The Edgar Awardwinning novel A Conspiracy of Paper was one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2000 In his richly suspenseful second novel, author David Liss once again travels back in time to a crucial moment in cultural and financial history His destination Amsterdam, 1659a mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day.On the worlds first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant Miguel Lienzo, a sharp witted trader in the citys close knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well Once among the citys most envied merchants, Miguel has lost everything in a sudden shift in the sugar markets Now, impoverished and humiliated, living on the charity of his petty younger brother, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation.Miguel enters into a partnership with a seduc tive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at successa daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called coffee To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and test the limits of his commercial guile, facing not only the chaos of the markets and the greed of his competitors, but also a powerful enemy who will stop at nothingto see him ruined Miguel will learn that among Amsterdams ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.With humor, imagination, and mystery, David Liss depicts a world of subterfuge, danger, and repressed longing, where religious and cultural traditions clash with the demands of a new and exciting way of doing business Readers of historical suspense and lovers of coffee even decaf will be up all night with this beguiling novel.From the Hardcover edition....
|Title||:||The Coffee Trader: A Novel|
|Publisher||:||Ballantine Books Auflage 1st 4 M rz 2003|
|Number of Pages||:||572 Pages|
|File Size||:||880 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Coffee Trader: A Novel Reviews
Ein hoch komplexer Roman, der vor Intrigen nur so strotzt. Ein geniales Zeitbild der Amsterdamer jüdischen Gemeinde des 17. Jahrhunderts und deren eigentlich verbotenen Interaktion mit der einheimischen Bevölkerung. Das schwere Schicksal eines von A bis Z manipulierten Händlers, der versucht, mit dem damals noch fast unbekannten Kaffee seinen finanziellen Ruin abzuwenden. Der Anfang ist etwas schwierig, aber bald kann man sich dem immer dringender werdendem Stil nicht mehr entziehen. Ein Meisterwerk.
"View Down A Corridor", is a famous painting that resided in a home in London, and also is on the cover of this new novel by David Liss. I came across the same image in another book of non-fiction I just read. It was owned by Thomas Povey and is one of many tromp-l'oeil paintings that he owned by the Dutch artist Samuel van Hoogstraten. These paintings were extremely complex, for the knowledge that was required to create the fantastic illusions the artist sought were many and varied. This particular piece was hidden behind a door that when opened, appeared to open on an extended hall, when in fact it was simply a brilliant optical illusion created by the artist.David Liss also chose to reverse the image on the cover of his new book, "The Coffee Trader". I don't know if this was simply done to have the primary animal figures face toward the center of the book, or whether he intended to magnify the idea of deception which runs throughout his newest work.In his first book stocks were the method that leads many to take wild risks and chance ruin. In 17th Century Amsterdam it is a new commodity coffee that takes center stage and plays the object that brings forward from many it touches the worst of their human nature. In both books the author never allows for his characters to have unqualified victories, the nature of the business they are in either by definition does not allow this, or the participants rationalize that this is the case. Even when a person may not be a party to deception they are often tainted by just participating and being just as badly hurt as the worst manipulators.This book is a novel but it also approaches near to Historical Fiction as the list of referenced works at the end will attest. The author does a tremendous job of recreating the unusual social structure that was 17th Century Amsterdam, not only for the Jews and their feelings of being guests on a tenuous welcome, but also for the Catholics who were tolerated as well. For some readers he may spend too much time on the social structure of these populations within populations, but I enjoyed it as the book became more than just a novel, but also a lesson in History.The first book by Mr. Liss won him the Edgar Award for best debut novel. "The Coffee Trader", has proven that, "A Conspiracy Of Paper", was no fluke, and I would wager here, just as I did when I reviewed his original book, than when the time comes for awards to be handed out, the work of Mr. Liss will once again be amongst the chosen few. I initially was not going to go with 5 stars for the book's end left me a bit less than satisfied. However that is how Mr. Liss seems to feel those who participate in his book as characters should feel. By keeping a measure of reality with his books and not having an explosive ending, good or bad, he maintains realism, and in the end I like that a great deal.
mit einem "Mix" sehr interessanter Personen (der verarmter Miguel, sein Bruder, die geheimnisvolle Geertruid, und nicht zuletzt die "Graue Eminenz" Don Alonzo), aus den Zeiten, in denen der Kaffee als große neuheit in Europa etabliert werden sollte, mit vielen Details zum Leben der Juden im Amsterdam des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts,zum Börsenhandel, und vieles mehr!
At times this book’s plot was so convoluted I forgot who was blackmailing who, who had double crossed who and who was really supposed to be the goodie or the baddie. In between, I had to think a lot about business and ethics.The book takes place in seventeenth century Holland not long after the Dutch had gotten out from under their Spanish overlords. This was the time of huge changes in commerce. The Dutch developed new methods of trade including the joint stock company, commodities markets, futures, stocks, and many other forms of speculative trading.The book makes me admire the Dutch even more, and think about what it means to say “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.
I've read three other books by David Liss and enjoyed all of them; this is no exception. Not being knowledgeable about commodities trading and "futures" and "puts" I didn't have a full appreciation for some of the plot's intricacies...it would have been interesting but didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. I am amazed at the detail that Liss goes to in creating both historic and geographic accuracy and like his other books, this was no exception. Sometimes I found the action dragged a bit but not to the point that I wanted to stop reading; I just skimmed those sections. It's a great book and a must read for anyone who's been to Amersterdam!
I enjoyed the glimpse into history and the ways merchants speculated on different trade goods during the 17th century in Holland. Though I don't have much experience in finance and didn't understand all of the terminology used, I found the book fascinating with regards to the sophistication of trade in that era. I also enjoyed learning about the lifestyle of merchants in Amsterdam as well as the cultural differences between Portuguese Jewish immigrants and their Dutch neighbors. And of course, I love anything to do with coffee!
Set in 17th century Amsterdam, this is a very well-written book that tells the story of the early development of what is now the modern private market in commodities. The story is filled with intrigue; almost anything goes ("its all about making money") as long as you are not caught in out-and -out fraud. An enemy one day may be your friend the next and vice versa. No one is fully sure who can be trusted and who cannot. The characters are quite realistic - there is no authentic arch-hero but there is no real anti-hero either. All the characters have recognizably human characteristics - flawed goodness. As a sub-theme, the author describes the survival (and even the flourishing) of a small but vibrant Jewish community in Amsterdam and their involvement in the developing commodity's market in the 1600s - a time when these people were unwelcome in many other cities in Western Europe. A highly recommended read - both for its historical descriipions and for its strong storyline.
On the one hand, I really enjoyed the book so maybe four stars is not fair. The Characters are fun, almost winsome, and the “Business Part” of the book seemed very realistic. One should read the book just because the dialogue draws you into ye olde days of Amsterdam. I do think the plot (no pun intended) went on too long and it took forever for brother in law and wife to get to the point where they were willing (I guess able) to get to the logical end point.