The Pez: The Manic Life of the Ultimate Promoter


277 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-921912-20-X
DDC 338'.04'092




Reviewed by Robert W. Sexty

Robert W. Sexty is a commerce professor at the Memorial University of
Newfoundland and author of Canadian Business: Issues and Stakeholders.


Why does an author select a particular subject for a biography? Obvious
reasons include the prominence of the subject, the contribution of the
subject to society or country, and the notoriety of the subject. The Pez
is Murray Pezim, a stock promoter and entrepreneur extraordinaire, and
it is this dynamism that must have attracted the author.

Wells is a business writer who has specialized in coverage of the
resource industry for business newspapers and magazines, and is now
senior writer for Report on Business magazine. Since Pezim spends most
of his time promoting speculative mining stocks, the author most likely
learned of the subject’s vivid character during the time she spent
covering resource industries.

The book examines Pezim’s ups and downs: successful mineral
discoveries, financial failures, legal and regulatory battles, several
failed marriages, and severe health problems. The jacket states that
Wells “has produced the most revealing and raucous business biography
in years.” The book may be revealing—in that the subject’s mental
illnesses and complicated stock manipulations are discussed in detail,
and it does provide some insights into Pezim’s persona—but the
reader is unlikely to gain much understanding of the complexities of the
illnesses or of the business dealings.

The book contains an index and eight pages of photographs, but no
references are provided. No doubt the subject is a colorful character,
but the author might have devoted her efforts to the biography of
Canadian businesspersons who are making a more substantial and
appropriate contribution to the Canadian economy.


Wells, Jennifer., “The Pez: The Manic Life of the Ultimate Promoter,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed October 1, 2023,