The Coffee Trader: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
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.
An elegantly written historical fiancial thriller - with lots of java!
By Jana L. Perskie "ceruleana" - August 8, 2005
Edgar Award-winning author Edward Liss returns with "The Coffee Trader," another elegantly written historical suspense thriller. In 1659 the bustling port town of Amsterdam was filled with refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, as well as schemers and rogues from all over Europe looking to make some gulden (guilder). The Dutch, after defeating the Spanish, turned their small country into a major economic power in Europe. Amsterdam became the most financially dynamic city in the world, thanks to the robust commercial activity of their commodities exchange, the world's first.
Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese Jew, escaped the Inquisition on the Iberian peninsula and moved to the much more tolerant Netherlands. He created a home within the city's close-knit Sephardic Jewish community. Sharp-witted, and a bit of a rogue himself, Miguel thrives on the exhilaration of the Dutch bourse, but his trades of late have not gone well. On the brink of financial ruin due to sudden shifts in the... read more
Liss has created a masterpiece with this incredible saga!
By Bookreporter - April 5, 2003
If Starbucks Coffee was smart, they'd start selling David Liss's new novel THE COFFEE TRADER right alongside all their other caffeinated laced beverages. After winning the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel for A CONSPIRACY OF PAPER, Liss has created another masterpiece relating to the historical fiction genre.His second novel takes place in 17th-century Amsterdam in 1659 during the Golden Age. The book's main character is a Portuguese Jew named Miguel Lienzo, who has recently lost a bundle after the sugar market crash and is now trying to resurrect himself by searching for investors who would consider a new product called "coffee".Broke and busted, Miguel must take shelter in the basement of his brother's house. Daniel, who also works at the booming commodities exchange, tells his brother not to waste his time vying for a lucrative fortune in the coffee trade. But after learning about the possible financial windfall from the provocative Dutchwoman Geertrud Damhuis, Miguel is... read more
A Great Read!
By Falco Gingrich - March 17, 2003
I loved Liss�s first book, A Conspiracy of Paper, but I have to say I think I love The Coffee Trader even more. This one is set in 17th century Amsterdam and concerns a trader�s efforts to get a monopoly on coffee just as coffee is first emerging in Europe. This novel moves and feels like a thriller, and I kept turning pages late into the night to find out what happens next, but Liss doesn�t rely on tricks used by cheap thrillers � no piles of bodies or burning buildings, etc. His protagonist�s anxiety about debt, ruin and humiliation make this novel moving and real and very, very compelling.Liss tackles a number of tough topics here: commodities speculation in the 1600s, the insularity and paranoia of the Amsterdam Jewish population, the corrupting nature of trade, and so on. He clearly knows his stuff, and I walked away from the book feeling like I had received a great history lesson, but the book never gets bogged down with details... read more
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