23 October 2011

The Big Fella

My literary diet largely consists of detective stories and travel books.  More about that some other time.  However, I do try and diversify occasionally.   One recent foray was to read "The Big Fella", which is the story of BHP Billiton by Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin, published in 2009.
While the book deals with the entire history of BHP Billiton, I found that the insights given by the book  into the events of recent years to be very interesting.  Since arriving in the late 1980s at the law firm which had just finished acting for Robert Holmes à Court, I've watched BHP Billiton, although of course strictly from from the outside.  More particularly, I've had the privilege of being involved in a small way in a number of the transactions over the last decade and a half which are described in the book, and so it was interesting to read the book's "take" on  these.    The authors rely greatly on detailed interviews with many of the people involved, and there are liberal quotations from these.  As a result, the book is quite easy to read, but as a result of the focus being on the attitude of the individuals concerned to the various events, it is in parts a little disjointed if the reader is seeking to understand the underlying transaction.    However, in fairness there are obviously compromises that have to be made when portraying events which have many facets.

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