"Big Deal" by Bruce Wasserstein

Brian Gongol

One-paragraph review: A true magnum opus (about three times the length of an ordinary nonfiction book), "Big Deal" relies heavily on author Bruce Wasserstein's own experiences to tell the story of mergers and acquisitions. While he was undoubtedly present for many interesting deals, the book meanders quite a lot in trying to tell so many narratives. The closing chapters dropped off considerably in quality from their predecessors, suggesting a run to dump everything but the kitchen sink into the text (which seems to happen when an author fears he or she won't be publishing any follow-up tomes). A harsher editor could have made this giant book more digestible.

Verdict: If you find the subject of mergers and acquisitions interesting, this book won't dull your feelings -- but prepare for a long slog.