Author: Walter Isaacson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: 2011
Isaacson was commissioned by Jobs to write this official biography telling the story of Jobs’ birth, upbringing, and career life until his untimely death by cancer. Isaacson interviewed over 100 people to compile this narrative of Jobs’ life in an honest and unreserved way.
What I liked:
Isaacson doesn’t try to gloss over who Steve actually was. His telling is truthful and honest and brutally so. He doesn’t hold back in sharing the opinions of Jobs’ coworkers, friends and family. The man you get to know while reading is hardly believable in his immaturity, passion, and anger. He is also unbelievable in his success.
This biography touches on so many facets of Steve’s life. I was impressed to learn so much about him. Isaacson addresses not only his career life, but his personal life as well so by the end of the book, you feel as though you’ve read a very thorough and all-encompassing account of this Apple mogul’s life. It didn’t focus solely on Jobs’ time at Apple, which could easily be a book of its own. Isaacson covers a broad range of Jobs’ endeavours including his time at Pixar, his education at Reed, and his attempt with the NeXT computers.
The number of passages from Steve Jobs himself are not too many nor too few. It was enjoyable to read Jobs’ own voice in the text. It gives you a sense of his voice, his personality, and his perspective of himself. Isaacson shows us the Steve Jobs that he got to know during this writing project, as well as the Steve that others new throughout the CEO’s life.
What I didn’t like:
This book was SO LONG. So long. I got about half way through and I almost gave up. It’s a very daunting read, although it is fascinating. I wouldn’t start this unless you have plenty of time and a decent attention span. It’s a trek.
I also found that Isaacson became pretty repetitive and I began to get annoyed with it by the end. Over and over we’re told that Steve was a perfectionist, Steve threw a fit, Steve was difficult to get along with, Steve had a tendency to cry and scream to get his way, Steve would take others ideas and berate them before later claiming them as his own. All of this was very interesting stuff to read, but I really only need to read it once, maybe twice. All of this stuff and more was reiterated again and again throughout this text. The book could have been significantly shortened just by eliminating these repetitions.
Overall, a very fascinating read. I’m glad I tackled it. Steve Jobs is certainly a very interesting person and he lived an incredible life.