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Larry Ellison, Sheer Nerve (Techies) Library Binding – September 1, 2001
Top Customer Reviews
Which is surprising because it is supposed to be a children's book. Written for readers between the ages of 9 and 12, it is part of the Techies series, offering small-format books introducing significant figures in high-tech businesses. Other volumes in the series are about Marc Andreessen, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos.
In fact, it is far better than any other book published to date about Mr. Ellison, which range from the tedious ("The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison" by Mike Wilson) to the ridiculous ("The Oracle Edge" by Stuart Read and "ebusiness or Out of Business" by Mark Barrenechea). Note: "The Oracle of Oracle" by Florence M Stone has not yet been published as of the date of this review.
This book is a masterpiece of simplicity, presenting clearly in 80 brief pages (small pages, large print) everything worth knowing about Larry Ellison.
Mr. Ellison, of course, is not a particularly admirable character, which caused me to wonder why anyone would write a children's book about him. Be that as it may, the authors do not pull any punches in describing his checkered past. An example:
"Occasionally, Ellison's shaky business practices caught up with him. In 1990 the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Oracle for `pervasively inadequate accounting and billing practices.' It was a complicated way of saying that the government thought that Larry Ellison was a criminal. The investigation ended up costing the company $24 million. But the bad press was much worse. People began to doubt Oracle's honesty. The stock price plummeted, and Ellison personally lost more than $3 billion. But as he had in the past, Ellison simply refused to fail. He turned the company's image around-improving its customer support, halting the sale of `vaporware' (at least temporarily), and generally apologizing for being careless."
If only Mr. Ellison's other biographers would write so clearly, honestly and succinctly.