The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer- by Paul Barry- Book Review
How an Australian icon made and lost billions
Paul Barry is a trained journalist who has worked for the ABC as an investigative journalist. Mainly for Four Corners on ABC Television here in Australia.
This book therefore, is well researched and well written. Kerry Packer was reputed to be a tyrant. He was famous for his angry, ruthless outbursts. The reasons behind many of these tantrums are covered in this book.
Paul Barry writes in detail about Kerry’s father and the criminal exploits he would get up to to protect his businesses. He explains how Kerry inherited Frank’s publishing empire. Mainly newspapers, magazines and money. Hundreds of millions of dollars. This is the story of how Kerry Packer forged an empire covering most of the globe, turning his father’s money into Billions of dollars.
Another incident Kerry Packer is famous for is the fact that his personal helicopter pilot donated one of his kidneys so Kerry could have a life saving transplant. This is also covered in the book.
Kerry also had business dealings with Alan Bond. Kerry sold Channel Nine to him and purchased it back for a song. The intricacies of this infamous transaction are covered in detail.
Kerry was a well known chronic gambler and once cleaned out a Las Vegas casino but the Channel nine gamble was his biggest win.
There is a lot of information too about Kerry’s children, the publicity shy daughter Gretel, the outcast, Clyde who went to live in America and shunned his Fathers business only to die very early, and his idiot son James who took over the empire and nearly destroyed it. This is all covered in another book by Paul Barry of which I am also going to review
The book steers well clear of Packers relationships with women. Including his long suffering wife. I would suspect that Barry knew he could write whatever he wanted about Packer, because he is dead. But most if not all of his mistresses are still alive (and powerful and famous) and they would sue for defamation if Barry probed too deep into this area.
This is a great read, (I couldn’t put it down) as are all of Paul Barry’s books. Look out for these titles- “Going for Broke-How Alan Bond got away with it”. “Who wants to be a Billionaire- The James Packer Story”, and “The Rise and Fall of Alan Bond”