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The Chairman (Christian Gillette #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,551 ratings  ·  62 reviews
When the founder of a legendary New York private equity partnership meets an untimely death, superstar Christian Gillette gets the top job. But Christian is soon thrust into a storm of deadly intrigue in this latest by the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Account.
Paperback, 415 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Fawcett Books (first published March 29th 2005)
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The Geneva Connection by Martin BodenhamWhere Angels Prey by Ramesh S ArunachalamTrade Secrets by Holly RoznerThe Chairman by Stephen W. FreyThe Protégé by Stephen W. Frey
Best Financial Thrillers
4th out of 45 books — 56 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,803)
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A solid thriller. Took a little bit, but sucked me in. Many of the characters were a little too stereotypical; from central casting for wall st types. Many characterize Frey as Grisham for finance. Dead on. I really liked Stiles, the security guy. The main character could have been more heroic in my view. Still, it was fun and I'm sure I'll read more Frey in future--though I am in no rush.
Ashok Banker
You would hardly expect a novel about equity fund managers to be a nail-biting edge-of-the-seat action-packed thriller, would you? This is Stephen Frey at the top of his game. The story starts with a funeral for a murdered man--and a car explosion attempting to kill his successor. And bang, the race is on. This is a terrific thriller, a quick, breathless read with never a wrong note or a dull moment. Maybe a tad too much machismo for me, but that is the world being portrayed after all, and peopl ...more
Wayland Smith
This was an uneven book. It had some good concepts with bad execution.
The main character, Christian Gillette, becomes head of a major business when his predecessor dies. Christian inherits a lot of responsibility and a huge number of conspiracies swirling around him.

He's supposed to be a master schemer and manipulator, yet manages to either miss or guess wrong on most of what goes on around him. The main character is niave on some fronts, and several of the concepts here don't make a lot of sens
The first book that make me know about financial thriller. I love the story, it was complex but easy to be understood. Unlike some thriller novel, we don't know who is the bad guy. It give us some hints about who is the bad guy so you don't feel cheated. I like the ending because it was predictable and yet unpredictable at the same time. Cannot wait another book from Mr. Frey.
Katherine Clark
OMG, what an amazingly bad book. And bad in so many ways. First, the protagonist, and he is supposed to be the hero, is the new chairman of a private equity firm. This chair is worth 70 million, and he controls multiple billions of dollars. He uses violence, when necessary, but he does do the occasional nice thing as well. The depiction of women is from the 1950s (at least). No one can be trusted at the firm. They are all out for themselves/money. Which is OK if you are the chairman, but not if ...more
Jun 15, 2015 Cindy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cindy by: Brian Holmes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Thomas
On the way into work this morning I completed the audio book, The Chairman by Stephen Frey. This was my first book by this author so far and I sufficiently enjoyed it so I will probably read more. At the same time, it was not so special that I feel the need to go out and aquire more of his work right now. I believe I had heard that Stephen Frey is to high finance thriller novels as John Grisham is to legal thrillers and that's pretty much what it was. But where most Grisham stories really captiv ...more
More like a 2.5.

The 4th book I've read from Frey, and will be the last....because there are so many better writers and better constructed stories. Ended with having to tell the tale of the story to another so that the reader would understand what happened....really? And, I'm in the investment biz, so I gave frey more than enough chances to hook me, but no, I've gotten loose.
Gr Howard
Meh. Started VERY slow … I thought there was too much financial info for my personal tastes. Actually was looking forward to times when it talked about other things. Finally got good about two-thirds of the way in. Although again I thought the ending was a bit short. Others seemed to like it so what do I know LOL.
Niska Soles
This is not the type of book I would normally read but I really enjoyed it. It started off slow and I wasn't feeling like I would get very far, but I was eventually sucked in. All kinds of twists and turns. I fell for Christian and was rooting for him to find his way. Plenty of interesting characters. Looking forward to part 2.
It's a thriller with plenty of twists. But it isn't perfect because it also suspends attention to detail while jumping from one thing to the next. Mixed feelings overall, but still an entertaining read.
I don't usually like fiction, but this book was pivotal in helping me determine exactly what i want to be in life! Stephen Frey style of writing is really intriguing and compelling.
Frey does a very nice job of painting almost all of his characters with the big a**hole of the year award. The world of high finance can only be fun if you don't mind walking over others is the basic theme in this well written novel of corporate shenanigans. Sometimes this may involve walking over someones corpse as well. I liked the levels of action played out against all of the boardroom backstabbing. And Frey does a fine job of not losing the average Joe in too much high finance jargon. A ver ...more
This is a good one. Frey's "The Chairman" is a page-turner, with lots of twists and turns. Greed, murder, crooked politicians, Wall Street executives seeking power. All the elements that make for a great story.
Bill Reed
Very good book. Will read more of his.
Good book, the author knows his material, but it has a slow pace to it
Real business war between two equity firms ....where else and who else can spice it up better than Stephen Frey !!Story reveals around the New chairman allocated to the firm and how he overcome most of the problems in making his company agian it top list.....we have a sequeal for this story also...Hope that one is also interesting as this was....
Wish they had an order for the Gillette books. He is an amazing character, who seems to be able to take on anything all while wearing his thousand dollar suit and not getting a wrinkle.

This is the first in the series of his books, and it caused me to be a bit tired the next day. Had to continue to read it.

Exciting, nail biting read!!
The book had a very thin plot that the author tried to supplement with lots of details and a lot of superfluous characters but it still did not make the book any better. Overall, a very mediocre read. Also, I don't know if it was my print or that's the way it was written, but the writing was quite choppy, sometimes leaving sidelines hanging
Christian Gillette becomes the new chairman of private equity firm after the mysterious death of its founder. After several attempts on his life fail, a plot to remove him to take over the company is unveiled. This was good mystery-murder read, even though I had to suspend judgment on the ruthless capitalistic assumptions underlying it.
It was a good read.
Of course, it lacked the literary charm but, I believe most people would read this because it involves business and it is written by a veteran in the area. It was really nice to read and would want to read another Stephen Frey.

Would recommend this to anyone who wants to see some corporate action.
Michael Johnston
Fun, easy summer reading. The way the book is written, the "hero's" character is revealed as the book goes along. He never really develops into a traditional hero, but at least some of the SOB veneer starts to dissipate. I wouldn't describe this as a great read, but if you like mysteries, this one will go down easy.
Don Paske
This is really a strong 3 1/2 stars, not 4. An entertaining read with lots and lots of twists and turns, some more unbelievable than others. At least, for once, I read the first book in a series, rather than the last! I'll read Christian Gillette #2 in the future (not that he is all that loveable as a character).
Never would have picked this up if i hadn't thought the author was Stephen FRY...and I'm so glad I made the mistake! This book was the perfect mix of mystery, intrigue, and good character development...and I learned my fair share about the private equity business which actually turned out to be VERY interesting!
This was a really cool book - I love when the main character is not only super-rich, but is just all around awesome. The Chairman is a really cool character and the book kept me interested all the way through. I hope Frey comes out with more books around this character!
Another very good Stephen Frey book. This one was set up beautifully by Frey, and that setup paid off perfectly in the end.

One sucky thing is that this is the prequel to The Protege, but nowhere does it say that, and I read The Protege first. Annoying.
This was a great book, filled with intrigue and the corporate world. What's not to love about corrupt CEOs? I actually picked this book up by mistake trying to get one from James Frey (That con artist). I'm glad to have made the mistake!
Chairman - Protege - Power Broker - Successor. In this order, follow the career of Christian Gillette through these four novels. The best is the Chairman and then the rest are a blur, but some were better than others.
Excellent thriller, about the infamous world I work in by someone who knows it well.

The plot might be over complicated, but in the end it all comes together, all except one little piece of the jigsaw
Aug 31, 2007 Gay rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: read the Vulture Fund, not this
Shelves: thriller
Not one of my favorites. There are other Stephen Frey books that are better. This felt the most contrived and the main character is unsympathetic although the author attempts to make him "likeable."
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For the last 15 years I’ve been lucky enough to be a novelist. Until recently the books were set in the worlds of Wall Street and Washington. In addition to writing, I’ve also had a career in finance with specialties including merger & acquisition advisory and private equity at firms like J.P. Morgan in New York City and Winston Partners just outside D.C. in northern Virginia.

So, it seemed na
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Other Books in the Series

Christian Gillette (4 books)
  • The Protégé (Christian Gillette, #2)
  • The Power Broker (Christian Gillette, #3)
  • The Successor (Christian Gillette, #4)
The Day Trader The Protégé (Christian Gillette, #2) Arctic Fire The Vulture Fund The Power Broker (Christian Gillette, #3)

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