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Publisher's Summary

The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends, outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.

Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance, and sexual success, was getting invited to join one of the university's Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard.

Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order. And he used his genius to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.

What followed - a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers - makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost, and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.

©2009 Ben Mezrich; (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Infotainment, poorly written

This book is too poorly written to be worthwhile novel, and contains too much invention to trust as a non-fiction business biography. I'm as much of a sucker for a business narrative with reconstructed dialogue as anybody, but this books carries that gimmick way too far. The author admits in the introduction that he has simply made up whole conversations and incidents. Long sections consist of Mark Zuckerberg's supposed thoughts and internal dialogue, which is a neat trick since Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed for the book. To be fair, at least some of these sections are clearly labeled as supposition, but it's a darn lazy way to write a biography.

The writing is really over the top: "Dead silence. A moment frozen in time. A single paragraph on a single page in a book that spanned three centuries of pregnant, frozen, moments like this".

Check out "Stealing MySpace" for a similar book which is better written, and has more respect for facts.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maria
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 01-28-10

Ears still bleeding

I work in tech and was looking forward to listening to this book. From the reviews it seems like people either really like this book or hate it. I'm the latter. This book fails on every front; poor writing, bad storytelling and awful narration in which Mr.Chamberlain seems to inflect on every F-word making them seems entirely natural even in a colloquial university setting. The story reads like a raunchy Hollywood Seth Rogen film, is short on facts, and it irks me how he presumes to be in the heads of the characters and tells us what they're "thinking" considering he never even interviewed Mark Zuckerberg. Granted we get a disclaimer before the books starts but everything here is over the top. Waste of my first credit!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kerry
  • ChristchurchNew Zealand
  • 10-29-09

Gripping read, after a slow start

I'm used to reading bios of larger tech companies (Apple, Microsoft, Pixar etc) so was excited to get this title about Facebook. However I wasn't prepared for it to be a fiction-based-on-fact work, and for the first chaptor it took me off-guard.
However this quickly became an addictive book, which made me read it faster than many others I've downloaded from Audible. The storyline is interesting, the characters are rich, and the drama will hold you through till the end.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sheil
  • Monroe Township, NJ, USA
  • 06-15-10

Awful

This book is absolutely awful. The writing is some of the worst I've ever seen. Please don't waste your time and money.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • port charlotte, FL, United States
  • 01-09-10

Trite and mechanical

A third of the way into the book I couldn't stand any of the people. Trite and nauseating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • aldwin
  • Baguio City, Philippines
  • 01-06-10

Bad reading

I was really interested on the book but was disappointed on how it was read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Alhambra, CA, United States
  • 07-27-09

Poorly written

I cannot believe how bad this was written. There are continuous passages where the writer talks about how a character is thinking about how the season is turning into spring and the college girls are wearing shorter skits. All the while you are waiting to hear what happened to the latest lawsuit.

Basically it was 1/2 disk worth of facts that the writer turned into 6 CD's worth of material. Listening to this was so hard and the only reason I did not stop was because I wanted to know what happened. But this was the worst CD I ever heard out of 50+

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Champaign, IL, USA
  • 10-22-09

Entertaining and Facinating

I can't believe the negitive reviews. This book is great. I loved learning about the founders of Facebook and enjoyed how the author made it a story, not a documentary.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steve
  • Lexington, SC, USA
  • 10-18-09

Forced listening

Neither fact nor fiction -- I draw the conclusion the author created a lengthy drama from a few facts and then throwing in the stereotypical perspective of hormonal college life.

Do NOT listen to this around children. It is replete with adult language. As read - you get the feeling the narrator enjoys making the F-Bomb stand out.

I would find this book much better if the facts were more prominent and the fiction was considerably less -- more like a documentary.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Will
  • Appleton, WI, USA
  • 09-16-09

Great story, poorly written

This is such an interesting and timely story about something that has changed the world. But the writing is so gratuitous it interferes with hte storytelling. For example, the author's way of identifying two charaters as identical twins..."they were the product of a single fertilized ovum that divided in two like the pages of a book."

The story drags needlessly due to these metaphors and many repeated facts.

Still, worth the read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • R. Clegg
  • 09-21-10

More interesting than reading facebook

I am not a facebook fan but I am very interested in the invention and behind the scenes adventures of the computer world.

The book took a little bit of getting into and the voice reading it felt a little robotic at times but once you started getting into the story and forgot the voice the experience was pretty good. Really glad I listened to it and got through it but not sure it will be one of my all time great Audio listens.

Looking forward to the film to see how that will work.

  • Overall
  • Therese
  • 03-29-10

Don't be deceived - This is really dull!

I was so disappointed with this book. I'm a Ben Mezrich fan and loved Bringing down the House and the movie 21. He's a wizard when it comes to telling stories about the nerdy intelligent geek coming good and turning the tables on everyone. But this - woeful. The story of the invention of Facebook is interesting but it's not James Bond. And no amount of purple prose will inject into it the excitement it needs to make it a truly thrilling book. The subject matter is not life and death, and Ben does a bad job of trying to convince the reader that it is. I found my interest waning half way through and struggled to finish but I did in the end. If this story was told in a more factual, less embellished (just to make it exciting) kind of way it would've worked as a book in itself. This will be a better movie than a work of literary art!