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Conspiracy of Fools Audiobook

Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story

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Publisher's Summary

In 2000, when The Informant was published, few would've imagined that a story about price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland could be as un-put-downable as the best crime fiction. Yet critics, and consumers, agreed: New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald had taken the stuff of dry business reporting and turned it into an unparalleled page-turner. With Conspiracy of Fools, Eichenwald has done it again.

Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material. The cast includes but is not limited to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul O'Neill, Harvey Pitt, Colin Powell, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Greenspan, Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, Jeff Skilling, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, and Michael Eisner. Providing a you-are-there glimpse behind closed doors in the executive suites of the Enron Corporation, the Texas governor's mansion, the Justice Department, and even the Oval Office, Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.

©2005 Kurt Eichenwald; (P)2005 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Nonfiction (Unabridged)

"As an unadorned attempt to get into the heads of some major manipulators, this book can hardly be bettered." (Publishers Weekly)
"Conspiracy of Fools is a splendid achievement. Mr. Eichenwald has an encyclopedic grasp of a watershed business collapse, and has turned it into a gripping read, a true tale for our times." (The New York Times)
"A page-turning financial thriller....This book compares with Liar's Poker and Barbarians at the Gate in its breadth and depth of coverage of esoteric corporate culture and financial practices, recognizing the compelling human drama beneath the scandal." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (768 )
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Performance
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  •  
    al watson 08-28-13
    al watson 08-28-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Writing, horrible Narration"
    What did you like best about Conspiracy of Fools? What did you like least?

    Fascinating subject matter. I've read/listened too Smartest Guys in The Room and loved it, thought I'd try this for a different angle. The narration is awful. I've bought over 100 tiltles here on audible since I became a road warrior, and this is without a doubt the worst performance yet.


    What didn’t you like about Robertson Dean’s performance?

    Nothing. Was that actually a human being? Thought for sure it was a speech synthesis machine. It is GREAT for inducing sleep though.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Jenison, MI, United States 07-30-13
    Michael Jenison, MI, United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Couldn't put it down..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Conspiracy of Fools to be better than the print version?

    Incredibly researched and written account of Enron. I would venture to say this is the best non-fiction book I've ever listened to. It is written more like a novel and is very easy to listen to and follow. If you like a good scandal, you'll love this book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael South Gate, CA, United States 07-12-13
    Michael South Gate, CA, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a book I would recommend to anyone that is willing to listen. It captivates you from the very begining.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was difficult to put down as soon as it got started.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the numbers start flying, you have to be memorized! I was stuck in thought as to how something like this could fly by with none the wiser to the real motives of such crumby convoluted ideas.


    Any additional comments?

    The author does an excellent job unraveling this mystery and explaining it so everyone can understand. No special schooling needed for this book. Also have to give credit to the excellent narrator for this audio book. He makes it even more interesting.

    Overall, my expectations were far surpassed and im very glad I had the opportunity to enjoy this book. It is a little lengthy but worth every minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kwame Snellville, GA, United States 02-14-13
    Kwame Snellville, GA, United States 02-14-13
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    "Truly riveting story that leaves no rock unturned"
    What made the experience of listening to Conspiracy of Fools the most enjoyable?

    The in-the-room experience that you typically don't get with non-fiction crime thrillers.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It feels genuine and thoroughly reconstructed.


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

    Jeff Skilling was a particularly artful performance, from the high-powered successful corporate young gun to exhausted, pensive and depressed convict.


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

    Corporate hubris and demise


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    farmhouselady 01-03-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Best Enron related book I have come across."
    Any additional comments?

    I am not even waiting until I finish this book to write this review. We already know how the story ended!

    This book, in my estimation, is a spellbinding unwrapping of all the events, large and small, that meshed to create the disaster that was Enron.Having worked for a major global corporation for 25 years myself during the same time period that Enron's business environment was evolving, what with the lack of central controls and the general confusion that prevailed, along with, I might add, the free reign that some new hires who were seen as "young geniuses" were given, I identified strongly with this book's description of the events that culminated in total collapse of not just the business, but countless lives and fortunes that were destroyed as a result. Many of us at my company were experiencing the same fright and uncertainty that plagued many of Enron's and other corporations' employees during that intense period, when the structures we had helped to build were blasted away with seemingly not a thought given to the consequences. I worked in accounting, so it all comes across as very real to me.

    While this book does mainly break down the more complicated aspects of the financial constructs coming to life within Enron at the time, I will admit that a certain minor percentage of these are still not clear to me. (And never were to Enron, I believe.) But mainly, the book does make clear most of the events and their settings that caused the ruination of Enron. And to no one's surprise, I imagine, your basic unbridled greed was underlying the entire course of events.

    The narration of this book is excellent. I have not encountered any irritations with it. The way it is read allows the listener to not even pay attention to the narration, but just to actually be a part of the action. This is as it should be.

    There have been many books on this same topic; I have read some of them and did not even finish a couple, due to the way the material was treated. Because general corporate accounting is a foreign language to an average person on the street, the subject has to be made both understandable and most importantly, interesting, objectives hard to attain. This book definitely meets that challenge.

    It also provides a realistic acquaintance for the listener with the characters involved, on a personal basis. This is important in understanding the motivations of characters who veered so far off course.

    To my taste, this book accomplishes both of the above objectives better than any other I have read on this topic. It is a very long listen, 20-some hours. But that only serves to extend the pleasure of listening.

    I believe very few listeners would be disappointed in this excellent book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Skoczkowski Georgia, Atlanta, USA 10-29-12
    Lucas Skoczkowski Georgia, Atlanta, USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2016
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    "better than fiction... could make this stuff up..."
    What made the experience of listening to Conspiracy of Fools the most enjoyable?

    great insight, put together in very engaging way, scary reality


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    n/a


    What about Dean Robertson’s performance did you like?

    very good at captivating me


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    scary what can happen when greed takes over...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smfilon LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-16-12
    smfilon LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-16-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting take on the Enron debaucle"

    Compelling take on the Enron disaster. The author makes complex financial issues easy to understand. He seems to give Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay more of a pass than they probably deserve. I'm listening to The Smartest Guys in the Room to get another perspective on the issues. Both books together give a more full picture of why what happened did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard los angeles, cA, United States 08-02-12
    richard los angeles, cA, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be prepared"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Not having much of a business background and unfamiliar with the jargon used on Wall Street I felt unprepared. Just a word of caution to those in a similar place as mine.


    What could Kurt Eichenwald have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not assume that everyone knows financial acronyms and jargon.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamarack 06-09-12
    Tamarack 06-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Loved this book!"

    I've listened to this several times. Enjoyable and instuctive. Should be required reading for all business owners :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barboza Muscat, Oman 04-21-12
    Barboza Muscat, Oman 04-21-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Enjoyed it !!"

    The book was thoroughly enjoyable!! but it felt like fiction with good and bad guys... mostly bad greedy guys !! but loved it !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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