Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
on 15 October 2009
Any readers of Vanity Fair will be familiar with Michael Wolff's columns. Usually a good, snappy read about media or political subjects. Murdoch too ought to be an interesting subject, so I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately it was a big yawn.
Much of the book is written in a present tense, chatty style, which might fit a magazine article, but is fairly annoying across the length of the book. Although the takeover of the Wall Street Journal is the main focus there are also lengthy trawls through the Murdoch business history. Mainly it just seems a superficial hack job for a lot of the time. Two page portraits, for example, of all the Murdoch brood, but not much depth. I would hope a decent sketch of an oily creep like James Murdoch might tell me a bit more than this: ' James gets up early, works out at the gym, arrives in the office before anyone else, and leaves in time to put his kids to bed.' Really? What a smashing guy! And how interesting! I think your job is safe there, Michael.
As for Rupert, his defining feature, according to the book, is that he is a difficult man to pin down, vague, but successful, a kind of Warhol of the business world. That may be so, but it makes for an unenlightening read.
If you wanted to buy a book to read on a flight, with a view to picking up a few snippets of mildly interesting information, then, after a meal and glass of wine, doze off, finally leaving the book, by accident, of course, in the magazine compartment, this is a good purchase. Alternatively, pick up a copy of Vanity Fair.