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The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,378 ratings  ·  276 reviews
New York Times Bestseller

The Buy Side, by former Galleon Group trader Turney Duff, portrays an after-hours Wall Street culture where drugs and sex are rampant and billions in trading commissions flow to those who dangle the most enticements.  A remarkable writing debut, filled with indelible moments, The Buy Side shows as no book ever has the rewards – and dizzying temptat
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Crown Business
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Turney Duff I read it, but I also wrote it so I'm a little biased. …moreI read it, but I also wrote it so I'm a little biased. (less)

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Joe Peta
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Buy Side has been out less than 48 hours, I've got another half-dozen books on my nightstand and yet I'm writing this review having just finished the book. That tells you how immensely readable The Buy Side is.

Full Disclosure: Having just written a Wall Street memoir of my own, and having spent roughly the same 15 years on the Street as Turney, I am very familiar with the world he writes about, having been present at some of the book's scenes, and even had a tangential acquaintance with the
Lauren Connolly
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was purely coincidental that I read this true-life account of Turney Duff's rise to the top of Wall Street after finishing Jay McInerney's Bright Lights Big City, but the timing couldn't be better. More conversational and manic, Duff takes you along for the ride. Part Wall Street, part addiction, part inspiration, the page-turner doesn't let you put it down. His honesty is gripping and gut-wrenching, yet takes full ownership of actions. I look forward to seeing this story come to life in the ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over a three day work trip, and I found myself wanting to read more while I was in meetings. I would grab a minute or two here or there, in between, to read a few pages. I just found it so compelling, and not because it's some kind of literary masterpiece. Honestly, the story reads like Turney is telling you his story over the dinner table. It's conversational; sometimes it's even a little manic and disorienting. The whole thing works because the story is about a guy who knew no ...more
Nathaniel Tilton
The Buy Side was a book that I literally couldn't put down. I started reading it on a Saturday morning in bed with my morning coffee and read it to completion. The ride was exhilarating and a must read for anyone who wonders what the fast-paced Wall Street life is like, and who dares to see the darker side that includes layers of abuse and excess. What struck me was the plight of Turney Duff, from novice trader who climbs to the unexpected heights. His only escape was to hit rock bottom and redi ...more
Alan Ng
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Equal parts cautionary and compelling, this book was hard to put down. The brutal honesty in Turney's account of his own drug addiction is reminiscent of Mac Miller's Faces, making the book much more than a tale of spectacular excess as the title indicates, but rather a genuine self reflection of a man who gets caught up in the allures of Wall Street. ...more
Tim O'Hearn
My favorite Wall Street non-fiction book.

The Buy Side is leagues above the benchmark for books in this genre. Though it is clear that Turney Duff, who majored in Journalism, spent a significant amount of time developing this narrative, the reader never has an inkling of suspicion that what's being peddled is falsehood. It's an endearing novel with highs and lows that, while not as historically significant as a Liar's Poker, speaks to the individual at a level deeper than greed, sex, and tropes o
Ted Lehmann
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Buy Side A Wall Street Trader'sTale of Spectacular Excess by Turney Duff (Crown Busness, 2013, 320 pages, $26,00) can be read as a cautionary tale of the risks and rewards of success on Wall Street, a history of a time that may have seen its end with the past few years of struggle in the markets, a Dante-esque vision of the inevitable corruption that occurs when too much money and too little regulation and restraint co-exist, or merely the story of one man who could not resist the allures of ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the opening paragraph (the one where Turney Duff sounds like a total douche) rankle you. After a few more pages, I could not stop reading this wanton tale of excess. The author does an excellent job of describing exactly how he ended up the pitiful mess he was. Even his writing style towards the end, as he's hitting bottom, seems to reflect what he was experiencing.
Bonus: learn a little bit about how things work on Wall Street. Fascinating!
Louise Wardell
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won this book on goodreads. I learned somethings about Wall Street. It also scares me that people that are responsible for the financial roles of this country also party and use drugs and alcohol.

I realize drug and alcohol addiction is a disease but I wish there was interventions earlier.
Congratulations to Turney for getting help and turning his life around.
A great read. Honest and informative. Just written up in NYT. Great job Turney!
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it
"The Buy Side: How to Become a Cliche for Fun and Profit" Boy (or girl) from the sticks arrives in NYC with a backpack and a dream. Through pluck and luck makes a mint and lives the good life until the temptations of the city drag him down. Sound familiar? Well, beyond being the basic plot of many books fictional or otherwise (Bright Lights, Big City), it also represents the story of Duff's life (so far).

And an interesting story it is although Duff's editor should have told him to be a little m

Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, first-reads
The other reviews I've read are right in that this is a well written book and is hard to put down. Duff is relatable in that "small town boy in big city" way, where he climbs to a very successful career based on doing the work and on having those small town values like treating people with respect. This stands out compared to others in this story. Then, of course, he loses his way. A fascinating story of excesses, and not so surprisingly released at the same time as the Gatsby movie remake - the ...more
Matt Lohr
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tales of Wall Street excess and debauchery are common enough now as to constitute their own subcategory of literature, both fiction (Jay McInerney's BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY is probably the godfather of this whole genre) and non-fiction. Turney Duff's true-life account of his years as a buy-side trader, and the coke-fueled king-of-New-York nights that almost brought him down, do not tread any particularly innovative ground, but when a familiar tale is spun with as much intelligence, energy and sk ...more
Lisa Baggerman
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Holy smokes--this book pretty much confirms our collective worst fears about Wall Street in the 90s. It's how Turney tells his story that sets this book apart from the others I've seen it compared to. Unlike the Jay McInerney's books, Turney is likeable. (Although prone to epic douchebaggery like "I make seven figures--how cute am I now?") And unlike Smartest Guys in the Room, you get an unvarnished account of the author's experiences in his own words. It reminds me most of Confessions of an Eco ...more
The Miracle
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of the Buy Side and there went my productive weekend. I could not put this story down.

I went in thinking I was going to read all about a cocky Wall Street trader and how he had brokers eating out of the palm of his hand. I was quickly corrected as I watched Turney Duff turn from a naïve boy from Maine with big dreams of becoming a writer into a fast- talking, hard partying, popular for all the wrong reasons, Wall Street trader. From first line to last (pun i
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I sort of envy people whose lives are so interesting they don't have to write fiction. The Buy Side describes such a life. It is at once a personal cautionary tale and a professional career guide - like the life of Whitney Houston in that way. The book is detailed, well-written, painfully honest and too good to put down (I started reading it yesterday and stopped only for a nap and a meal). It's one of the best books I've ever read. It can only be a bestseller. And because of it, from now on, I ...more
Mary Karen
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is a compelling account of a small town guy falling into a job on Wall Street and making it big in the big city. Unable to resist the temptations that NYC and the financial industry presented, he went from higher than he could have ever expected to lower than I could have ever expected.

I could not put this book down and finished it in two days. This is such a honest account of one man's journey through Wall Street and his addiction. I found myself at times shocked, saddened but above
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Read this book to get to know a trader on Wall Street, not to get to know trading on wall street.

Turney describes his ascend to Wall Street greatness in the first (enjoyable) chapter but then goes on a coke and alcohol crazed trip which takes two thirds of the rest of the book. Not my preferred read.
It seams Mr Duff has his own demons to expel, returning back to bad decisions over and over. The end of this book looks like the starting point of the rest of his life, I wish him luck.
Meredith Monturo
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Buy Side grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go. To watch a regular guy from a "normal" upbringing, who happens to be a gifted "people person" work Wall Street - from top to bottom, only to return to his regular guy status, is inspirational. It sounds strange but I am absolutely PROUD of Turney Duff. What a ride! ...more
Vitalijus Sostak
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book covers story similar to "Wolf of Wall Street", but without mega ego and international money laundering considerations. It's also more honest, personal and sadder, too - not much glamour here.
Author went to work in finance purely for money, brushing his true calling aside and paid dearly for that developing drug addiction, losing family and the house and self-respect.
I liked it a lot.
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I first saw this title, I thought it was just another Wall Street memorandum.

I was wrong. The experience of Turney Duff may not be too uncommon on Wall Street but the difference is that Turney Duff is hell of a good storyteller. I think he would've told another fascinating story even if he hadn't become a Wall Street trader. I enjoyed this book tremendously.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Buy Side. It is the perfect summer read. It's exciting, well written and brutally honest. It's o e of the best books I have ever read. I could not put it down. Do yourself a favor and read this book at once! ...more
Michael LeGrand
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good rise and fall story of a hedge fund trader that made it to the top of the finance world, to be taken down by a cocaine addiction. Quick read that showcased drug abuse in a way I hadn't seen before. ...more
Kent Beck
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest memoir of losing it all and still having enough

What I loved was the responsibility and lack of self-pity. Some drug books are disguised "hey it's not my fault" stories. This one rings true.
Nora Baldwin
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Page. Tuner. Summer read. Loved it.
Mimi Dang
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
2/24/14: What a page-turner! Incredible isnight into the life of "some" people on the buyside. Great articulations into his feelings as a fraud and a hypocrite at times. Cocaine kills. ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wall Streeters and It's Critics
This book was strikingly readable, and Turney as the sympathetic protagonist of his own story of rising up was a buy-side hotshot, spiraling down as a coke fiend, and then leveling-out as someone starting a 'new chapter' in his life is most definitely worthy of merit, and moderate admiration.

I say 'moderate', because while he clearly put some more labor into the work than he perhaps needed to in order to sell copies—for example, he makes frequent use of 'unreliable narration', in order to show u
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As someone who works in Finance, I am well aware of the stereotypes placed upon people that work in this industry. While this book certainly touches upon all these stereotypes, it also reveals an unspoken side of Wall Street as well: You can earn a boatload of money, but your health and personal relationships will suffer.

I have a lot of respect for anyone that writes about his/her life. Turney Duff could have easily sugar coated his experience on Wall Street like most books in this genre do. In
Karena Reiter
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I defer to David Bahnsenon's review on AMAZON! Thank you.
Fourth Step Masterpiece
By David Bahnsenon March 28, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I will let you in a little secret (though I think I admitted this in my review of Wolf of Wall Street already … I will read any book and see any movie that comes out regarding life on Wall Street. I can know ahead of time that it is going to be cartoonishly stupid, and they often are, and I will still read or see it. Some are quite serious in nature
Rav J.
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
kept me glued-in. Really captures starting humbly as an underdog, to overtaking the average, ivy-league bankers who actually "fit in" to banking culture. From greed, massive capitalism dreams, to downfall of a family, addiction, etc. There are a lot of great elements to this story. It's well written without being scatter-brained. ...more
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Turney Duff has worked on Wall Street since 1994, including at Morgan Stanley, the Galleon Group, Argus Partners, and J.L. Berkowitz. A graduate of Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, he has written and executive-produced two short movies and under his rap name "Cleveland D," was partly responsible for the infamous Galleon song, "On the Good Ship Galleon." He currently lives in Long ...more

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