The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life – Review

by Manshu on June 3, 2009

in Books

I had pre-ordered this book and was looking forward to the release quite eagerly. I love reading biographies and especially those of businesspersons. I have read each and every letter that Mr. Buffet has written to his shareholders and so I thought I would love this book.

I had anticipated a lot from this book and I am deeply disappointed. I will not recommend this book to anyone and after struggling with it for quite some time now I have given up hope of completing it.

The book is excruciatingly long and at times I felt it was written like an encyclopedia on Mr. Buffet. The book has got so many details on so many relatives that there lacks a theme or even a certain sense of drama in the story of the world’s greatest investor.

When you think of great biographies like “Dare to Dream” – Mr. Oberoi, “Every Street is Paved with Gold” Mr. Kim, “Made in America” Mr. Sam Walton, “Made in Japan”, Mr. Akio Morita ,”It’s Not About the Bike” — Mr. Lance Armstrong, and numerous others, you feel the drama that these great people have lived through, and as you turn the pages, your mind draws vivid pictures, which make you feel that you are close to the characters in a way that you can empathize with them and feel their sorrow and joy.

The Snowball painfully lacks such a voice and at best is a narrative, which attempts to record the events that happened to Mr. Buffet.

The best parts of the book are quotes from Mr. Buffet and things that he says himself, and quite honestly apart from that there is really nothing that can be described as “riveting”.

I think Mr. Buffet should really write an autobiography.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone but if your expectations are not high then I think the 20 bucks or so that you spend on this book will not be wasted. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon and quite a few people seemed to enjoy it too and from the looks of it, people who were looking for details and wanted to “study Buffet” formed this majority.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Will Luxing June 3, 2009 at 10:22 am

I know what you mean about wishing he wrote an autobiography. Sometimes we as readers don’t want the facts. We’d rather have the person’s personality stick out on the page. If that sacrifices the sometimes painfully nuances of that person’s life, than I would gladly take it.

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Manshu June 3, 2009 at 10:59 am

@Will: Buffet is so witty that he should really write his own book. Maybe that is not worth his time but I am sure it would be much better than this version.

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