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The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees

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THE ANTISOCIAL NETWORK is the wild, true story of the subreddit WallStreetBets, a loosely affiliated group of private investors and internet trolls who took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, and in so doing, fired the first shot in a revolution that threatens to upend the financial establishment. Told with deep access, from multiple intersecting angles, i THE ANTISOCIAL NETWORK is the wild, true story of the subreddit WallStreetBets, a loosely affiliated group of private investors and internet trolls who took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, and in so doing, fired the first shot in a revolution that threatens to upend the financial establishment. Told with deep access, from multiple intersecting angles, it examines the culmination of a populist movement that began with the intersection of social media and the growth of simplified, democratizing financial portals -- represented by the biggest upstart in the business, RobinHood, and its millions of mostly millennial devotees. The unlikely focus of the battle: GameStop, a flailing brick and mortar dinosaur catering to teenagers and outsiders, that had somehow outlived forbearers like Blockbuster Video and Petsmart as the world rapidly moved online. The story comes to a head in a wild battle between Melvin Capital, a 13-billion-dollar hedge fund, one of the most respected and staid funds on the Street, and a disparate group of amateur day traders, video game nuts, and internet trolls on a subreddit calling itself WallStreetBets. At first, the subreddit was a joke -- a meme-filled, freewheeling place to share shoot-the-moon investment tips, laugh about big losses, and diamond hand emojis. Until some members noticed an opportunity -- and rode a rocket ship to tens of millions of dollars in earnings overnight. With insider sources and testimonies from inside WallStreetBets, GameStop, the architects of Robinhood, Melvin Capital, and more, New York Times bestselling author Ben Mezrich brings to life one of the most striking, can't-make-this-up moments in financial history.


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THE ANTISOCIAL NETWORK is the wild, true story of the subreddit WallStreetBets, a loosely affiliated group of private investors and internet trolls who took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, and in so doing, fired the first shot in a revolution that threatens to upend the financial establishment. Told with deep access, from multiple intersecting angles, i THE ANTISOCIAL NETWORK is the wild, true story of the subreddit WallStreetBets, a loosely affiliated group of private investors and internet trolls who took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, and in so doing, fired the first shot in a revolution that threatens to upend the financial establishment. Told with deep access, from multiple intersecting angles, it examines the culmination of a populist movement that began with the intersection of social media and the growth of simplified, democratizing financial portals -- represented by the biggest upstart in the business, RobinHood, and its millions of mostly millennial devotees. The unlikely focus of the battle: GameStop, a flailing brick and mortar dinosaur catering to teenagers and outsiders, that had somehow outlived forbearers like Blockbuster Video and Petsmart as the world rapidly moved online. The story comes to a head in a wild battle between Melvin Capital, a 13-billion-dollar hedge fund, one of the most respected and staid funds on the Street, and a disparate group of amateur day traders, video game nuts, and internet trolls on a subreddit calling itself WallStreetBets. At first, the subreddit was a joke -- a meme-filled, freewheeling place to share shoot-the-moon investment tips, laugh about big losses, and diamond hand emojis. Until some members noticed an opportunity -- and rode a rocket ship to tens of millions of dollars in earnings overnight. With insider sources and testimonies from inside WallStreetBets, GameStop, the architects of Robinhood, Melvin Capital, and more, New York Times bestselling author Ben Mezrich brings to life one of the most striking, can't-make-this-up moments in financial history.

30 review for The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rick Wilson

    This author is really frustrating. He keeps writing about super interesting topics that are relevant to the things that I’m personally interested in. But he does so in a superficial and over flowery way that makes his writing incredibly annoying to read. I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of his books and said, “oh yeah I feel good about that one.“ This book follows that negative trend There’s nothing in here that you couldn’t read in the half dozen feature length pieces about GameStop. And a l This author is really frustrating. He keeps writing about super interesting topics that are relevant to the things that I’m personally interested in. But he does so in a superficial and over flowery way that makes his writing incredibly annoying to read. I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of his books and said, “oh yeah I feel good about that one.“ This book follows that negative trend There’s nothing in here that you couldn’t read in the half dozen feature length pieces about GameStop. And a lot of it is a simply regurgitating the popular narrative of “small retail traders take on the big hedge funds“ which, digging into the actual volume of trades in the block sizes such as someone like Lilly Francus has done, isn’t actually true. So you’re then left with the writing, which isn’t very good. This author is of the school, “why use one word with many word do trick as well?” I believe at one point he called a laptop a “portal into another world” like is this 2005 still? We can just call a laptop a laptop.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Russell

    Despite his somewhat breathless style, Mezrich tells a compelling story about the financial industry's coming to grips with its first encounter with organized small-investor stock purchasing. Long used to having the stock market run by, and for the interest of, large institutions, the binding together of millions of small investors through Internet social media groups created a force able to sway stock prices, causing massive losses to the big players. An interesting book. Despite his somewhat breathless style, Mezrich tells a compelling story about the financial industry's coming to grips with its first encounter with organized small-investor stock purchasing. Long used to having the stock market run by, and for the interest of, large institutions, the binding together of millions of small investors through Internet social media groups created a force able to sway stock prices, causing massive losses to the big players. An interesting book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    One of the most amusing news stories to come out of the pandemic was when members of reddit made Wall Street piss its pants by beating them at their own game. Fans of the tv show Leverage will be familiar with Hardison's motto, "Age of the Geek, baby." In this book, Mezrich documents exactly how geeks have decided to strike back. Considering how recent this spectacular event was, I was shocked to hear a book was coming out about it already, but I figured if anyone could write a story about genius One of the most amusing news stories to come out of the pandemic was when members of reddit made Wall Street piss its pants by beating them at their own game. Fans of the tv show Leverage will be familiar with Hardison's motto, "Age of the Geek, baby." In this book, Mezrich documents exactly how geeks have decided to strike back. Considering how recent this spectacular event was, I was shocked to hear a book was coming out about it already, but I figured if anyone could write a story about genius underdogs successfully giving the finger to the system with a successful caper, it would be Ben Mezrich. However, I suspect the rush to get this book published negatively impacted the quality of Mezrich's usually solid writing. The language was overly flowery, and unsuccessfully tried to follow too many perspectives. One of Mezrich's most popular books, alluded to in the title of this book, The Social Network, worked so well because it took a history making empire and boiled it down to the story of just one man, Mark Zuckerberg. This story was too disjointed trying to follow a mix of reddit influencers, Wall Street avatars, and what appeared to be a random sampling of the subreddit group who were just along for the ride. It also seemed like Mezrich either didn't have the time to get first person accounts from the other side of the aisle, Wall Street, or he just didn't care to. If the story had been told from just one perspective, that would have been fine, but since he took more of a survey approach, that lack of contribution makes his writing more biased. The title of this book also irritates me. It's a great play on words vs Facebook, but reddit is still a social network, and none of what happened would have been possible without it. Often the folks on reddit were depicted as losers working out of their basements, making them easy to pick on and suggesting their social skills are not as up to snuff as say, a Facebook user's might be, but that's just demeaning and small minded; something a jock would say about the nerd he'd one day be serving fries to. Overall a very entertaining read, but a missed opportunity for something great.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    While I enjoyed the book, I don't feel like I read about anything I hadn't known from a reading of the news and a semi-casual following along of WSB. Picking a couple of average people to spotlight does kind of give an everyperson view point but it never really draws anyone out in detail, just vague archetypes. I have to assume this was done at speed to get a quick release while the buzz is still going (and the share price still high, over 200 bucks!) and so i think if you approach it as that, th While I enjoyed the book, I don't feel like I read about anything I hadn't known from a reading of the news and a semi-casual following along of WSB. Picking a couple of average people to spotlight does kind of give an everyperson view point but it never really draws anyone out in detail, just vague archetypes. I have to assume this was done at speed to get a quick release while the buzz is still going (and the share price still high, over 200 bucks!) and so i think if you approach it as that, then you might enjoy it a lot more. If you don't know anything about GME and Apes and Stonks, then I imagine this is a fast-paced fascinating read

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    This book is about the sudden four-day meteoric rise in the stock price of GameStop, a brick-and-mortar store mostly found in malls that caters to loyal gamers. The story behind the stock rise is a David-and-Goliath tale involving short-selling by a huge hedge fund vs. Reddit users hanging out on their couches. But those people organized a stock purchase that would shake up Wall Street and how the stock market works. The author writes nonfiction like a thriller, and this book is no exception. It’ This book is about the sudden four-day meteoric rise in the stock price of GameStop, a brick-and-mortar store mostly found in malls that caters to loyal gamers. The story behind the stock rise is a David-and-Goliath tale involving short-selling by a huge hedge fund vs. Reddit users hanging out on their couches. But those people organized a stock purchase that would shake up Wall Street and how the stock market works. The author writes nonfiction like a thriller, and this book is no exception. It’s an edge-of-your-seat ride told in real-time. And a lot happened in just the four days last January - the time when the story takes place. I liked his writing because it was very cinematic, and I felt immersed in the story while reading. I loved the style; it was like virtual reality, just not on a screen. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/ben...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Lauterbach

    I try not to give out a ton of 5s anymore (every book CANT be a 5, right?) But this was unavoidable. This is the third Mezrich I've read and its great. I am amazed that he took something that happened THIS YEAR and turned it into something so fantastic and complete. It's a current events novel. It's a human study. It's interesting even if you aren't into stocks and stuff. It's really, really good and I can't recommend it more. For comparison with his other works I've read: It's not quite The Acc I try not to give out a ton of 5s anymore (every book CANT be a 5, right?) But this was unavoidable. This is the third Mezrich I've read and its great. I am amazed that he took something that happened THIS YEAR and turned it into something so fantastic and complete. It's a current events novel. It's a human study. It's interesting even if you aren't into stocks and stuff. It's really, really good and I can't recommend it more. For comparison with his other works I've read: It's not quite The Accidental Billionaires but I liked it a little more than Bitcoin Billionaires.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Olsen

    Seems odd that this is the same guy that wrote other works such as Bringing Down The House. Interesting story but poorly written.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharan

    A good story that deserved better writing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I was curious about the whole GME meme stock revolution that started. Found this to be a great book, and it gave me enough insights into the ideas behind it. GO APES!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joe Loncarich

    It's an easy look through the whole Gamestop stock rise and fall and rise again. Plus, it's always hilarious to see how hilarious the author's photo at the back of the book will get with Mezrich. Truly the dessert at the end of a satisfying meal. It's an easy look through the whole Gamestop stock rise and fall and rise again. Plus, it's always hilarious to see how hilarious the author's photo at the back of the book will get with Mezrich. Truly the dessert at the end of a satisfying meal.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kamalakkannan Durairaju

    I bought it at 25 Rupees. My father told me to sell it at 200 Rupees at a hefty 70 lakh rupees profit. I won't sell it. My kids were excited that I held 1000 shares. I bought it at 170 Rupees! Now it's price has crossed 2100 rupees. I am pregnant and I bought it at 300 Rupees..My husband didn't know that I spent my money to buy those shares.. I was the one who started it. I bought it at 5 Rupees and it's current value is 240 Crores. I won't sell it. I have lost 42000 Crores in that share and my c I bought it at 25 Rupees. My father told me to sell it at 200 Rupees at a hefty 70 lakh rupees profit. I won't sell it. My kids were excited that I held 1000 shares. I bought it at 170 Rupees! Now it's price has crossed 2100 rupees. I am pregnant and I bought it at 300 Rupees..My husband didn't know that I spent my money to buy those shares.. I was the one who started it. I bought it at 5 Rupees and it's current value is 240 Crores. I won't sell it. I have lost 42000 Crores in that share and my company is going down. I bet against that share. I Shorted it. A bunch of reddit users fought against a hedge fund that was valued at 140,000,000 crores? The true story of Reddit users vs Melvin Hedge fund.. The Antisocial Network..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich is a very highly recommended account of the GameStop short squeeze when a group of amateur investors, gamers, and Internet trolls took on one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street. This comprehensive nonfiction book reads like a thriller and is the compelling true story of what happened. Most people heard about the members of a Reddit group called WallStreetBets, who dubbed themselves "apes," when they started investing in Game Stop stocks in early 2021 a The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich is a very highly recommended account of the GameStop short squeeze when a group of amateur investors, gamers, and Internet trolls took on one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street. This comprehensive nonfiction book reads like a thriller and is the compelling true story of what happened. Most people heard about the members of a Reddit group called WallStreetBets, who dubbed themselves "apes," when they started investing in Game Stop stocks in early 2021 and sent the price per share rising sky high which resulted in a short squeeze costing Wall Street hedge funds billions of dollars. Perhaps you also heard "The Tendieman" sea chanty. The Antisocial Network is truly a real life accounting of a David-vs.-Goliath movement. Mezrich starts the narrative back at the beginning, following the story of average people who were members of WallStreetBets, like nurse Kim Campbell, hair salon employee Sara Morales, college student Jeremy Poe, and Keith Gill who livestreamed on a you tube channel called "RoaringKitty." He tells the story of the co-CEOs Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt who started Robinhood, the investing app that was being used by the "apes" because it allowed ordinary people to trade on the stock market without brokerage fees. And he covers Gabe Plotkin of the hedge fund Melvin Capital and Ken Griffin of Citadel Securities, along with others. Mezrich's does an excellent job presenting what happened. The events leading up to the news breaking story of the Game Stop short squeeze is clearly presented in an understandable manner that is accessible for interested readers. Even though you know what happens, it really is a page-turner. I could follow the technical information about trading and investing, although I was also following the story when it was happening. I thoroughly enjoyed The Antisocial Network from start to finish. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing. http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2021/0...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Wilson

    One day my husband who is a Redditt fan shared a few details about a story that involved Redditt fans on an investing thread called WallStreetBets and how they challenged the status quo on how the stock market security companies operated. I was intrigued, but ended up forgetting about it until I stumbled across the Antisocial Network. I snagged a copy and dove in. The book lays out the ground work on how this crazy stock event happened from the perspective of several Redditt investors, a few secu One day my husband who is a Redditt fan shared a few details about a story that involved Redditt fans on an investing thread called WallStreetBets and how they challenged the status quo on how the stock market security companies operated. I was intrigued, but ended up forgetting about it until I stumbled across the Antisocial Network. I snagged a copy and dove in. The book lays out the ground work on how this crazy stock event happened from the perspective of several Redditt investors, a few security company founders and the company who created the app that allowed regular people to participate more fully in the stock market. As someone with little knowledge of how it all works and little knowledge of Redditt, I was worried I would be lost. But each step along the way the author did his best to give just enough information so I could follow the story. It really is a David versus Goliath tale which speaks to all of us who often feel the rich have stacked the cards against us. And I appreciate that the author doesn't take clear sides of right and wrong as it's not that kind of tale. I still need to do more reading to fully understand some of the concepts presented, but overall I enjoyed learning something new on a couple subjects I knew little about. And in the end - right or wrong - I loved how that group of regular people shook things up and challenged the big guys.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve Eubanks

    The GameStop short squeeze might seem like an esoteric time-suck to some. But this is a story of Man Against the Machine. As much as you think the stock market is free and unfettered; as much as you may want to believe that there is one last uncorrupted institution, it is, in fact, nothing if the sort. Average people thought they could band together in a market environment and take advantage of the short-sightedness of giant institutional investment firms. It worked for awhile. Until it didn’t. The GameStop short squeeze might seem like an esoteric time-suck to some. But this is a story of Man Against the Machine. As much as you think the stock market is free and unfettered; as much as you may want to believe that there is one last uncorrupted institution, it is, in fact, nothing if the sort. Average people thought they could band together in a market environment and take advantage of the short-sightedness of giant institutional investment firms. It worked for awhile. Until it didn’t. This is a compelling, page-turning account of those people, and what really happens in the retail trading market.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jlefevre

    This is a very engaging account of the run up of GameStop Stock by small, regular-type investors on the Robin Hood app and how the short selling of stock combined with the runup in price played havoc with the large Wall Streeters. After reading this book, you will ask yourself: Why the heck didn’t I buy GameStop stock at $5 a share and sell at $500?? The book hops back and forth between regular folks and Wall Street types to tell the story of the investments and chicanery that hit the market over This is a very engaging account of the run up of GameStop Stock by small, regular-type investors on the Robin Hood app and how the short selling of stock combined with the runup in price played havoc with the large Wall Streeters. After reading this book, you will ask yourself: Why the heck didn’t I buy GameStop stock at $5 a share and sell at $500?? The book hops back and forth between regular folks and Wall Street types to tell the story of the investments and chicanery that hit the market over the GameStop stock. The book gives the reader the inside scoop on short sales, how Wall Street makes money on the stock market, the democratization of the stock market, how trades occur and the money side of the market. And the book kept it all interesting. Nice job to the author. I liked the book. It’s an easy read (listen) and an interesting subject. 4 out of 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    James McGlynn

    Great read about the Gamestop saga including" Elon Musk, Citadel, RobinHood etc. Whn a stock is 140% short Wallstreetbets will squeeze the shorts. Great read about the Gamestop saga including" Elon Musk, Citadel, RobinHood etc. Whn a stock is 140% short Wallstreetbets will squeeze the shorts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Saladin

    Ben Mezrich always writes a good true story. This is an account of the Game Stop short squeeze that riled the market in January 2021. It was interesting to watch it unfold from multiple different players’ perspectives - from the dude in his basement who started things on the Wall Street Bets subreddit to the Melvin Capital CEO who was the unlucky target of the whole thing, to the Robinhood CEO who provided the platform for it, to the clearing house who settles the trades, and to many of the ever Ben Mezrich always writes a good true story. This is an account of the Game Stop short squeeze that riled the market in January 2021. It was interesting to watch it unfold from multiple different players’ perspectives - from the dude in his basement who started things on the Wall Street Bets subreddit to the Melvin Capital CEO who was the unlucky target of the whole thing, to the Robinhood CEO who provided the platform for it, to the clearing house who settles the trades, and to many of the everyday people who jumped in to be part of something historically epic, regardless of the potential cost. Definitely an interesting study in Team David trying to take down Goliath. Listened to on Audible.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kalle Wescott

    I read /The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees/, by Ben Mezrich: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-anti... Interesting subject matter... and given that it's a Mezrich book, the story is told via the stories of some of the players, and how they all intersect in the GME short squeeze, including Roaring Kitty, who started it all. Fun book/recommended! I read /The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees/, by Ben Mezrich: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-anti... Interesting subject matter... and given that it's a Mezrich book, the story is told via the stories of some of the players, and how they all intersect in the GME short squeeze, including Roaring Kitty, who started it all. Fun book/recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    Mezrich hit the ground running with this one and impressively wrote a creative, layered, and readable account of the Gamestop madness that still seems like it just happened last week. His storytelling nicely sets up the various players, angles, and considerations in processing the amazing "black swan" that is/was Gamestop. I normally don't get 5 stars to books that don't exactly rock my world, but I just couldn't think of anything particularly wrong with it so...there it is! Mezrich hit the ground running with this one and impressively wrote a creative, layered, and readable account of the Gamestop madness that still seems like it just happened last week. His storytelling nicely sets up the various players, angles, and considerations in processing the amazing "black swan" that is/was Gamestop. I normally don't get 5 stars to books that don't exactly rock my world, but I just couldn't think of anything particularly wrong with it so...there it is!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil

    This is a well researched, fast paced book, similar to "Bad Blood". The only drawback I have with this is the fact that apart from documenting the lives of some regular people who bought and sold GME for a good profit, there wasn't a lot of new information I gleaned from this book, compared to what came out in articles in Jan/Feb/March of 2021. This is a well researched, fast paced book, similar to "Bad Blood". The only drawback I have with this is the fact that apart from documenting the lives of some regular people who bought and sold GME for a good profit, there wasn't a lot of new information I gleaned from this book, compared to what came out in articles in Jan/Feb/March of 2021.

  21. 5 out of 5

    MarmottanReads

    I enjoyed this as an explanation of the GameStop story, told from the perspective of different people involved - the trading platform, the hedge fund and the Reddit investors. I was a bit perplexed as to how much of what was written was real based on interviews or not - but it was an entertaining read nonetheless.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Keith A Creighton

    I enjoyed this book a lot. I love when a book helps me to understand something that happened in recent history. This one leaves you to ponder the financial system without being too preachy in its evaluation. The book flows like prose making it easy to read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Blau

    great read! love mezrich’s style! Really enjoyed reading this. I knew some of the story already, but loved the perspectives and journey of the individual investors

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees by Ben Mezrich does exactly as the title suggests. Mezrich outlines the story which made global headlines earlier this year; talking us through the event from the various perspectives of those involved. His book starts at the end of 2020 and moves into the tale in 2021, as a Reddit group (called wallstreetbets) drove up the stock price of Gamestop, and in effe The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees by Ben Mezrich does exactly as the title suggests. Mezrich outlines the story which made global headlines earlier this year; talking us through the event from the various perspectives of those involved. His book starts at the end of 2020 and moves into the tale in 2021, as a Reddit group (called wallstreetbets) drove up the stock price of Gamestop, and in effect caused massive losses to those on Wall St who had "shorted" the stock. This is a complex story and so the book is particularly detailed – some details are possibly irrelevant (references to a person’s background) but much of the detail delivers an explanation of the financial system – the stockmarket – works. Mezrich has inteviewed several of the participants and in the book provides their perspectives, giving a more personal sense to the tale – attempting to ‘humanise’ the story. With all of these material, the story does see bloated at times and I wonder if Mezrich would provide some explanations in an Appendix rather than his frequent expositions. All in all, an ejoyable stroy but rather than gobble this book up in one go, I'preferred to week it over the period of several weeks - picking it up only when I had the time to truly focus on it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott Budman

    I'll read Ben Mezrich any day. The guy cranks out books, and you may know him for two of his huge hits, about MIT card sharks, and the early days of Facebook that was adapted for the movie "The Social Network." But having read a lot of his books, I know that Mezrich sometimes takes small topics and stretches them out. Always entertainingly, but you can tell. That's the case with "The Antisocial Network." This was, in real life, a barnburner of a story: A huge group on Reddit (and eventually tradin I'll read Ben Mezrich any day. The guy cranks out books, and you may know him for two of his huge hits, about MIT card sharks, and the early days of Facebook that was adapted for the movie "The Social Network." But having read a lot of his books, I know that Mezrich sometimes takes small topics and stretches them out. Always entertainingly, but you can tell. That's the case with "The Antisocial Network." This was, in real life, a barnburner of a story: A huge group on Reddit (and eventually trading app Robinhood) coming together to buy shares of struggling video game retailer GameStop, sending the company share value to stratospheric heights, enriching many traders, and bringing entire Wall Street funds to their knees. Mezrich captures the excitement among some of the investors and posters, along with the agony of rich guy defeat. But in the process, like someone who needed to hit a certain page number, he really stretches out the backstories, in some cases (like a really strange Elon Musk - who deserved more coverage as a major player in the story - fever dream), it feels made up, and distracting. Anyway, this is worth a quick read; I loved covering the GameStop/Robinhood story as a reporter - Mezrich amps it up entertainingly as a writer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adam Bowie

    This is the new book from Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires, the book that became the movie, The Social Network. It covers a handful of weeks at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 during which time, a Reddit group called wallstreetbets ended up driving up the stock price of a US business called Gamestop, and in effect causing massive losses to those on Wall St who had "shorted" the stock. The book tells the story from the perspectives of several people, some more involved than This is the new book from Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires, the book that became the movie, The Social Network. It covers a handful of weeks at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 during which time, a Reddit group called wallstreetbets ended up driving up the stock price of a US business called Gamestop, and in effect causing massive losses to those on Wall St who had "shorted" the stock. The book tells the story from the perspectives of several people, some more involved than others, but all of whom invested a great deal of time, and sometimes money, into this one enterprise. The story isn't simple, because unless you're deep in the weeds of some elements of trades on Wall Street, then the complexities of "shorting" stocks and issues around "clearing" those trades on apps like Robinhood, take some explanation. Mezrich tries to hold our hands through a lot of these steps. And, if you aren't paying close attention, he will often re-explain something a few chapters later with a different analogy in the voice of one of his protagonists, because you do need to understand what was happening to fully appreciate the story. The book is written very much as though the author himself was in the room when these things were happening, and as such, much of the dialogue is probably imagined. Mezrich has no doubt spoken to many of those who are featured here, but it's not entirely clear that he's spoken to all of them, and at times I think he's putting himself in their shoes to try to understand their thought processes. To my mind, the book slightly falls a little short on technical details. In an effort to make the book more accessible, some elements are glossed over or simplified. And while we concentrate solely on the shorting of Gamestop (a predominantly retail video game business with outlets in many malls across America), it ignores similar things that were going on with other stocks like AMC and Blackberry. The "humanising" of these stories is common to many books in this field - notably Michael Lewis's books including his most recent The Premonition - telling stories directly from individuals' perspectives rather than from a higher and wider view. But I think that does lead to an amount of supposition, and not inconsiderable amount of superfluous information about our protagonists' private lives, often irrelevant to the story. This isn't an easy story to tell, and these were events that were taking place only a few months ago, so this book has been written at speed. And although the stock price soared from less than $5, soaring to nearly $500 for a brief period, even now as I type, the stock is hovering around $200 (up around $50 from the price when Mezrich hit "send" on this manuscript). As such, it hasn't really "ended" yet. Was this a one-off, or is it a sign of changes to come in the financial markets? It's probably too early to say. But the one thing I think the book could have explored more is the Robinhood app, it's payment for order flow monetisation model (which is explained but not explored enough), and the gamification of buying and selling often risky products on a mobile phone. Is it healthy how people are using the app? Probably not. Robinhood's profits come from its users making multiple trades - not just buying some shares and then sitting on them for years at a time. All of that could have explored in greater detail. (I recommend listening to Slate Money for more on these kinds of things incidentally). A good primer, but there's more to said about the broader environment in which something like this can happen.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Parker

    I'm a fan of Ben Mezrich's other work, but I found that The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees was a little rougher. Partially because it feels like the novel came out before the story was complete (I'd like to see what reprecussions this has on the industry), but also because it seems a little more like fan worship than true journalism. Specifically that weird portion about Elon Musk. I'm so tired I'm a fan of Ben Mezrich's other work, but I found that The Antisocial Network: The True Story of a Ragtag of Amateur Investors, Gamers, and Internet Trolls Who Brought Wall Street to Its Knees was a little rougher. Partially because it feels like the novel came out before the story was complete (I'd like to see what reprecussions this has on the industry), but also because it seems a little more like fan worship than true journalism. Specifically that weird portion about Elon Musk. I'm so tired of the internet's obsession with him, and this just played into it at an obscene level (for those who don't know there is an extended sequence that seemed to take place in Elon's fantasies where he is battling AI with a flamethrower and using technology that doesn't exist). It felt extremely out of place in an otherwise good story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Rating 3.5 A non-fiction book (or could it be fiction as the writing makes it feel like it) of the rise of a stock called Gamestop over a short time on the New York Stock Exchange during 2020/2021. It follows a hedge fund as they bet against the company and small investors who believe the company can turn its self around, who buy shares and see the stock rise to dizzying heights, making at least one retail trader a paper millionaire.I It also includes the small investors platform, and what happens Rating 3.5 A non-fiction book (or could it be fiction as the writing makes it feel like it) of the rise of a stock called Gamestop over a short time on the New York Stock Exchange during 2020/2021. It follows a hedge fund as they bet against the company and small investors who believe the company can turn its self around, who buy shares and see the stock rise to dizzying heights, making at least one retail trader a paper millionaire.I It also includes the small investors platform, and what happens when they limit, neigh stop, the buying of this stock and the congressional hearing in the aftermath - though that doesn't come to any conclusion. I enjoyed reading about this event, I had heard some things about it through the news, so this added more detail to my knowledge. Like I said before this feels more written as a fiction piece rather than non-fiction. I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pilkington

    This is a very humanised version of what was probably the biggest financial story of 2021 to date. The David vs Goliath story of the Gamestock shares. The author is a great story teller telling us that story from a variety of viewpoints on both sides of the divide, the hedge fund sharks and the wallstreetbets band of comrades. It certainly leaves the reader with a better understanding of what happened but assumes a knowledge of the financial world and while he does eventually get around to expla This is a very humanised version of what was probably the biggest financial story of 2021 to date. The David vs Goliath story of the Gamestock shares. The author is a great story teller telling us that story from a variety of viewpoints on both sides of the divide, the hedge fund sharks and the wallstreetbets band of comrades. It certainly leaves the reader with a better understanding of what happened but assumes a knowledge of the financial world and while he does eventually get around to explaining things it leaves for a confusing and frustrating read at times. Issues about clearing were mentioned early in the book and proved significant but it wasn’t until much later did we get any sense of what exactly it meant. And the use of acronyms without an explanation was very annoying although I was grateful for an immediate explanation of VAR otherwise I’d still be wondering what a football video referee had to do with it all! Overall an enjoyable and informative read but could have done with less convoluted sentences that often required reading and as for the Elon Musk scene…………..well that was when I lost a bit of faith in the author, just seemed unreal. Still worth a read though. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy in exchange for this review

  30. 5 out of 5

    kevin moore

    As is my wont, I just picked this up from library's new releases because the subject of GameStop seemed interesting, after the headline spree earlier in the year. Did not know the author at all. It was not until a third of the way through the light bulb turned on that the author could not have received so much information from the individuals spotlighted here - weather experienced on flights, thoughts going into and during meetings, etc. Pitching out of the story discovered his forte' is "narrati As is my wont, I just picked this up from library's new releases because the subject of GameStop seemed interesting, after the headline spree earlier in the year. Did not know the author at all. It was not until a third of the way through the light bulb turned on that the author could not have received so much information from the individuals spotlighted here - weather experienced on flights, thoughts going into and during meetings, etc. Pitching out of the story discovered his forte' is "narrative non-fiction". I'd guess more than 50% of the book is 'created' to provide continuity to the story-telling of what actually happened. Still pleased to have worked through the story - very interesting for someone who didn't follow the story in real time. No fault to the author - that's his style and it worked moderately well for me.

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