Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold steel - Book Review

Cold Steel - By Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey

I went to one of my Friend's Place in Delhi couple of weeks back and saw a small book kept in his book stand. I picked it. First Line on the cover said-

'A rare, insider's account....reads like a thriller'.

Reads like a thriller?? You see the face of Lakshmi Mittal on the cover and then you get an idea of the book genre. The book essentially covers the 'the takeover of the century'. The marriage of Lakshmi Mittal and Arcelor steel. It is an absolute thrill ride from start to end. Face to face between two giants of Steel world. Lakshmi Mittal and Guy Dolle.(I admit I was not acquanted with this name before). Covering a deal (called 'hostile' by many) as massive as the one in question requires tremendous research and patience. And it reflects in the book. 300 pages may not be enough to cover a takeover which ran for almost 6 months and involved 7 governments in 4 continents. But it has enough steam in its pages to admire the book for its freshness.

It has characters which can easily be mistaken to be present in a mob movie. Russians, French, Americans, Brazilians, Italians, Spanish,Germans, Iranians - they are all there in supporting casts. And in the Boxing Ring itself we have two self made men - Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian and Guy Dolle, a Luxembourger.

The story is simple. Lakshmi wants to conquer Arcelor. Execution, far from being simple. Why? Because Arcelor believes that it is not for sale. This simple story takes numerous twist and turns before culmination which we already know. The book covers the mood of the deal perfectly and shows the importance of the deal for both sides successfully - for Lakshmi to win the battle and for Guy to dodge the punch. The motivation and reasons of every action taken by every people involved has been dealt with. Want to talk about human sensitivities? Politics, Racism, Patriotism, Devotion, Loyalty, Betrayal, Heartbreak, Elation, Struggle, Compromise, Truth, Lies, Celebration, Disappointment - all due to one 'hostile bid by Lakshmi Mittal'.

The Book is an achievement. Reading it was a pleasure as well as informative. Highly Recommended!!

P.S - This book helped me come out of the coma in which I was in after reading 'The White Tiger'. Easily the worst book I have ever read. And I do not even remember the second worst book now. It was pathetic to see an Indian write such an obnoxious story about another Indian. I dont want to give coverage to the book by reviewing it and praising it for its limpid style or to label it dumb for the same reason. After all, it won the 'The Booker'. Reading it was an atrocity. Huge disappointment!!

Danny Boyle should be praised for its uplifting story..

My next Pick - 'The Count of Monte Cristo'