Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” as Want to Read:
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  76,113 ratings  ·  4,415 reviews
Four years after his #1 bestseller The Big Short, Michael Lewis returns to Wall Street to report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets.

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and m
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 31st 2014 by W. W. Norton Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flash Boys, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cybertraveller Capitalism is a probably the wrong word. We are talking financial manipulations and the extent of them. Michael has a talent, he writes so well that e…moreCapitalism is a probably the wrong word. We are talking financial manipulations and the extent of them. Michael has a talent, he writes so well that everybody can understand this difficult subject. And yes, it is a shame, a disgrace. To all those that think that this adds to market efficiency I can only say: Bullshit! If these firms only make money 5 years straight, someone must be losing right. Guess who? All the others are. So this is just another clever way of cheating as long as it does not put them in jail, at least, not yet.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  76,113 ratings  ·  4,415 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Always Pouting
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly investment and stock exchange is something that bores me to death so I was putting off having to read this one for a while and today I forced myself to get it over with. I was surprised to find that the book was really interesting though, I had no clue about High Frequency Traders or dark pools or even the arrest of Sergey Aleynikov which is honestly absurd. I think the information was accessible and easy to understand but I don't think it would be interesting to anyone who didn't have ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
The new book by Michael Lewis criticizing high-frequency trading has created quite a stir. I’m imaging what a PR response might look like, though not an entirely serious one. It’s structured in FAQ format, but the questions aren’t really frequently asked so much as ones I’d like to answer. The ideal audience would be the inquiring readers of Flash Boys open to a counterbalance.

Q: Who is this Michael Lewis guy and why has this book been making such a splash?

Lewis is an influential writer with a t
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2014
“Shining a light creates shadows”
― Michael Lewis, Flash Boys


There was a temptation to write my review before I had finished reading. To get there first before other reviewers. This race to be first, however, sometimes requires a pause, a reflection, about what speed, transparency, fairness actually requires from individuals and companies. The world of finance is often opaque. Between executing a trade with your broker and another individual accepting that trade through their broker there is a
David Rubenstein
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: James
Shelves: nonfiction, business
This book is wonderful; it is well-written, engaging, and the subject is fascinating. I had never given much thought to stock exchanges, trading, and the processes that occur there. Michael Lewis manages to make the subject transparent and interesting! He describes the activities of so-called "High Frequency Trading" (HFT), where buy and sell orders to stock exchanges are intercepted and prevented from occurring at the stated price. These HFT activities go on, largely unnoticed, though they acco ...more
Brian Yahn
Michael Lewis explains how the stock market became such an incomprehensibly unfair system as a natural byproduct of human greed and animosity.

At one brief point in history, we viewed investing as a way to make the world better off for everybody involved. But then Wall Street's greed took over, starving for instant gratification, and turned investing into a zero-sum game: the only way they see a win is if ordinary, hard working, productive members of society lose.

In Flash Boys, the financial syst
Riku Sayuj

It's All Rigged Folks!

The seemingly democratic 'market' is a class system and the name of the game is speed. There is a hierarchy of speed in place and the haves are looting the have-nots.

Taleb made a name for himself ridiculing the markets, the experts and the traders - attributing whatever money these blokes made to dumb luck. Nobody can game the market, he said. We all liked that. Yes, they might make money, but they sure as hell do not deserve to be smug doing so. Plus, at least we can also
Dannii Elle
In all honesty I picked this up as Wall Street and the stock market are something I have an intetest in but little acual knowledge of. Whilst definitely an interesting read and providing the right amount of shock factor, I felt like I was just skimming some areas without digesting any of the information. Maybe this is to do with my own limited understanding, but it felt like the core story was dragged and repeated to reach the subsuquent length. This overtelling led to any feeling of shock at th ...more
On Reading & Rating
For my money (which, since I'm neither a Wall Street tycoon, nor a Russian coding genius, isn't a whole heck of a lot) this isn't Michael Lewis' best work. My reading experience was a mix of fascination and frustration. Why the latter? Lewis covers (and condemns) a whole bunch of different things. Agreement aside, as a human who reads books, this lack of distinction is what resulted in the bulk of my star-docking (I'd give it a 2.5/5 if half-stars were street legal aro
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was a back office spreadsheet jockey performing daily reconciliations on non-dollar swaps for a merchant bank in London in the late 1990's. They employed me because I had a background in corporate accounts but mostly because I looked good in a skirt and knew how to put a bet on a horse at lunchtime.
To start with it was fun. The volume and value of transactions was unlike any job I'd had before but eventually I became uncomfortable because I was starting to fall behind.
When I explained the si
Nick Black
wow. definitely Lewis's best book since Moneyball or Liar's Poker, though I'm waiting to talk to some high-frequency trading friends before i make final judgments. definitely a hell of a book to read here in Lower Manhattan, in the shadow of Wall Street, before going in for an interview at Goldman Sachs. lots of great quotes and superb little vignettes and character studies (the hallmark of Michael Lewis reporting). quite a bit seemed to have been recycled from his pieces for Vanity Fair over th ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm a longtime reader & fan of Michael Lewis, but with this book he jumps the shark.

While reading this book I found myself at first laughing with Lewis and then laughing at Lewis. In the end I threw the book away, annoyed & saddened by Lewis's inability to accurately report the history & function of HFT.

Instead of listing my complaints I'd direct readers to better analyses, like these from Manoj Narang, Cliff Asness, Matt Levine, Matthew Phillips and Michael Peltz.

Lewis would do well to heed
Sam Quixote
Michael Lewis returns to his familiar stomping grounds of Wall Street to report to the rest of the world that, shock, stockbrokers are as corrupt as ever, even after the 2008 crash!

Flash Boys looks at the phenomenon of high frequency trading and its complex corruption. The image of brokers wearing blazers shouting on trading floors is long defunct with brokers these days staring at computer screens in locked rooms, the trades happening on screens in microseconds. The new dichotomy is that whoev
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Michael Lewis has given us another great read, leaving us pondering big issues about the latest wall street scam and the point of society. In today’s world, the information he shares about high-frequency trading (HFT) on Wall Street feels dated before it arrives on the page…before we read it…before we can act on it. At first I was aghast that information about the, in effect, skimming or taxing of trades on the [any] stock market was old—this stuff was recognized in 2010! Why are we just learnin ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Lewis really could write a 700 page expose on corruption in the paperclip industry and I would be lining up to buy it. He is the only person that can make a page-turning experience out of the shadowy world of high-frequency trading (HFT).

Lewis recruits the perfect guides to help him unlock the smoke and mirrors games played in the unfathomable complexity of the US stock exchange. In this book (and almost all Lewis' books) the geek, the social outcast, the whistle-blower, the introverted
Andrew Smith
I gave this a decent go - about 25% of it - but I just couldn't get past the fact it's just way too slow and much too boring. It's also very technical, in terms of explaining how high-frequency trading in the US equity market was rigged. And though the author takes time to try to explain it, the explanation is so protracted and woven into discussions between various brainiacs that I lost the will long before I fully understood what was going on.

Not for me I'm afraid, I gave up on this one.
Mal Warwick
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Bestselling Berkeley author Michael Lewis has been spending a lot of time in the East lately. After researching and writing his blockbuster fifteenth nonfiction book, Flash Boys, currently the country’s #1 best seller, he’s now juggling interviews and appearances triggered by the fallout. I can’t recall any book that has ever before struck such fear into the denizens of Wall Street.

Flash Boys tells the tale of the arcane and long-secret phenomenon known as high-frequency trading (HFT). The book
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2014
Really well-done non-fiction that reads like a fictional thriller. Michael Lewis humanizes his expose of high-frequency trading and the state of the U.S. stock market by focusing on a few key characters and their stories. There is a lot of financial information to grasp here, but Lewis is an absolute master at sensible analogies that transform extremely complex transactions into ones that are easy to comprehend.

Very disheartening on one hand - human nature at its worst - and at the same time upl
Scott Rhee
Is there such a thing as an honest man on Wall Street? Insofar as greed and self-interest is a part of human nature and something that we all succumb to from time to time, Michael Lewis, in his book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt”, seems to think that the answer is “yes”.

In his latest critique on Wall Street culture, Lewis highlights the almost-accidental heroism of a handful of Wall Street insiders who uncover an insidious new trend in Wall Street that makes it easier for banks to steal lots
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, investment
Excellent. Reads like a novel but is all real. There is a lot of detail and a lot of characters. I have not read any other book from Michael Lewis but if this is his style it is worth recommending. Its amazing how everything collude and how the small don't stand a chance. You cannot argue that alongside politicians, bankers and money brokers everywhere (not just wall street) are in this world for themselves (with few exceptions) no matter what, but I guess that is nothing new. ...more
John Stein
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Love Michael Lewis and his narrative style, but think the hyperbole and indignation have gone a little overboard here. I am no fan of HFT and they are definitely a thorn in my professional side, but the HFT problem is just noise. The heros/victims in the book are mostly firms that used to take 4-6 cents per share as commissions, and make even more for positioning trades, who now take 1-2 cents per share and maybe give up half a cent to the HFT shops. The argument goes something like "it isn't fa ...more
Jane Stewart
Wow! Fantastic! I loved it! Entertaining.

It has a guy Brad who is my hero. It reads like a John Grisham novel, but it’s a true story about stock exchanges, high frequency traders, and dark pools. The author is great at explaining complicated technical subjects and telling a good story around them. In the middle of the book I was so angry at the rip-off of investors, I was thinking of writing letters. But by the end of the book, I didn’t have to. Some good things happened. And now, various govern
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, terrifying account of how the equities markets have been systematically undermined in the last 7 years. Essential reading to understand the state of the public markets today.
I found this incredibly readable for a book set in the Wall Street and having to do with high frequency trading. I read it as part of my Good Reads Challenge:

I found this book as a choice in the Kindle Unlimited library so I decided to try it. The author not only makes things clear and readable, but he also makes people that I wouldn't normally find sympathetic and likable exactly that.

I was flabbergasted that there are ethical and open and transparent p
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Lewis has gotten to the absolute core of how the stock market works, to the nitty-gritty of the little black boxes that make the flashing connections, to the advantages and disadvantages of fibre optic over microwave signals. The mechanics of the stock market are explained in depth in this study of the American stock market. Liars' Poker written in 1989 was a good lead up to Flash Boys. Lewis has worked as a broker and has shone light on the dealings which the brokerage firms and the big ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in U.S. stock market
Recommended to Agnė by: Read and Meet Book Group

“Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” by Michael Lewis is both an infuriating and uplifting true story about the U.S. stock market corruption in the twenty-first century and a handful of extraordinary individuals who, instead of benefiting from the rigged system like everyone else on the Wall Street, are willing to go to war to fix it. Inspired by an obscure trial of Russian computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov who worked for Goldman Sachs, Lewis investigates the shadiest corners o
Apr 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
while this was an interesting and well-written read, it seems to be severely lacking in evidence and more akin to an attempt to shift public opinion for the benefit of certain interested parties.
the starting premise is that brad thinks hft is bad, and from there it's just assertions and statements like "see, we found out this or that kind of thing is happening, i told you hft is bad" without really explaining what is bad.
seems like a thinly veiled ad to drum up business on the "fair" exchange.
Todd N
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Oh, Michael Lewis, thank you for churning out book after book of respectable pornography for frustrated middle-aged white collar geeks like me.

It's quite a trick you do: introduce us to a well-educated, likable but somewhat ornery freethinker who winds up following a hunch after noticing something that doesn't quite make sense.

Then this hunch leads our freethinker to assemble a team of still more well-educated, likable but somewhat ornery freethinkers -- a team that lays bare either (1) a hidden
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Not all problems are equally deserving of moral outrage and high dudgeon, but it seems that Lewis only knows how to write at one pitch these days. Whatever the rights and wrongs of high frequency trading are, it's not the mortgage market (which Lewis treated in the Big Short), and it's really not a populist issue (although Lewis does his best to whip up a frenzy at the injury to Mom and Pop, it's entirely unclear that Mom and Pop play any role in this story at all - this is really a story of ban ...more
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

So the suspicions were right, it would appear. The US stock markets were rigged, controlled by a select few individuals. And if not all, atleast some of the biggest guys on Wall Street were in the know, actively participating in this money-spinning venture. Perhaps this whole scheme would have gone on indefinitely, swindling big & small investors alike of billions unless someone stood up for what was
The days of men in the bear pit screaming prices at each other are long gone in the stock markets, now days it is all controlled by computers. These are so valuable that they are hidden well away and guarded by heavily armed men, and not even the experts know exactly what happens in these dark pools.

Those that do know won’t tell either, as they are making an absolute fortune.

This market, that we have been assured is open and fair, is rigged. And the key that unlocks the money chest now is speed.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
  • Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
  • Dark Pools: The Rise of Artificially Intelligent Trading Machines and the Looming Threat to Wall Street
  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves
  • The Big Short: by Michael Lewis
  • Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street
  • The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
  • Den of Thieves
  • More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite
  • Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World
  • The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
  • The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It
  • Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global Manhunt, and the Most Mysterious Market Crash in History
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing
  • Flash Boys: Not So Fast: An Insider's Perspective on High-Frequency Trading
  • Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Related Articles

Not normal, new normal, super-spreading, and socially distant. Yup, it's been a couple years of COVID and pandemic-centric stories are...
38 likes · 13 comments
“The world clings to its old mental picture of the stock market because it’s comforting; because it’s so hard to draw a picture of what has replaced it; and because the few people able to draw it for you have no interest in doing so.” 15 likes
“When something becomes obvious to you,” he said, “you immediately think surely someone else is doing this.” 11 likes
More quotes…