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Publisher's Summary

Featuring a new epilogue read by the author.

From the author of the best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive biography of Steve Jobs.

Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

©2011 Walter Isaacson (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
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Well read, biography of a fascinating person

If you could sum up Steve Jobs in three words, what would they be?

Passionate, blunt, and genius

Any additional comments?

I gradually transitioned to Apple products, preferring their simplicity and clean design, and it was interesting to see the story behind these characteristics (and behind Apple's reluctance to use much 3rd party software, like Adobe products). It's easy to conclude, at least for me, that Apple would not be what it is today without Steve Jobs. I found the book well researched and well narrated. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in learning a unique (but at times horrifying) management style and learning how Apple and Pixar became what they are today.

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Read it in hard copy instead

Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

The narrator has a nice enough voice, but he doesn't create different character voices for any of the characters, even for Steve Jobs. And he reads the book's dialog in a silly sing-song that makes it sound like it was written poorly (even though it's not written poorly).

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  • shani
  • San Mateo, CA, United States
  • 03-04-14

Disappointing. Too many irrelevant details

Would you try another book from Walter Isaacson and/or Dylan Baker?

Not sure.

What was most disappointing about Walter Isaacson’s story?

The book included to many irrelevant details, like what Steve Jobs was wearing and what he ate etc. This led to long too descriptive sentences. <br/>Moreover the book was very one-sided. Every story projected negatively on jobs sometimes without much reason.<br/>I couldn't force myself to finish this book.

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  • James
  • Versailles, KY, United States
  • 02-24-14

Long, but worth it.

What made the experience of listening to Steve Jobs the most enjoyable?

Had a very insightful view of Steve Jobs, with all the hats that he wore. The book showed the good, the bad, and the very often ugly.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Weren't many to choose from. I would probably choose post cancer Steve Jobs. He matured a lot and had a vision to make a company live beyond him.

What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has a very calm voice. I probably wouldn't have finished the book if I was just reading it, but I looked forward to the way he told the story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction like that. It did make me feel humbled and inspired me to work towards my personal and professional goals a little more than what I've been doing.

Any additional comments?

Excellent read/listen. Tells a story of one of the most influential people of this century. He shaped the world in so many ways, and to understand how and why he did. It will help us put our own little dent in the universe.

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  • Audrey
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 02-20-14

It's all the details...

What made the experience of listening to Steve Jobs the most enjoyable?

Steve Jobs is a strange guy who is often interesting, and who was involved in some huge contributions to our culture and daily lives. It's hard NOT to be interested, but some editing of endless nuanced details would not have made the book suffer.

Any additional comments?

This book seems a great representation of Steve Jobs himself. It is very detailed, precise, preoccupied with Steve's every move and thought, and it is engaging, invigorating, and (in some moments) frustrating with the detailed involvement. In these ways, I imagine the experience of reading it gives some sense of what knowing Steve might be like.<br/><br/>Luckily, the author doesn't get totally swept up in the "distorted reality field" and is able to find counter-balance to the utter worship of Steve Jobs through empathic statements to those who got lost in Steve's shuffle. <br/><br/>For me, a non-techie, I learned quite a bit, and walked away with a mixed feeling about Steve. And, from what I read, that seems quite appropriate in response to Job's uneven conduct.

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I never made it through.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I thought I would enjoy this, but as I listened I realized I was just not terribly interested in knowing Steve Jobs. He was a bit of a jerk and an eccentric and the more I listened, the less interested I became. i never actually finished listing to this. Not even sure I made it through half the book to be honest. I tried. I feel like it was a waste of my first credit.

Would you ever listen to anything by Walter Isaacson again?

Not sure.

What aspect of Dylan Baker’s performance would you have changed?

It wasn't the narrator I didn't like, it was teh story.

Was Steve Jobs worth the listening time?

not for me, no

Any additional comments?

Just wasn't for me.

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  • annemarie
  • ALAMEDA, CA, United States
  • 01-09-14

narrator zaps all the fun out of it

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The content of the story is what you want, the delivery is insufferable. This is the whitest guy I've ever heard, reading with little to no inflection. If you met him at a party you'd find any excuse to leave! I cringed every time he pronounced Pal-O-Alto.<br/><br/>I spend a lot of time driving so audiobooks are a blessing. Maybe someday I'll finish this audio book, but will probably borrow a hardbound version before that happens.

What didn’t you like about Dylan Baker’s performance?

His boring, white bread delivery.

Any additional comments?

having a preview of a few minutes of reading would have probably helped in my purchase decision.

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  • Dustin
  • HOUSTON, TEXAS, United States
  • 01-02-14

Jobs was a jerk, just a visionary

Where does Steve Jobs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was a really good book and probably the best overview of Apple; it’s also a great overview of the computer/technology sector.

What other book might you compare Steve Jobs to and why?

Not sure, but based on this book, I bet this book is probably one of the best.

Which character – as performed by Dylan Baker – was your favorite?

Jobs...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

How Jobs figured out what technology people would want, before they ever knew they wanted it.

Any additional comments?

worth the read...

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  • C. Winslow
  • Springfield, VA, United States
  • 01-02-14

The Visionary

What made the experience of listening to Steve Jobs the most enjoyable?

The narrator was very easy to listen too.

What did you like best about this story?

Getting to know Steve Jobs via this story was a mesmerizing experience. He was a rarity.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, yes, but it's almost 25 and a half hours long.

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  • david
  • houlton, wi, United States
  • 12-19-13

Wasn't going to read ... until I read other review

I heard Steve Jobs was a visionary and a jerk. I wasn't going to read the book, but glad I did. Ever wonder how it started, how steve got kicked out of apple, how he came back, the relationship of Disney/pixar/steve jobs, why apple is such a closed system? Read the book, all those questions are answered and more. I don't own any apple products and may never because of the closed-system.