 09-10-15

Inspired

This is a must read for anyone interested in the previaling mindsets within the financial services sector. Whilst the focus may be on sales&trading, lewis reveals in great style the universal attributes of financiers, tackling topics from greed to goodwill, he speaks from his own experience and eloquently charts his own personal journey with refreshing honesty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • james poole
  • 08-03-15

Boring self-indulgent reflection

Waste of money I'm afraid. A boring self-indulgent reflection that fails to live up to a fairly exciting sounding title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • researchschoar
  • 09-21-14

My journey into non-fic started here

What did you like most about Liar's Poker?

Back in 2002 i read this book, as a paper copy, i must say that was start of my non-fiction reading side.<br/>Aftr abt 12 yrs i purchased this book as audible.<br/>Liked the book. :)

What other book might you compare Liar's Poker to, and why?

Micheal lewis:)<br/>Can b compared with - Den of theives, <br/>

Which scene did you most enjoy?

One hand<br/>One million<br/>No tears

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grigory
  • 12-06-17

Vivid <br />

Very good book, especially if you are considering to step onto the trading floor in the future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-17

Random music playing during reading which was annoying

During the audio random music started playing a couple of times which very annoying and obviously a mistake on the audio

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-26-17

Brilliant

A truly brilliant depiction of 80s Wall Street by the literary genius that is Michael Lewis.

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  • Poyntonian
  • 05-25-17

Great story

really good story and well narrated by the author. No idea why this only has 3 chapters. Periodically you get this awful 80's porn music, as an audio book it's poorly edited