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Publisher's Summary

"I'm like the gunfighter you hire to save the town. That gunfighter is there to do good...but he'll only do what he does if he knows he'll get paid for it."
—Carl Icahn

In this dramatic, deal-by-deal portrait of legendary and, until now, secretive financier Carl Icahn, best-selling business writer Mark Stevens takes us behind the scenes of some of the biggest deals in U.S. corporate history: Icahn's multibillion-dollar raid on Phillips Petroleum; his bold move on Texaco's hidebound management, which netted him $500 million in the largest single transaction ever recorded by the New York Stock Exchange; Icahn's prolonged battle with CEO David Roderick to break apart the once mighty steel giant USX; and his stunning takeover of TWA.

To write this fascinating audiobook, Mark Stevens has utilized to the ultimate his incisive investigative skills and his extraordinary access to Icahn himself as well as Icahn's friends, associates, adversaries, and critics - those who rode on his takeover bandwagon, and those who fell beneath its wheeling and dealing. The story he has to tell is that of a bookish boy from Bayswater who went to Princeton, studied philosophy, dropped out of medical school, landed as a minor player on Wall Street, and then had a billion-dollar epiphany - a means of "controlling the destiny of corporations" that would ultimately earn him his fortune.

A fascinating tale with a cast of characters that includes Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, T. Boone Pickens, Dennis Levine, and most of the other key players of the '70s and '80s takeover era, King Icahn is the first biography of the business buccaneer who changed the course of corporate America.

©1993 Mark Stevens (P)2010 Gildan

What listeners say about King Icahn

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All hail the King!

King Icahn is an excellently written and read book about one of the best capitalists of all time. The author's voice fits perfectly considering the book is about a New York street fighter come corporate raider.

This book is a must for anyone interested in capitalists and all things capital related. Mr. Stevens is not sycophantic and seems unbiased. The book goes into significant detail regarding some of the bigger deals in Carl's life up to the publishing date. The events are set up nicely and are presented in the form of chapters that make it easy to follow.

This review was written after my second time listening the audiobook. It isn't numbers heavy so you won't need to reference the physical book. If invest in companies you really should read or listen to this book.

I like King Icahn because it tells the story and lets the reader draw their own conclusions.

5 people found this helpful

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Deal focused

This is a particularly interesting book for people who like corporate finance and M&A. Much detai about the deals, strategy and economic environment of the times. Direct personal and or psycological insights are less of a focus. Icahn is quite the larger than life character.

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible Narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Get a different narrator. Some writers should never read their books and this is a fine example. I should have listened to the sample before buying it. This narrator is so terrible that I cannot listen to this book anymore. I have to stop halfway.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Story is fine but narrator is terrible.

How could the performance have been better?

Pick a different narrator. I could have done a better job.

Could you see King Icahn being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I would love to see the movie.

Any additional comments?

Once again, good book but terrible narrator. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and this is by far the worse narration. Period.

3 people found this helpful

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Fine corporate history of a tough arena

Anyone wondering whether (s)he has the "minerals" (as the Brits say) to jump into the deep end of corporate M&A ought to give this little gem a listening-to. Carl Icahn as depicted here was at the same moment a sharp-elbowed, hugely exasperating, and skillful, brilliant intruder into formerly staid halls of US corporate life. He's the kind of guy who, no matter how you personally feel about him or his ways of business, is going to be here and in your face and involved in your affairs if he wants to be. And he wants to be, if his brilliant tactical multi-level chess-playing mind can see a way to make money. (I imagine he might launch into the shareholder value enhancement speech at this point, which I came to see as often correct. But only consistent with his profits.) Unlike another reviewer, I found the author's street-level east-coast accent a perfect fit here. I was surprised the author got access to Icahn himself, as the author at turns is quite critical of him. That's all for the better.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story and great narrator

If you could sum up King Icahn in three words, what would they be?

Strategic takeover artist

Who was your favorite character and why?

Icahn of course. The book goes through a complete timeline of Icahn's rise to becoming the takeover giant. Many of the stories consist of boardroom discussions and negotiations with CEOs.

Which scene was your favorite?

The discussions between Icahn and Hammermill.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is a bit too long for me to listen to in one sitting, but it is pretty easy to pick back up on after stopping the book for a couple of days.

Any additional comments?

I thought the narrator was great for the book. The narrator has a New York accent that makes it seem like he is somewhere on Times Square, standing on a soap box, screaming out the story of Carl Icahn.

1 person found this helpful

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so so storry. read the gambler .. kirk kerkorian

enjoyed listening to the gambler about k
irk kerkorian much more.. this was just ok

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Thoroughly enjoyed!

This book just changed my perspective of what it takes to be a real go-getter. Carl Icahn has courage, intelligence, and creativity to credit for his success. And his own personal quirks. For anyone into astrology... Icahn is a textbook Aquarius.

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This Will Entertain and Inform You

Pretty cool education on how Money and Capital Allocation works. I love the narrator, it's the writer and you can feel his excitement for the Icahn story.

Icahn has much to teach us all. There much overlap on the mindset of Schwartzmann, pure economics. But there could be a Mitt Romney of pure pillage. Pillage of weak companies that lost the purpose of being a Publicly Traded company with lazy management.

These guys don't waste time and they make people deliver, 100% not intimidated by titles and pomp. They would sell anyone or anything. Cutting the wages of TWA flight attendants was not cool, but maybe the flight attendants should have guessed that eventually a real owner would take over.

Do you want to be a worker in an Icahn company, not No, but heck no. It would be subsistence wages all the way, especially if it helps pay the leverage on the buy out. Would he sell the country to China, absolutely, not even think twice.

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a fascinating story.

the c s tory of Icon 's take over adventures. a very interesting v read. icon was a master takeover adtist.

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Good story overall, but poor narration

The story was good. However it read like a biased fanboy. The author should not have narrated this book.

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  • mr andrew p
  • 11-20-15

Good writers don't make good readers

Why do authors feel they have the skill to read their books? Great story, poor narration

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  • Camilistico
  • 07-28-17

mix feelings

to be honest i have mix feelings im not going to say it was not impressive what the guy did because it was but sometimes the author makes you wonder if it was the plan of icahn or if he just saw an opportunity and pursue it again there are both totaly good but o did not like the romanticism behind it and a was expecting more in the pas that made the man what he was kind of like in the Rockefeller biography I understant there are some limitations because the guy still alive and doing things overall i like it but it did left me waiting for a bit more