The Coffee Trader

  • by David Liss
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this 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, 1659 - a mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day. 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 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 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 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 nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam's ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.


What the Critics Say

"Unusual and diverting." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Masterfully plotted, brilliantly imagined, The Coffee Trader brims with intelligence, intrigue, and suspense. David Liss has written a riveting novel about commerce and faith, loyalty and greed." (Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies Auxiliary)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I've rated everything I've ever downloaded from Audible and this is only the second time I've given a 5 Star (the previous being a Jules Verne classic from 150 years ago!). Perhaps it's because I related to the novel's elements so much: Once upon a time I was a Foreign Exhange Trader; a Cafe Barrista; and have spent many, many nights in Amsterdam!

"The Coffee Trader" is one of those super-rare stories which sticks in my head long after listening to it on my morning & evening work commutes. I've had to snap myself out of a daze at work many mornings after listening to this on the way in. I noticed I was counting down the hours till closing time so I could hear what would happen to Miguel next!

David Liss' tale has it all: lust, greed, envy, humor, tension, you name it. Grind some dark roast beans; take a deep sip; and transport yourself to 17th Century Holland for a few hours. It'll be a journey you won't soon forget!
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- Robert

exciting history of trade

Go back into the 1600's with this exciting tale of trade, intrigue, the crazy quilt of Amsterdam and the aftermath of the Inquisition. Great book, read by the incomparable David Lee
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- Jeff Bogursky

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape