... a gripping read ... Cain does his material proud ... Cain marshals his material around episodes and milestones. This allows for a few cliffhanger chapter endings, while also enabling the characters’ foibles to shine through ... Cain knows his material well. A pity, then, that after showcasing his credentials — interviews with 400 people, recipient of certain leaked documents — the book almost immediately plunges into liberal quotes from broadcasters and print media ... There are plenty of times when this works; Samsung has after all attracted widespread interest. At other times it is simply puzzling. It does not take an opinion writer from Bloomberg to explain that the merger ratio for a linchpin deal was an utter horror ... There are also a few too many clumsy efforts at inserting himself into the story — a de rigueur requirement for business books these days ... Still, these are small quibbles. Like all good business books, Samsung Rising ends with many loose ends.
... a brisk, balanced telling of the Samsung story, though there is much more here about American smartphone marketing strategy than most readers could ever want. Samsung did not cooperate, which is not surprising for a big tech company. But, then, Samsung seems more interested than most in hiding aspects of itself from the public eye ... keeps a tight lid, for instance, on almost anything to do with the ruling Lee dynasty. Cain interviewed one member of the clan, but they remain a frustratingly distant presence in his book’s pages. This is a shame, because the Lees are a truly HBO-worthy bunch.