This book is a chronicle of events in the life of Steve Jobs. It wasn't written as a suspense novel. I find it fascinating and the narrator did an excellent job. If he had added drama to his reading it would have been obnoxious. The purpose is to give us insight into the man and the back office events at Apple and it accomplishes it very well. Give the narrator a break!
Very well researched book. A how-to guide on what it takes to make a "dent in the universe." On the personal side, not so flattering, but part of the complete picture of this extraordinary person that was Steve Jobs.
This is my first audiobook. I wonder if I can ever find anything that will live up to this one. The story so far has been great and I think the reader does a great job. I can visualize everything he is saying. Walter Isaacson has done a great job in my opinion. I have learned a lot more about this industry as well as Steve Jobs. I would recommend this to anyone.
Bits and pieces of this book have been leaked out and I really thought long and hard about using a credit to buy it. I am happy that I did. If you are a teacher, a geek, an Apple lover, an ex hippy, a Dylan fan, or just a person who appreciates quality, then this is a must read.
As everything else that Steve Jobs did, he picked the best biographer that he could have gotten. Walter Isaacson has done the biographies of Kissinger, Einstein, Ben Franklin and he is professional in every sense of the word. This is not a PR hack job. This is the real thing, on par with the biography of Winston Churchill by David Manchester.
The reading could be better, but is by no means poor. As the audio versions of the Churchill biographies have shown, a good Audible biography should incorporate the voices of the characters. The reader makes no attempt to sound like Jobs. It probably doesn't matter to most listeners, since the story takes on a forceful momentum as the history of Steve Jobs and Apple computer unfolds.
I read nothing that is popular.
This has to be one of the best biography that I've ever read, not because it's Steve Jobs, but the book showed many of his faults and obsessions and tantrums from a grown man. Steve Jobs always got his way. There are some parts of the book where you get tired of reading, like his childlike stubbornness, but he was the ten ton gorilla in the room, everywhere he went. Steve Jobs burn many bridges in his life, but Apple was his more than his passion for living. He was not a philanthropist by any means. If Bill Gates ever authorize a biography, we would learn that Gates went beyond Microsoft, but with Jobs and Apple, they were constantly not reinventing the wheel, but figuring how to build a better rocket ship which each product that they release.
After finishing this book, it's really hard where Apple will be in the future because their former CEO was more than a control freak beyond the normal.
Good read and a smooth narrator.
I have used Macs for since 1988 in my profession as a graphic artist, but I have never really be a freak who had to tune into every speech Jobs ever made. I did want to learn more about the man who through his creativity and innovation, made it possible for me to have a great career. The book is a fine biography. It's very balanced, and exposes the good, bad and ugly of Mr. Jobs. Yeah sure, there is a mispronounced word here and there, but I have found this in all audio books. I heard this book over the course of 4 days, at work, working on my new Mac, listening on my iPhone 4. I could not stop playing it. GREAT READ.
I agree completely with one of the previous reviewers. This is a terrific book, but the reader is absolutely awful, especially when he's trying to intone statements made by Steve Jobs. Trying to create a caricature is a good way of describing it. I found it almost unlistenable , the voice was so annoying throughout. I can't understand how in the world Mr. Baker ever got the gig to record one of the most anticipated biographies of recent years. I would have preferred either the author or someone with a depth of character and nuance to their voice, instead of this reedy-voiced nails-on-a-chalkboard narrator. An extremely disappointing performance! Dear Simon & Schuster/Audible- PLEASE have this re-recorded! I'll even buy it twice just to get the new version!
Back in the early Eighties when I had business cards which read “Apple Evangelist” I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Mr. Jobs in the UK. Like the mighty Oz he would arrive to spread the good word about the “next big thing” then disappear just as mysteriously, leaving us in rapt awe….”who was that guy?” He had rock star status back then with we, the adoring members of the Apple Clan. A couple of years later he was fired by the company he founded. I have been in his industry ever since, and although I was fairly familiar with the back story and the progress he made with Next, Pixar and then Apple again this book fills in the details in a compelling and fascinating way. There are countless “oh wow” moments as the author weaves the amazing tale of the incredible Mr. Jobs.
The question that you should be asking is not whether you should read this book, but when will you find the time to fit this into your listening schedule. It’s a masterpiece of journalism and biography. The performance is less spectacular. I just don't much care for the narrators style. Maybe the fact that I first encountered him when he read the dreadful "The Face" by Dean Koontz and I still hear that in this reading. If you can get past the narrator (and you should) you will be enthralled and occasionally horrified by his technological and design genius and weird management style. I run a tech company and I can’t imagine treating the people who work for me like he treated his…but then I’m not Steve Jobs...not even close. He was an intolerant, arrogant, unscrupulous, fanatic, perfectionist, genius who demanded the same kind of unquestioning devotion from everyone in his life. The book is comprehensive and immensely powerful, it actually made me cry towards the end. The saddest takeaway was that maybe, if he had treated his cancer with modern medicine as his doctors pleaded when it was discovered, rather than waste nine crucial months with fad diets and eastern quackery he would still be with us today.
Irrespective of your interest in technology you will find this story fascinating and absorbing, it is the amazing tale of a man whose like we will likely not see again in our lifetime. If you live in our modern society so much of what you take for granted in computing, design, music, movies, communication and the media was directly or indirectly the product of just this one guy. We have lost a modern Da Vinci, this timely masterpiece sets out the saga of that man, warts and all. This book will help you to better understand his life, and his role in yours.
I would imagine that it is very difficult to find much new to say about a figure who, despite his penchant for privacy, spent so much of his life in the public eye. But Mr. Isaacson succeeds admirably. This books was probably intended to be the definitive record of Steve Jobs' life, and it is certainly that. The timeline approach shows the development and maturing of his character as well as his professional accomplishments over the span of his life.
There is no doubt that he was a genius and the book traces the unfolding of that brilliance, and in what I think is the key value of the book, shows the cost that those around him paid for their relationship with him.
Even as he was in the hospital for his liver transplant, he was a terror to those around him; family, doctors and nurses. One is left wondering if this person felt love or empathy or compassion for anyone. His self centered and often cruel existence was seemingly tolerated because of his wealth, talent, and accomplishments.
In the end the book raises an existential question (at least for me)...do his accomplishments and revolutionizing products excuse his behavior towards others? I would grade his professional life as an A+, but his interpersonal life would be an F-.
As we would say in Southern California, that dude is going to have some crazy karma in his next life.
I am a young-executive with a voracious appetite for great stories. I read and listen constantly, and am very proud of my book collection.
I was shocked to learn about how volatile Steve Job's was, especially in his younger years! I am convinced that every attempt was made by Walter Isaacson to deliver an honest, unfiltered accounting of the amazing life of one of America's truest personifications of the American Dream!
The author interviewed hundreds of people across the life of Mr. Jobs, and as you can imagine there is vast assortment of opinions. One thing that is universally true: Jobs lived an amazing life, one that, in his own words, "resided at the corner of technology and the liberal arts." His story is motivating, as it really does reinforce the concept that if you believe in what you are doing, and strive for excellence, your dreams can come true. However, it also is a cautionary tale as time is short and life's relationships deserve a whole lot more attention than just when utilizing them is a convenient means to an end.
It is too bad that they choose to use Dylan Baker, as I find his voice whiny and tedious. However, the story is more than enough to allow one to over-look an annoying. Just speed it up to 3x and pretend like you have Alvin from the Chipmunks reading.