Mezrich's works of faction are generally a fun read, even if (or, perhaps, largely because) he rarely lets reality get in the way of a good story. This one, however, doesn't really work on either level. There's an obviously great story lurking underneath — or, if you're not really concerned with the facts, potentially two
great stories. At some point someone is sure to write the more in-depth corporate-finance-thriller-esque exposé of the company's increasingly complex attempts to evade the US justice system, all-the-while shamelessly cheating their customers. But even though he obviously didn't want to write that
book, Mezrich could still have gone for a much more classic tragedy — the David and Goliath tale of entrepreneurs up against not just better funded competitors, but the the entire weight of a broken political system, leading relentlessly to the key moment, where, hubristically believing they're beyond its reach, they take the path that ends in prison. Instead, the author decides to simply skip either of these in favour of an overly-simplistic frat-boy romp, with all the critical moments either omitted or glossed over so as to get back as quickly as possible to the fast cars and topless chicas.