I'm a little less than a third of the way through and find the book quite interesting. It seems to be a fair portrait of Jobs, blemishes and all. I'm writing this before finishing, though, in defense of the narrator, who seems to be taking quite a few hits on this page for, apparently, not sounding enough like Steve Jobs.
Here's my take: The narrator is just fine, and does a clean, professional job, comparable to what you get in many of the best biographies. I've heard "terrible" narrators; this fellow is not one. His reading is nothing that would normally raise complaints. He does not do a Steve Jobs impersonation, which is exactly the way I, personally, would like him to approach it. But Jobs was such a public personality, with a nearly cult-like following, that some listeners seem to be taking their obsession with Jobs out on the narrator because he is not Jobs. I don't think that is reasonable.
So, I'm enjoying the book. I hope you will as well.
Audible listener since the late 1990s. I mostly listen to science fiction, fantasy, history, and science.
This is a well-done, well-read science book that uses the periodic table as an excuse to wander off into various scientific tangents and stories. Think Bill Bryson or James Burke or similar sorts of scientific and historical storytelling. Many of these stories are really interesting (such as the tale of the boy scout who built his own nuclear reactor in a shed), and there is enough variety to keep anyone interested. I also need to applaud Mr. Kean for sticking very closely to the science, he is careful not to exaggerate where other writers might, and he is quick to call out "pathological science" when he sees it.
The real weakness of this book is that it plays very fast and loose with its premise. It uses the table as an excuse for stories, not as a prime motivator. Once Mr. Kean is done with Mendelev and related stories central to the discovery of new elements, he happily goes on to cover subjects like bubbles, international standards for the kilogram, and other topics; often making some sort of tenuous connection (see, the kilogram was made of iridium!) This is not a flaw in the stories, however, and the book remains interesting throughout. A great science read.