- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (26 April 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060575018
- ISBN-13: 978-0060575014
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,04,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions Paperback – 26 Apr 2005
|Paperback, 26 Apr 2005||
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“A high-octane passion play pitting a young man’s ambition against his sense of humanity.” (Oregonian)
About the Author
Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. He has published twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in twelve languages and became the basis for the Kevin Spacey movie 21. Mezrich has also published the national bestsellers Sex on the Moon, Ugly Americans, Rigged, and Busting Vegas. He lives in Boston.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Also a side note, it's clear he didn't do his research on Princeton. No one ever refers to "the school newspaper" or says any eating club by its full name
Simply said, don't fret too much about the supposed veracity of the story, but simply take Ugly Americans for what it is: Beach fare, a quick unchallenging 'read' with familiar fictional cliches. Our hero is an ambitious young innocent from humble origins in an alien world of corruption, money, sex, love, mystery, and violence. Will he arbitrage a cultural divide to escape with his love, money, and character intact?
If there is a real problem in all this it is that the story is a decade too late. The financial markets and their Masters of the Universe have lost considerable luster in a post bubble era of deflated expectations, heightened regulatory scrutiny, and terrorist violence. But if you enjoyed Liar's Poker, Rogue Trader, Born to Steal, Boiler Room (movie), or possibly The Firm, you'll find this a harmless diversion.
On the good side:
1. The writing was fast, light, and easy to follow. Not needing of too much concentration, and something that can be picked right up and settled into.
2. There was some explanation about the concept of arbitrage.
3. There was interesting insight into the sex-for-sale culture of Japan. This alone could have spun off and made a whole new book.
On the bad side:
1. The explanation of the nuts and bolts of trading was too thin. It might have only taken one extra chapter to give us the details that many of us who bought the book were looking for.
2. I wonder how much the author *really* knew, given that he used the word "farang" to describe foreigners-- even though that word is 100% Thai. Was he throwing in technical terms to make it *look* like he had done his homework? And if he made that mistake, how many others did he make that we might not have recognized?
3. It might also have been interesting to get a better idea of just how much the Japanese government and Yakuza were in bed together. Is this really the case? Or is this poetic license? There were more than a few topics in this book that just weren't covered as much as a reader might have liked-- though I can appreciate that this is done for the sake of brevity. (An extra bit here and an extra bit there, and the next thing you know you have a book that is as overwrought with detail and most of what Ayn Rand has written.)