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Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, from Wall Street to Dubai

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,880 ratings  ·  185 reviews
From the author who brought you the massive New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House, this is the startling rags-to-riches story of an Italian-American kid from the streets of Brooklyn who claws his way into the wild, frenetic world of the oil exchange.

After conquering the hallowed halls of Harvard Business School, he enters the testosterone-laced warrens of the M
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by William Morrow (first published October 1st 2007)
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Nov 23, 2007 Chazzle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: peoplo who like hearing about other people's sexy jobs
The book is more promise than delivery. Mezrich writes in an interesting style, but at bottom, I don't really believe what the protagonist accomplished actually will change the world. On the other hand, all things Dubai really are pretty fascinating, so the book wasn't all bad, either.
The sales pitch on this book caught my eye cause I used to intern at a commodities trading company after my sophmore year in college, so I was curious to learn more about commodities trading.

The book itself was well written, but lacked a little more excitement. Though I burned through the book in a week, it didn't have quite the excitement as I felt reading Monkey Business (About Ibanking) or Liars Poker (Securities Trading).

I did learn some cool things about what effects energy prices and from
This is really a terrific story. It's certainly plausible, if only just. Giving it the benefit of the doubt that it's more fact than fiction is fairly, but if you can swallow your disbelief, it obviously makes the tale just that much more fascinating.

Julie L
In the acknowledgements, Ben Mezrich claims that this is the best book he has ever written. I would not agree as I enjoyed some of his other books more, such as "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions," which was made into the movie, "21," and "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal," which was made into a movie as well ("The Social Network").

Mezrich has a niche in nonfiction: his books
Brent Soderstrum
A true story about a young Ivy league kid who goes to work on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He then is instrumental in setting up an Exchange in Dubai. I learned a lot about the Mercantile Exchange. The only thing I knew about it before reading this book was from the movie Trading Places. Seems to be a sophisticated casino. Also learned about Dubai. Sadly enough I knew only that it was in the Mideast. Sounds like an incredible place that will be very trendy and popular in the years to come. ...more
Enjoyable read - gave it 4 stars because it sucked me in quickly, read like beach blanket fiction and made the industry that I work in completely accessible to anyone. And considering they have sold the movie rights to it, I suspect people who are NOT in my industry would enjoy the true story as well. It basically had the rags to riches theme, along with the underdog vs the establishment theme, along with the sex and money and intrigue themes that capture the imagination and get the blood racing ...more
The oil exchange is a fascinating topic I knew nothing about, but that didn't seem to matter. The entertainment value that Mezrich puts into his books is what makes them...even though the ending of this one was a little ho hum. This book tells the rags to riches story of a bunch of guys from Queens & Brooklyn who make it big trading oil on the Merc Exchange in NYC, specifically following main character David Russo, a guy in his early 20's who helps develop an oil exchange in Dubai by seducin ...more
"an immense skyline exploded into view, so abrupt and impressive that it literally took David’s breath away. “Christ,” he whispered.

All three Arabs laughed, but David didn't turn away from the tinted window. It was the most amazing sight he’d ever seen."


Rigged is a potboiler that reads like it was funded by the Dubai Ministry of Foreign Trade to promote a positive image of the emirate. I've been to Dubai - in fact it's why I read this book. It's a pretty impressive city, but nothing c
Picked this up on my way home for Thanksgiving and finished it before I landed. It's about this bright kid who got his MBA from Harvard and somehow found himself as the VP for Strategy at the New York Merchantile Exchange a few months later. He teamed up with a counterpart in Dubai to create an Oil Exchange, the first of its kind in the Middle East. The exchange is suppossed to bring transparency and accountability to middle-eastern oil prices which could have HUGE implications for global stabil ...more
"Rigged" follows the same non-fiction novel style as "Ugly Americans" and "Bringing Down the House". The book tells the story of a recent Harvard grad and his start at the New York Mercantile Exchange and focuses on the trading of oil. The title is a little misleading as it implies some sort of indictment of big oil or some other conspiracy.

Overall an enterntaining read that goes by pretty quickly. I've you've read his other books and enjoyed them - you'll like this as well.
ignorant, inappropriate in every way -- particularly in his portrayal and treatment of women and any culture other than w-h-i-t-e. Absurd. Let me count the number of times he referred to the "brown" or "chocolate" hands of the Khaled character. It was shockingly ignorant, given how much press it got.
Of course, the plot also drags you along the whole time, so you grit through it just to see what happens.

so wrong.
Good, well-written book. Overall, a fast read. Beginning is a little slow if you know anything about the Wall St/ trading world since he breaks it down and explains the basics. But interesting- a true story about this guy who changed the NYMEX and its role in the global marketplace when he was 25 yrs old or something ridiculous.
Dec 08, 2007 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any guy
This author is awesome. I love everything he does, terrific non-fiction. Read this in 4 days. Very interesting and I do not even like anything having to do with financial trading, or oil. But that is what this is about bringing an exchange to the country of Dubai. True story, with names changed.
Lewis de Seife
Very engaging exploits of Dave Russo, an HBS graduate, and his role in getting NYMEX to start an oil exchange in Dubai.

Not a lot of insights into the workings of the NYMEX, but more of a story about a driven Brooklyn Italian American and how he overcame long odds to get the project approved.
Very fast read. I enjoyed learning a little bit about Dubai and the massive growth that is happening. Interesting to note the reluctance to move from old school to new tech by some and the advocacy of others. If you liked Bringing Down the House, you'll like this. Can be read in about 3 hours.
This is my second book by Ben Mezrich and I've found his style of writing to be very engaging. This was a very interesting read about the birth of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and how a guy my age defied age barriers to make this new marketplace a reality.
Will W
Fast and fun, Mizrich does it again. The kind of shit this guy pulls off makes me think of some of the students at Davis High. Some people are simply on a different level intellectually. Different level? Different planet.
John M
I kept waiting for the conflict in this work, but there really isn't one. There's no real development of the protagonist's character, and the challenges he faces are minor and easily overcome in very little time.
The book purports to be about the challenges of creating an oil exchange in Dubai, but they aren't great challenges. The rise of the protagonist is meteoric and insane (he gets the VP position largely by writing a good essay and being 'a smart young guy that will challenge the status qu
My husband actually picked this book out for me and at first glance I was not impressed...but to not judge a book by(you know the rest)......was greatly intrigued by the world of oil exchange and the up and coming Dubai
This book is focused on the inner workings of the commodities exchange in New York. It is a pretty interesting read, and very quick! Very good for those working in FS or interested in the corrupt nature of America.
Hiba Ismail
Rigged by Ben Mezrich
Fresh out of Harvard Business School, David Russo quits his job to join the New York Mercantile Exchange with the help of Italian Man of the Year, Giovanni. At first, Russo is an outcast among the uneducated millionaires among the trade floor. The floor is violent, brutal and competitive. David is desperate to fit in among them, working long and hard hours, angering his girlfriend Serena. As David Russo works his way up the ranks of the company, his boss asks him to travel t
Beth W
Fascinating and engaging. Written by the guy who wrote book the movie "21" was based on. Wonder what impact the ways of the merc has on today's gas price horror.
Interesting read on the oil business and the creation of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange. I didn't want this book to end and want to see the movie now.
It was a fun, energizing read - but I liked Bringing Down the House better. Rigged runs against those same lines - youth, power, speed, and money.
Joe White
This is an "Inside Edition" story with a focus on the glitz of the oil trading lifestyle experienced be a subset of NY oil traders. It focuses specifically on one personality, but includes a close group of 5 or 6 others who had an influential impact of the formation of an oil trading exchange in Dubai.

If you are looking for fundamentals of oil trading or wanting to see how weather, war, national emergencies, etc. might impact oil trades and the mechanics behind the pricing of these effects, then
As far as I am concerned, this book is the best book that Mezrich has written. Not only does it deal with geopolitical issues through the vehicle of business, but it also beautifully describes the essence of why traders do what they do.

When I thought of high-finance I always thought it was boring, but after reading this book I understand why people who are competitive do it. At its very essence, high-finance is about WINNING and the EGO-BOOST that one gets as the result of doing something that
Brooke Hargett
I loved this book! I read it in two days and was totally intrigued the whole time.
I am a sucker for stories of rags to riches- young and passionate people who want to change the world and work their asses off to get there against insurmountable odds. It's the american dream. And the best part? Its a true story!
The main character, David Russo (name changed from the actual guy, whose name is John D'Agostino) is a Italian-American Harvard grad from Brooklyn who is a hardworking, very intelligent
Ankur Rastogi
From the cover and the synopsis, this novel was supposed to be a true story about an IVY league guy who transformed the world of oil and promised expose of shady dealings around this energy commodity. I had my expectations built accordingly. However the book comes across as a fictitious novel written like a bad thriller. At no point in time, you get any understanding either on the exchange community nor on how oil is traded / priced nor on any political dealings around it. Instead the novel some ...more
Rachael Hewison
I was a little dubious about reading this book as I know next to nothing about oil exchange and I was worried I’d be a little overwhelmed and not understand what was going on. However Mezrich is fantastic at putting the reader at ease as he carefully and simply explained enough for you to get a gist of what was happening.
Although it is based on a true story Mezrich’s style is to write like it is a fiction novel, meaning we’re never quite sure what is accurate and what has been modified. This act
Yaser Alajaji

I was disappointed that the over-promising subtitle (Changed the World of Oil) ends up meaning the NY Mercantile Exchange decided to open a rep office in Dubai which I don't think is even active anymore.

I liked the sub-plot of the kid's adventures with his friend from Dubai around the world though.. the whiskey and stake dinners with the chairman and running for their life in China seem exaggerated
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