x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Vultures' Picnic: a barbed jab at oil industry's bad guys

The veteran investigative journalist Greg Palast digs up the dirt on on money-guzzling oil companies.

Vultures' Picnic
Greg Palast
Vultures' Picnic Greg Palast Dutton Dh116

The picture embossed on the back of Vultures' Picnic's dust-jacket depicts a sharp, weathered fedora-wearing figure who appears to be deeply engaged in a telephone conversation. In printing this image, it's almost as if Greg Palast's publishers are training the reader to expect a film-noir, complete with smooth-talking mob bosses, underhand dealings and a steady diet of hapless victims.

Sure enough, you get what's promised on that back cover. Palast's story - delivered in delightfully barbed tones - switches back and forth between his many years spent digging up the dirt (figuratively and otherwise) on money-guzzling oil companies and the goods are delivered on a silver platter with something akin to unrestrained glee. Palast doesn't spare anything or anyone in his quest to bring these crimes to light, even at the risk, at one point, of being named and shamed by the British tabloids.

Sardonic he may be, but it's clear that Palast means business, and by taking his duties as an investigative journalist to their logical conclusion, the result is a meaty exposition of the real bad guys.