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Ugly Americans

The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions
Narrated by: Ben Mezrich
Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Summary

Ugly Americans is the true story of John Malcolm, a Princeton graduate who traveled halfway around the world in search of the American dream and pulled off a trade that could be described as the biggest deal in the history of the financial markets.

Without speaking a word of Japanese, with barely a penny in his pocket, Malcolm was thrown into the bizarre life of an ex-pat trader. Surrounded by characters ripped right out of a Hollywood thriller, he quickly learned how to survive in a cutthroat world, at the feet of the biggest players the markets have ever known.

Malcolm was first an assistant trading huge positions for Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank, the oldest in England. He was the right-hand man to an enigmatic and brilliant hedge-fund cowboy, Dean Carney, and grew into one of the biggest derivatives traders in all of Asia. Along the way, Malcolm fell in love with the daughter of a Yakuza gangster, built a vast fortune out of thin air, and came head to head with violent Japanese mobsters. Malcolm and his twentysomething, Ivy League-schooled colleagues rode the crashing waves of the Asian markets during the mid-to late 1990s, culminating in a single deal the likes of which had never been seen before, or since.

A real-life mixture of Liar's Poker and Wall Street, brimming with intense action, romance, underground sex, vivid locales, and exotic characters, Ugly Americans is the untold, true story that will rock the financial community and redefine an era.

©2004 Ben Mezrich (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

"In a truly engaging look at how an innocent who thinks he knows the world does actually end up understanding a small but significant piece of it, Mezrich manages to incorporate solid journalism into a narrative that just plain works." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story telling and easy listening

Great story telling and easy listening.
it's my second audio book wrote by Ben Mezrick within 2 weeks. now I am onto the third.
Bitcoin Billionaires been the first.

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favourite books

Well written and a great story of true facts
The narrator is easy to listen too
Not like others who I found annoying

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-05

Very entertaining

If you like Liar's Poker and other anecdotal accounts of high finance, you will enjoy this book. It is very entertaining, and not too complex; very interesting insights on Japanese culture, at least from an expat's perspective. I recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Arthur
  • 04-10-10

Worth it

A great read. What else can i say? enjoyable, fast paced and filled with interesting facts.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Johnson
  • 26-09-08

Decent read. Entertaining...

I bought this book because I really liked Bringing Down the House, one of Ben Mezrich's other books. I think the real difference in the two is that Ben reads this book. He's definitely not the best narrator. Overall though the book is entertaining and gives some interesting insight into Japanese culture.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 06-02-08

Sound

I found it to be a good story, but the author should use a professional narrator. I found him far too cold and monotone. The delivery killed the story in my humble opinion.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gilbert J. Bradshaw
  • 18-10-05

Great book with an entertaining reader!

This book was captivating. The plot was awesome and the story is almost unbelievable, I found myself really hoping that every bit of it was true. The reader was one of the best that I have heard and it wasn't too long of a book--I found myself wanting more in contrast to other 12-15 hour unabridged books that I have listened to. Really the only downside to this book was the fact that there was so much unneccessary swearing. The narrator would even swear sometimes, which kind of turned me off. I appreciated the cultural lessons that I learned and felt like it had the perfect combination of intellectual stimulation and relaxation. I highly recommend this book to anyone--but maybe not for to anyone's mother.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annas
  • 11-11-04

Great writing style

The book had very exciting likeable characters and it was written in a style that sounded realistic.

Very interesting story if you are into finance and economics, or just plain suspense.

I recommend it. The only thing I don't like is the silly music that keeps coming up every section.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. Van Der Zwaag
  • 17-01-20

Really enjoyed all aspects of this audiobook.

The narrator (and writer) has a calm voice which is great, doesn’t arouse irritation and kept me focused on the story. The story was good, very descriptive and therefore i felt totally submerged into it. I like how things are kept realistic and not over the top. in this way, it’s more believable and thus more enjoyable. I’m going for the next book, preferably narrated by the writer again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-19

Good and easy read

Good read, very remanent of The Richest Man in Babylon. Explains basic investing terms and strategies very well and entertaining. Definitely worth a read or listen.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-09-19

Entertainment Value only

It's an entertaining story. That is all. No lessons learned or wisdom to be gained.
Recommended by a friend, but aside from entertainment this was a waste of time.

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  • Sarah S
  • 22-03-18

Reviews on Performance are wrong...

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

Reviews didn’t do the narration of his book justice. I thought it was pretty good. I would def recommend this book. Didn’t really learn anything, but very entertaining.