July 26, 2009

The predator disappointment

Despite a lot of hype surrounding the book, this book fails on all counts. Lets put this in perspective. The two other books I mentioned previously was, which was in the same league as this one was "Barbarians at the Gate" and "Den of Thieves". It discusses the same era but pretty much differentiates the other with the former being a boardroom drama of one specific instance of a LBO while the latter discusses the era of 80's.

Where does this book fit in? NOWHERE should be a good answer.

The book does not have any relation to the title unlike the others where the degree of aptness, if i may use the word, is beyond comparison. Everytime I look at the title of the other two, I only get impressed. Anyways, I was really tempted by the title as it was Michael Milken's era and I hoped that this book would discuss his work life in great detail. The Predators Ball was his annual event. One really wanted to hear more about the event, especially the importance and the drama surrounding the event. This book does nothing. In the entire book, the event is hardly discussed.

Further, this book is more of a collection of LBO's which happened during this era. So, as a reader, you keep wondering why are we discussing them in such detail with a few paragraphs describing Michael Milken's contribution to the deal. Well, everyone did understand that Michael was the best, but, merely accepting in the book by saying "Michael placed the bond in one day" does not give any perspective.

The book is a drag to read. Unlike the earlier two books which becomes fast paced in the last 200-300 pages, this book was a drag even in the last 50 pages. Normally, I like to finish this section in one reading, but this book totally lost me. I really found the last ten pages a bit funny. As the book wanted to complete, the author became a bit philosophical. I thought there was something like an John Galt talking to us. Do not know why. Somehow, it felt like that with a sigh of relief that the book finally completed. It took me a week with atleast ten sittings to finish the final section of the book.

If anyone does want to read this era. Just start with this book. This is like a teaser to what one will experience reading the other two. One may skip it too as one does not become any wiser than before probably with the exception of know the great LBO investors.


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