I read a book: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

November 29, 2011

Steve JobsSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a fan of biographies to begin with, so I knew I’d really enjoy this book. And enjoy I did. This crazy roller-coaster tale of the life of Steve Jobs grabbed me from the first chapter and the only thing that prevented me from finishing this faster was the sheer size of the book. It was too large for me to lug around when I left the house.

(I’d have purchased the Nook version, but I was appalled that the actual hardcover only cost me $5 more than buying the pixels.)

Steve Jobs’s accomplishments are well-known. He was the creative mind (genius? maybe…) behind all of Apple’s successful products and a few of the not-so-great ones. He was one of the men who gave us Pixar’s beautiful and touching movies.

I knew he was impossible to please and a viscous taskmaster of a boss. What I didn’t know was how much of an ass he was.

Stubborn, spoiled and sometimes stinky, Jobs screamed, sulked and cried until he got what he wanted. He screwed over his friends, berated his employees, and blatantly favored his son over his daughters. He even purposely parked in the handicap spot at Apple rather than have his own CEO spot. As he whirled like a manic-depressive Tasmanian devil through Silicon Valley, Hollywood and beyond, Jobs was surrounded by the most indulgent and enabling supporting cast ever assembled. But he possessed some kind of Svengali-type power that kept these people on his side and fully participating in his distorted reality.

The author, Walter Isaacson, kept me reading and more surprisingly, CARING about this gigantic diva, even when he did things like use his wealth and connections to get a new liver sooner in Tennessee rather than wait longer on the California transplant list. Isaacson did a great job explaining what made Apple products so innovative without bogging the text down with tech talk. He also gave a nice peek into the world of the super-wealthy, a world where sitting President Bill Clinton stays in one of Jobs’s houses while he visits Chelsea at Stanford.

The appearances by another Bill, Bill Gates, were my favorite parts of the book. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and mellow through the years.

You already know Steve’s rise began in his parent’s garage, and you know it ended prematurely in October of 2011. This book will fill you in on all of the juicy stuff in the middle.

PS: I’m a PC.

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  • Heidi November 30, 2011 at 12:01 am

    ACK!! I am so excited to read this book!! Thanks for the review, very informative and makes me want to read it even more. Have you (or will you) read Tom Brokaw’s latest?

  • Dr. D November 30, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Nice to see someone who realizes that inone’s operating system preference need not translate to heaping scorn upon the deceased. 😉

    Thanks for the review. January is gonna be a busy reading month.