THE MAKING OF A BLOCKBUSTER by Gail DeGeorge

THE MAKING OF A BLOCKBUSTER

How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit and Videotape

KIRKUS REVIEW

 If diligence alone could yield good biography, Business Week correspondent DeGeorge would have produced a blockbuster on high- profile tycoon H. Wayne Huizenga. Unfortunately, the result of her considerable labors is a bloated, often gushy jumble of raw data. The grandson of a Dutch immigrant who set up shop as a trash hauler in the Chicago area, Huizenga (who turns 58 later this year) entered the same trade in South Florida's Broward County. In league with midwestern family members, the Sunbelt transplant parlayed his one-truck outfit into a sizable equity stake in the multinational disposal firm now known as WMX Technologies. Tired of the constant travel demanded by his executive post, Huizenga left the garbage game in 1982. He dabbled in any number of offbeat pursuits (bottled water, lawn care, portable toilets), but proved a decidedly restless retiree. Huizenga soon went active with Blockbuster Entertainment, a small chain of videocassette-rental shops that he turned into a show-biz power in less than seven years. Since he sold out last year, the major-league baseball, football, and hockey franchises he has bought or launched in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area have kept him occupied to a limited extent. But it's unlikely that the relentlessly enterprising Huizenga will be long absent from the commercial mainstream. At last report, he and his brother- in-law were organizing a new environmental-services/waste-disposal outfit whose revenues they intend to expand rapidly via strategic acquisitions. DeGeorge all but buries Huizenga in a welter of tedious particulars, although she glides quickly by his frequent brushes with regulatory authorities, invariably giving him the benefit of any ethical doubt. For all the detail she has amassed in her kitchen-sink narrative, moreover, DeGeorge never comes to grips with what makes Wayne run. (8 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1995
ISBN: 0-471-12269-6
Page count: 533pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1995




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