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Extended Audio Sample The Coffee Trader:  A Novel Audiobook, by David Liss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,263 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Liss Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2002 ISBN: 9780736697774
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Amsterdam, 1659: On the world’s first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city’s close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city’s most envied merchants, Miguel has suddenly lost everything. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living in his younger brother’s canal-flooded basement, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation.

Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success—a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called “coffee.” To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and face a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Olivia Wonsey | 2/5/2014

    " Most of it went through one ear and out the other. But it was alright, I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherie | 2/4/2014

    " This is vintage D. Liss. Our hero, Miguel, is in considerable financial distress after being a successful trader. He has to live with his younger brother and endure his sister-in-law's hapless state. All the while, he tries to dig his way out of debt, not really knowing who is for him and who is against him. He is an altogether decent sort, who while trying to second guess those he perceives to be his enemies, makes some bad decisions. His hatched plot is shot full of holes and he is pursued by bad debts. Will he succeed and will he live "happily ever after"? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 2/2/2014

    " "The Coffee Trader" takes place in 17th century Amsterdam, at the dawn of the coffee trade in Europe. The setting and characters are so well developed that you even find yourself rooting for some downright duplicitous folks. And the best part is that the story worked on me like coffee. I would lie down tired and once I started reading, I was wide awake. This was a clever, no brilliant, page-turner, and it was just what I needed after reading so much mediocre stuff (unintentionally, of course). I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Jespersen | 2/2/2014

    " David Liss has a great way to tell stories. The intricate plot on the exchange market of Amsterdam involving the unknown commodity and its web of characters makes for a fun and enlightening story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eileen Olson | 2/1/2014

    " Just didn't get into this book. There was too much deception, and ill-will in the characters to enjoy reading about the coffee trade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 1/30/2014

    " just an "alright" storyline but a very good book if you are interested in 17thC Amsterdam, especially if you are into the stock market-- this is where it all began! I would recommend this to anyone interested in: 17thC. Dutch culture, history of economics, history of European coffee trade, history of the Jews in Amsterdam (especially Portuguese Jewish immigrants who escaped the Inquisition). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheffy | 1/27/2014

    " I found this a fascinating look, not just at the 16th century Sephardic Jews exiled by the Inquisition living in Amsterdam, but also a interesting window on the birth of the stock market. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle | 1/15/2014

    " Historically interesting and a great plot development although the characters are not people I would care to know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sophie | 1/12/2014

    " Quite simply one of the best books I've read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 1/5/2014

    " I'll finish this, but it's not one of his better novels. In fact, I don't know how he made a book about coffee and Amsterdam so dull. - OK, I'm finished. It was much stronger at the end than the beginning. Still, the main character should have been more compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lillian | 1/3/2014

    " I saw this book listed somewhere as being of the genre "historical financial thriller" or something to that effect. I think it's interesting (and slightly bizarre) that this genre exists. The book was fine, but I can't say I'm motivated to seek out other historical financial thrillers as a result. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb | 12/22/2013

    " Here is another historical fiction book that takes the reader to a place and time not much is written about. Who would guess all of the going ons in the world of coffee and making it such a popular drink...for others...I'm a tea person! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen S. | 12/21/2013

    " Info on coffee trade, Portuguese jews and old Netherlands were interesting but a bit draggy and main character was a bit of a schmuck. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Roberts- neville | 12/13/2013

    " Parts of this book were pretty good but overall, I found it a bit dull. I Wouldn't recommend it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 10/29/2013

    " This was a random book I picked up at the library for my trip to Colorado and I really enjoyed it. I was surprised at how long ago the "stock market" was utilized. I now want to read other books by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 10/24/2013

    " I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It was unique in both subject and plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 9/20/2013

    " This book took a long time to get interesting, not sure I would have stuck with it if not for my book club, but the eventual payoff was a suspenseful, well plotted, and bawdy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Althea | 7/6/2013

    " Makes learning financial history great fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannette | 6/3/2013

    " Very intriguing book, a page turner because of the times in 1600's in Amsterdam. Financial transactions were even tricky then. I thought it was well written and interesting, a different mystery instead of murder or spy, this was a financial mystery with lots of plots going on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 4/18/2013

    " Good, but not as good as the others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey | 11/25/2012

    " Fictional study of the infiltration of coffee into the Western world and a nice follow-up to Conspiracy of Paper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 11/4/2012

    " Interesting and well-written. Unusual historical/commerce/religion thriller, set in Amsterdam during the heyday of the Dutch East India Company. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody Belluzzi | 8/12/2012

    " Historic novel about the commodities markets in Amsterdam in the 1600's. Pretty fast rad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ram Kaushik | 5/16/2012

    " Double-dealing, skulduggery, and the stock market in 17th century Holland - what's not to like? Ripping good yarn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 12/19/2011

    " I liked the history of this book but felt it dragged a bit. There were only so many times I wanted to read about preparing a bowl of coffee or the effects or the dark, dank, wet basement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy Pipkin | 11/2/2011

    " Great historical read to preface my upcoming visit to Amsterdam. Memorable characters with lots of ethical dilemmas and religious confrontation! Strong female characters and beautiful descriptive prose made it a vivid read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Merriman | 10/23/2011

    " Another enjoyable book by Liss. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elaienar | 6/18/2011

    " An interesting setup ruined by thoroughly uninteresting characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 6/15/2011

    " I really like David Liss, I'm no financial guru but he somehow makes trading understandable and also interesting. There were a lot of twists and turns in this and the main character plays the fool throughout, but is generally likeable all the same. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 6/8/2011

    " Good book. Interesting how commodiites were traded in early 1600's in Amsterdam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marybla | 5/21/2011

    " Early 17th century Holland had not yet embraced the true wonder of coffee, so the mystery and intrigue of this book revolving around the early days of market trade and coffee shares is interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/13/2011

    " The characters are flawed and not too likable. Interesting view of the early commodity exchanges. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 4/6/2011

    " Truly enjoyed this introduction to the history of coffee and its introduction into Europe. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laurie | 3/23/2011

    " Sorry just did not like this book...coffee, stock market, and lies...just not my cup o'tea...haha "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gem | 3/11/2011

    " The historical setting of this book was interesting, but not something I was familiar with. I found that the plot kind of lagged until I got to the middle, and then it went too quickly. Otherwise, I thought the descriptions of a trader's life (including the ups and downs) were very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karl | 2/12/2011

    " This story was different. My library had it listed as a mystery. However, it seemed more like a story of intrigue and deceit. Good guys that weren't all that good, and bad guys that turned out to be good.
    Maybe I shouldn't be surprised because it's a story about the world of trading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 2/11/2011

    " I liked A Conspiracy of Paper better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 1/29/2011

    " Since I love drinking coffee and lived in Amsterdam for two years, this book had my attention. It's fascinating to read of the origins of drinking coffee, since we think a cup has always been around. "

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About the Author
Author David Liss

David Liss is the author six novels, most recently The Devil’s Company. He has several bestselling novels, including, A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The Coffee Trader, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Ethical Assassin, and The Whiskey Rebels. In 2008, at the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Bali, Indonesia, he was named an Artist for Integrity by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. No one is really sure why he should receive this honor or what it means, but it very possibly makes him the Bono of historical fiction. David Liss’ novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is also an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.