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The Snowball Audiobook

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

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Publisher's Summary

Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as "The Oracle of Omaha."

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years, he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time, he became the world's richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term "simple."

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer's questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates - opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear.

Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett's legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people's lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.

©2008 Alice Schroeder; (P)2008 Books on Tape

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (2458 )
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4.6 (1942 )
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4.6 (1947 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steaven Chan Torrance, CA United States 11-08-08
    Steaven Chan Torrance, CA United States 11-08-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captivating!"

    One of the most interesting book I read (listen to). Full of details and insights. I love it!!!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Snigdha Rai 08-19-16
    Snigdha Rai 08-19-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Struggled to finish "

    Unnecessary details focusing on business transaction details, people who aren't pertinent to his life. Become boring

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Race 05-26-16
    Race 05-26-16
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    "BRK.A"

    BUYER BEWARE; If you purchase this book or others containing wisdom of Warren and Charlie, you will be well on your way to a successful life. However, don't fool yourself and equivocate "successful" with "lucrative." It's a book to inspire you to find your true passion is. We should come to grips that neither in the future or in the present will Warren Buffett be rivaled except by a very small few, if any, and that's a speculative notion. Realize that in the "money hungry" society we live in today, Warren and Charlie serve as a beacon, ironically, one such beacon to warn others to chase their dreams, not the money. Work will yield happiness, the quest for money will not. Do what you love and serve others, everything else will fall into place. Thank You Speculative Forces of the Universe for birthing me in America at a time in the most prosperous period of humanity. We Americans have won the ovarian lottery, and you will know what I'm talking about if you listen to the book intently. We all have so much to be grateful for, realize that if you have basic provisions for life, you are incredibly wealthy by the universe's concern. Peace, love, happiness be upon you!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 05-09-13
    Teresa 05-09-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Marching to the Beat of Your Own Drum"
    What did you love best about The Snowball?

    I love stories about how people stay true to themselves and succeed. Warren was different from the beginning and he didn't try to change that. He accepted who he was and stayed true to his instinct while always maintaining the utmost integrity. The booked taught me much about the investing world, something I know little about, but its Warren Buffet's personal relationships that I liked hearing about the most. How he makes things work for him even when very unconventional. His relationship with his wife and kids and friends. I respect him very much after reading this book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AdamAntium 10-14-16
    AdamAntium 10-14-16
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    "It's....okay."

    Starts out strong and then drags on in his later life. I believe it could have been much shorter.

    The books starts out as he is giving a speech in his later life then moves to his younger years and follows Buffett to the date of publication. It. Ever refers back to the speech at the beginning which I thought was a hilarious speech. His younger years being much more interesting than his later years I find ironic knowing some of the things I do about Mr. Buffett. I believe the writer spent too much time trying to develop a theme to his life and not enough time telling his life and letting the reader/ listener take away what they want. I would have enjoyed more " behind the scenes " stories about his public life and a little less about his personal relationships. That is just my preference. Overall I gave it a 3 because it was still interesting from time to time. Performance a 3 because at times when she quotes Buffett ( a lot) it sounds annoying and then just because comical. Story was a 3 because as I have stated earlier it had many misses and didn't really deliver what I wanted in the end. Still worth the read/listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan InGold Boston, MA 06-13-16
    Dan InGold Boston, MA 06-13-16 Member Since 2016

    xz38

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    "Come on, where is the story?"

    A list of boring lengthy facts. Please associate with the contexts,make it appealing stories with central theme. Feel like lacking key understanding of the facts to make them story. One of the worst auto bio.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest Kiwele Midrand, South Africa 03-09-16
    Ernest Kiwele Midrand, South Africa 03-09-16 Member Since 2015

    In the name of unbiased knowledge, and of purposeful rationality and of audio books.

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    "An avalanche of great content"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Snowball to be better than the print version?

    Never read the print version, but I still wouldn't have read any better than Kirsten


    What other book might you compare The Snowball to and why?

    Not a bio reader, until recently. So can't fairly compare.


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She is a perfect reading machine, so in the story, so correct. A 5-star performance.


    Any additional comments?

    A very well written tale of Warren Buffet's life (Warren may disagree, but he wouldn't convince me).Alice has seen and written from all angles one can imagine, at levels so low that nothing told can leave curiosity not soothed, at levels so high that no spirit or lesson can be missed.I haven't been a reader of biographies until now, and this book seems to get me excited, perhaps unfortunately with the dread of being disappointed in books of qualities failing to match this one.The snowball is a very high quality work, clearly with a clever selection of content (no regrets), with no kind of plausible patronization, entirely focused.Reading this book, I often had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a fiction book; how the book was written seems to be supported by the freedom of fiction writing, whereas the content was created from a 'real life': that's outstanding.Most importantly, the author didn't forget to set apart the lessons that the reader is to learn. Work of genius.And all of that is accentuated by a close to perfect narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith v 02-16-15
    Keith v 02-16-15
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    "An exhaustive account very unique individuals life"

    This is an extremely lengthy, extremely well researched and thorough account of Warren Buffett's life at both personal and professional levels. By the end of it you have a substantial understanding of his character, values, the way he works, basic principles of investing that he always comes back to. An excellent way to get very acquainted with this individual. This book must have taken an enormous amount of time to research. At times it feels there are too many details though and the descriptions can be very drawn now. Some of the writing style honestly falls a little flat and at times feels awkward or repetitive (biographies by Edmund Morris have spoiled me!). But the great parts absolutely make it worth it; a life enriching book for sure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard OsloNorway 02-24-09
    Leonard OsloNorway 02-24-09
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    "Get the abridged edition"

    Having listen to this book, I really regret not having got the abridged version. The problem with this book is that the editor and author have not cut nearly enough. My guess is that the abridged version is close to how the final edited book should have been.

    If in any doubt, get the abridged version.

    (I would have given that four or five stars.)

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Campbellville, ON, Canada 09-05-13
    Anthony Campbellville, ON, Canada 09-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Id rather go to the dentist for surgery..."
    What disappointed you about The Snowball?

    Expecting to find nuggets of wisdom gleamed from the life of a billionaire? You can count them on 1 hand. Those 'nuggets' are buried deep in long boring swaths of useless information. A dictionary would be more entertaining and enlightening. I give this book my lowest recommendation, which is disappointing because I am a fan of the great Buffet. But you can't pay homage to a man by listing the most mundane facts of his life for 37 hours straight. This ranks among one of the worst books I've read in my entire life and I highly recommend you do NOT buy this book. Instead look for youtube videos of Buffet doing speeches, all his nuggets of wisdom are in there (and you wont lose 37 hours of your life to get them).


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Snowball?

    I would cut 95% of the book. There was no drama, too much unnecessary facts. Yes life can be boring, thats not why you buy a book, even a biography. This book is a tomb of the unnecessary.


    Any additional comments?

    As a newspaper owner Im surprised Warren let a book this bad hit the press.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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