• Octopus

  • Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street's Wildest Con
  • By: Guy Lawson
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Born into one of America's most illustrious trading families, Sam Israel was determined to strike out on his own. After apprenticing with one of the greatest traders of the 1980s, he founded his own fast-growing hedge fund, promising investors extraordinary returns.

But it was all an elaborate charade.

After suffering devastating losses and fabricating fake returns, Israel knew it was only a matter of time before his real performance would be discovered. So when a former black-ops agent told him about a "secret market" run by the Fed, Israel bet his last $150 million on a chance to make billions. Thus began his bizarre journey into "the Upperworld" - a society populated by clandestine bankers, shady European nobility, and spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known as the Octopus.

©2012 Guy Lawson Shark World Productions LLC / Guy Lawson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Octopus

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

Oh, the accents!

Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

Just quickly...
I have found that the attempt by various professional readers to duplicate various regional accents stumbles from the comical to the clumsy to the near-racist.
They don't make the listening experience better for me, personally, and I do rather wish the whole practice would simply stop.
Having only recently started the book, I have not very much else to say about it just yet.

3 people found this helpful

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An Excellent Audible Choice

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

Yes. The author did a fantastic job of collecting all the minute details of this story. There are so many little details that it must have been a big challenge collecting and putting it all together. In addition, the book is organized and written very well.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Octopus?

The resumption of the beginning, which occurs very near the end. I actually said, "WHAT?!"

What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did a great job; I liked Jeff Woodman's narration as much as my favorite narrator, which is George Guidall.

Any additional comments?

If you like the show, "American Greed," or enjoyed the 3-part Madoff production, or liked the book on Charles Ponzi, I think you'll enjoy this book a lot.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing story of how stupid a smart guy can be

This book was unbelievable because it is true. The main character, Sam, is a hard driving and intelligent fellow. His business is the stock market and unfortunately his is not good at his business. When he get behind in his hedge fund that is when the crazy starts. You will wonder if this really happened as con man meets con man. I verified that everything in the book was accurate. I will tell you no more, it is an exciting book

2 people found this helpful

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Truth stranger than fiction

Bizarre but fascinating story. Outstanding narrator.

The story drags a bit towards the end, but the finish is worth holding on for.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting blend of fraud and conspiracy theory

I was riveted to this book. It's a fascinating blend of serious financial fraud and wild conspiracy theory. Not only is the story a good one, but it's very well told. The pace is brisk, the story always moving forward. A good use of a credit.

#tagsgiving #sweepstakes

1 person found this helpful

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What A Ride

Great story. I found myself rooting for the bad guys many times. The tale told and believed by the main character is so implausible it's actually believable.

1 person found this helpful

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Goes on too long

Might have made a good book if it was half as long but it got very repetitive

1 person found this helpful

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Sad

Another greedy piece of crap, and honestly not much different from the stories of other gangsters and such. It is a loathsome thing to steal pensions . And what is not talked about is how that cost is passed along to society as people who did have a plan will likely need some kind of assistance to survive. Israel is right where he needs to be. I don't think he is the AntiChrist but he sure hurt a lot of people. I hear this kind of conspiracy talk all the time and this may indeed be the ultimate expression of it.

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Gripping..

proves the adage, "truth is stranger than fiction.." truly fascinating story.. and the added bonus of the most convincing explanation to date of what happened to danny casolaro ive heard yet..

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Absolutely fascinating story of cons within cons

Absolutely fascinating story. Sam Israel was a weirdly sympathetic character, a failed hedge fund trader who became a Ponzi scammer who then became the victim of a truly spectacular fraud perpetrated by a cast of characters who make Frank Abagnale look like a rube.

The author did an excellent job of weaving in and explaining complicated financial topics and Wall Street history into the narrative. The narrator also did an amazing job as well; his wry speaking voice really fit well with the alternatively suspenseful and farcical tone of the story.

The narrator also did a great job of providing distinctive voices/speech patterns to each of the characters (Sam Israel, Marino, Nichols, Ryan, etc.) to the point where as a listener I could recognize individual characters just by hearing “their” voices.

All in all, a really great book that has a lot of relistenability.1