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Publisher's Summary

In 2016, one of the giants of modern journalism fell: Gawker Media, infamous for saying what other outlets wouldn't say, was sued for publishing Hulk Hogan's sex tape, lost the case and went bust. After countless other lawsuits it seemed that Gawker had finally run out of luck. But luck had nothing to do with it.
Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and billionaire investor, had masterminded the whole thing. Still furious at an article that had outed him 10 years previously, and increasingly disgusted at Gawker's unscrupulous reporting methods, Thiel had spent nearly a decade meticulously plotting a conspiracy that would lead to the demise of Gawker and its founder, Nick Denton. After a multiyear proxy war through the Florida legal system, the settlement of $140 million in favour of Hogan ended it. The verdict would stun the world, and so would Peter's ultimate unmasking as the man who had set it all in motion. Why had he done this? How had no one discovered it? What would this mean - for free speech? For privacy? For culture?
In Holiday's masterful telling of this nearly unbelievable conspiracy, informed by exclusive interviews with all the key players, this case transcends the narrative of how one billionaire took down a media empire or the current state of the free press. It's a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious - and successful - secret plots in recent memory.
©2018 Ryan Holiday (P)2018 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By RMR on 04-18-18

Great story, weak performance.

I’m Ryan’s greatest fan but he read his other books sooooo much better than he read this one.

It was like he broke the whole book into two or three word phrases in an annoying rhythm instead of speaking freely in full sentences like in his other books.

The book is good enough to compensate, but his normal cool and relaxed accent is missing.

I hate slamming one of my hero’s but I hope it is taken constructively.

Epic story and brilliant angle. The subject of the book is not either party or the gossip but the use of conspiracy as a weapon. It is totally inspired.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Stephen Schoenberg on 03-26-18

Much to think about, but much unsaid

The best thing about this book is that it will make you think about a lot of issues. The story at its core is quite fascinating, and I appreciated the historical connections made by the author. I think that Holiday's "Tell 'em what you are going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and tell 'em what you told 'em" style detracted from the story: Michael Lewis would have made it more compelling. The book troubled me in the days after I read it, for the things it did not say. First, the book is a very sad commentary on the US "Justice" System, which seems to be more a complex auction than a tool of justice.
The more troubling aspect is that Holiday seems to have been captured by his subject Thiel. He clearly spent some time with Thiel and did not regain the distance to be objective. Holiday barely seems to note that Thiel wants to avenge his loss of privacy, while leading a company that seeks to violate everyone's privacy. Indeed, the real difference between Gawker and Thiel is that Gawker made their discoveries public, while Thiel sells your secrets to the rich and powerful. The recent scandals about Facebook show Thiel's DNA in that company's approach to user's data as well. Finally, Holiday seems too struck with Thiel's intellectual depth to point out that his fondness for Ayn Rand does not comport with that view.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By G-Montoya on 03-13-18

Thrilling!! Amazing story masterly told!

If this was Ryan’s debut book of this genre! I cannot wait for the ones that will follow!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Patrick on 03-06-18

very disappointing end to mostly excellent read

absolutely excellent book of Holidays, when he sticks to journalism he is unrivalled. I thoroughly enjoyed this book until his political Trump Derangement syndrome views leaked in and ruined it. Unnecessary and unwanted commentary on what was a mostly excellent story.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David on 05-06-18

Great book, terrible narration

This is the second Holiday book I've read, and he's certainly improved as a writer. I was captivated by the narrative throughout, and even though there's perhaps a little too much analysis the paving was good enough to keep me enthralled.

But Holiday. Stop. Reading. Your own. Books. Your pauses. Hurt. My ears. You are far. Too. Monotonous. You are not. A good. Narrator. I don't know if it's a cost saving tactic, but it really doesn't make me want to read another of your books.

Overall a great read, I can't deny that. I'm glad I got the book. But geez Holiday you make it a difficult decision.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Joel Scully on 04-24-18

Shatner-esque delivery makes it a grind to finish

This was tough to listen to.

The author pauses. Several times. Before finishing. A sentence. Sometimes. Breaking up words. With. Un. Necessary. Pauses. Very. Distracting.

Also. Towards. The end. It completely. Derails into. An anti. Trump. Diatribe. Which feels. Out of. Place. In this book.

Not a bad book but a frustrating listening experience.

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