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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,847 Ratings  ·  1,393 Reviews
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 awkwar
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2009)
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50th out of 176 books — 340 voters
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The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
492nd out of 868 books — 9,195 voters

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Community Reviews

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Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
When I read a book that has a great deal of biographical detail and where the subject refuses to co-operate and where there are too many phrases like, 'he must have thought', 'he could have surmised', 'maybe he felt', I think that even if the author is as well-respected as Mezrich, this is probably a load of balls.

Modern society, the media, cannot stand those who refuse to have a publicist, give interviews, employ a stylist and have a dozen employees referred to as 'my people'. It can't stand p
Feb 28, 2011 Elaine rated it did not like it
Listening to audiobook, I could tell from the outset that it was going to be terrible. Normally, I'd have quit, but I decided to stick with it for the story. Soon I realized that I was listening to it for the entertainment value of its badness. The book, seemingly untouched by an editor's hand, is dense with stereotypes, cliches, hyperbole, adolescent fantasies (which seem to be the author's more than those of the main characters), mixed metaphors, inappropriate comparisons, and comical malaprop ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Greg rated it liked it
Audio Book Review Number 2.

I feel like my audio book choices are sort of bonuses to my reading list. They haven't exactly been books I would probably choose to read, but I have at least a slight curiosity about them. I still don’t love this format and I can’t see myself sitting down and listening to an audio book, or listening to one while commuting (although it could be a way to speed up my reading, I’d have to test to see if listening to a book at one and a half times the normal speed is faste
Oct 27, 2009 Grace rated it did not like it
If I could find a way to delete my Facebook account and still remain in contact with my family and close friends, I'd do it after reading this book.

I'll start with the story itself. I call it a story because author Ben Mezrich admits that he fictionalized scenes based on eye witness accounts and made up others to fill in gaps. Mezrich was also unable to secure an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the mastermind behind Facebook. How do you write the story of the founding of Facebook without the fo
Lili Manolache
Apr 08, 2013 Lili Manolache rated it it was amazing
"The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich is a great book that I recommend to all young people today and all those who aspire to start their own business and change the world.

The ideology of the new generation includes without any doubt the giant Facebook. It has become part of the social evolution of our century and it has reached even the basic unit of society: family and individual. In my opinion, Facebook is the tool we use nowadays for both personal and business activities. Today’s gener
Dec 23, 2010 Tom rated it it was ok
Here is one of the rare cases where I say the film ("The Social Contract") is better than the book. Mezrich's version of Facebook's founding is a fast read but one told primarily through the eyes and voice of Eduardo Saverin, the partner who has claimed he was cheated and misled by Facebook originator Mark Zuckerberg. As such, it is just one-half of the usual "he said/she said" story. Since the book was published in early 2010, we don't know yet the final outcome of Saverin's litigation against ...more
Vivian Valvano
Oct 24, 2010 Vivian Valvano rated it did not like it
First, let me note that I liked the film "The Social Network" written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by David Fincher: beautiful craftsmanship, excellent acting, terrific writing, good direction ... BUT I worried when I saw it. I knew that it was not a bio-pic in any way, shape, or form. I knew that it could not be taken as documentary in any way, shape, or form, and that Mark Zuckerberg had nothing to do with it. After viewing it, I felt it should carry a disclaimer clearly stating that it was SUGGE ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Jsnyder02 rated it it was ok
Why do people like Ben Mezrich? This story itself, about Facebook, was fascinating and kept me reading. The author, however, made me want to vomit. His writing style is AWFUL. He made it clear he knew nothing about the subject matter, by describing technological aspects of the story in ways that didn't make any sense (no, he doesn't need to be a website creator himself, but he has to develop enough basic vocabulary to write intelligently). Also, he wrote this book without being able to get an in ...more
Scribble Orca
Jan 23, 2011 Scribble Orca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: If you aren't going to watch the film
This is not a high energy book!

You'll have a much better time watching the movie The Social Network (I did, on the plane, from Munich to Singapore), you might even come away with a sense of who was nasty and who was nice, but reading the book is like eating white toast bread. Tasteless. And disappointing. Being a firm believe of the old cliche that the book is better than the film, I was expecting to come away with some tangible insights. I didn't.

It's nothing to do with Mezrich's skill as a w
Apr 29, 2010 David rated it it was ok
quick, sometimes amusing, read about the creation of Facebook. As possibly the last person in America not on Facebook, I was unfamiliar with the back story. As might have been predicted, the college students who started it weren't prepared to handle the skyrocketing success, and friendships imploded in multiple lawsuits about who created what when and who was cheating whom on the money.

Unfortunately, the author was unable to get the single most central character, Mark Zuckerberg, to be interview
Carol Storm
May 27, 2011 Carol Storm rated it did not like it
My God this SUCKS!!!!!!!!

It's not shocking that this book is so bad. Mark Zuckerberg has so much money and so much power that no one can force him to spill his guts. Lots of people resent that. But even assuming that the worst is true, about Mark and his empire, was Ben Mezrich the BEST author they could find to trash this guy?

Ben Mezrich doesn't write like someone who loves books, or who enjoys reading. He writes like he is blind drunk in a frat house at 3 AM, and trying to impress the other gu
Jul 22, 2012 Eric_W rated it liked it
If you have seen the movie, The Social Network, you already know the plot. Filled with the purported conversations of college students from years ago, one must remain somewhat skeptical. However, I get really nervous when the author describes taking a flight from New York to San Francisco on a 757 “wide-body.” (It’s a narrow-body.)

Mezrich, himself, says several of the characters are composites (more red flags,) and some reviewers have complained the book was too long and boring. I listened to it
Jun 26, 2010 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A big "eh." For the first few chapters, I was really thrown off by Mezrich's writing style. He just tries too hard. I kept thinking he was trying to be a writer instead of actually being one ("the white and blue-colored crepe of the bowing so low that its taffeta-like curls threatened to overwhelmt he oversize punch bowl perched below"..." is a tame example). I was interested to see I wasn't the only reader annoyed by this. Admittedly in later chapters, I found myself wanting to fin ...more
Although much of Ben Mezrich's information is sketchy at best, he writes a very engaging story of how much blood, sweat and tears were shed in the founding of Facebook. Though he no doubt interviewed some of the key players in this drama, the most important point of view is missing---Mark Zuckerberg's. The drama, ironically, revolves around Zuckerberg yet the author felt he had enough information from other sources to write a book about him. That might be fine for some people, but I had a proble ...more
Himal Kotelawala
Apr 20, 2013 Himal Kotelawala rated it liked it
It's easy to see why so many people seem to dismiss this book as a glorified beach read. At first glance, it's poorly written - and worse - hurriedly edited. Admittedly, it is no masterpiece in terms of writing; but, ultimately, The Accidental Billionaires more than manages to accomplish what it sets out to: to tell an entertaining story as accurately as possible about a bunch of living, breathing multi-billionaires, without its author having to face a lawsuit, or worse.

From Page 1 onwards, you
Oct 05, 2010 Eli added it
“The goal for me is to be an entertainer and a personality – Hunter S. Thompson, minus the drugs and the guns and the suicide… I write about kids living this high life, and I do it, too.” – Ben Mezrich

“He’s like the kid who can’t believe he got in.” – Kevin Spacey on Mezrich

“The book isn’t reportage. It’s big juicy fun.” – Todd Doughty (Publicist for The Accidental Billionaires)

Now I like big, juicy fun as much as the next guy, but I was hoping we might spend just a moment with the Author’s Note
An interesting history of the origins of Facebook by a creative Harvard undergraduate interested in facilitating the process of dating. That the social networking software now used by 500 million plus users was invented by a socially inept and ethically handicapped nerd has a certain fable-like quality. The author unfortunately makes extensive use of dubious constructed dialog, which the author based on interviews with one-time friends and early partners who eventually were left in the dust of t ...more
Jul 04, 2011 Juliana rated it really liked it
Shelves: fatos-reais, cinema
The author's way of writing a real story had already captured me on the other book about the MIT boys and Las Vegas. This time was no different. His storytelling is catchy and you won't stop reading so soon. I finished it in one day, after 200 pages.
Don't be fooled, though. The real story behind the creation of Facebook can be found only with each founder. This book and the movie based on it are only a part of the story.
Also this was the basis for my course conclusion work on journalism, about b
Aug 04, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
This is a fast paced book detailing the meteoric rise of Facebook and it's founders. It is pretty amazing. What, however, amazes me even more are the young women, highly educated, mind you, who prostitute themselves willingly for sport with virtual strangers. It is somewhat understandable that women do this for love or money, but what has educating women done for them if they can't respect themselves? I realize that self respect is taught from birth at home, but education should turn on a light ...more
Trey Felts
Jan 13, 2016 Trey Felts rated it really liked it
Trey Felts-7th
Mrs. Carden
PAP English II
January 12, 2016
A Book Review: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
A young college sophomore by the name of Mark Zuckerberg is trying to find his way through college life at Harvard University. Eduardo Saverin is a college junior who cares about two things: business and social skill. Eduardo is trying to get into one of the Final Clubs at Harvard: The Phoenix. At a party initiation for this club is where the computer genius and young busin
Jan 11, 2016 Darius rated it it was ok
"The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook" is about the development of the well-known social media website, Facebook. The book gives an outlook on the lives of Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg, and the life as a student at Harvard University. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make a social media site where friends can communicate and connect with each other. Throughout his journey in creating Facebook, Mark encountered lawsuits, expulsion, betrayal, women, and money. Although Mark Zucke ...more
May 21, 2014 Helena rated it did not like it
Wow. This book was so bad. However, like a marathon of America's Next Top Model, I couldn't look away.

Mezrich did not have direct access to the characters involved (notably Zuckerberg) but that doesn't stop him from ascribing motive, providing a painful amount of false detail, and describing bizarre sex scenes with Zuckerberg, Savarin, and two fictitious Asian students in adjoining bathroom stalls.

Also, someone please get Mezrich a thesaurus (or guide him to, I mean really). "Auti
Hannah Lei
Jan 12, 2016 Hannah Lei rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luis M
May 13, 2016 Luis M rated it it was amazing
When was the last time you posted a status update or sent a picture through social media? For many people posting on social media is like eating or walking. In the book Accidental Billionaires it explains how the very popular social media site Facebook got started. The site which was suppose to be a dating site for student at Harvard grew into the social media king it is today by Mark Zuckerberg. Mark seemed to have no ambition outside of working on computers, so when he was rejected by a girl o ...more
Aug 16, 2009 Scott rated it did not like it
Piece of f***ing crap
Nov 07, 2010 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This has the potential to have been a great insight into the founding of a company that is clearly having an impact of the early part of the 21st century. In the hands of a better writer I should imagine it would have done so. Anchor Books made a mistake in not seeing that a Michael Lewis caliber author was needed.

Two things cause this book to be glaring as a could have been.

The first is no Mark Zuckerberg. It may be understandable that when writing a biography about such a subject that the main
I hadn't read any of Mezrich's earlier books, though they are extremely popular in Boston, due to the MIT angle for Bringing Down the House. I expect that some of his earlier work was easier to complete, since he had the cooperation of the people he was profiling. In the case of this book, Mezrich could not get Mark Zuckerberg to go on record. Since the book is about Zuckerberg's (and others') accomplishments in establishing Facebook, I'd have to say that must have been a big disappointment to M ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Tad rated it it was amazing
This is the definition of page-turner. A gripping, quick read that I just could not put down. Since I had seen the movie ("The Social Network"), I knew the story already but still found myself pulled in by this account. As to how much of this book is true, it's hard to say. I would guess that there's more truth in here than Mark Zuckerberg would like us to believe. Admittedly, I would like to hear his side of the story but since he refuses to talk, we are left to speculate. Facebook has complete ...more
Julie H.
Oct 15, 2009 Julie H. rated it really liked it
This book is positively fascinating! On the most basic level it's interesting given the ubiquity of Facebook. When you actually dive in, however, it becomes a sort of mini-ethnography of entitlement, competitiveness, and disregard for other people's hard labor and intellectual capital. The Accidental Billionaires... not only provides the backstory to Facebook's (or should I say theFacebook or, earlier still, Facemash?) creation, but places it in a wider context of similar--and considerably less ...more
Steven Scaffardi
Jun 15, 2013 Steven Scaffardi rated it liked it
Shelves: ben-mezrich
It is hard to imagine a time before Google, before YouTube, before Twitter. They have become so ingrained in our psyche. But the one social platform that has become entwined into a normal everyday life more than any is Facebook.

A staggering 71% of the British public log in to Facebook every day, over 1 billion users worldwide have signed up, and it is worth an estimated $15m. That's a lot of people looking at a lot of ex's! Quite impressive for a company that launched in 2005.

But the most impres
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick -- The Accidental Billionaires 1 6 Nov 16, 2012 06:07AM  
  • Facebook and Philosophy: What's on Your Mind?
  • Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0
  • Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America
  • The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World
  • Twitter Wit: Brilliance in 140 Characters or Less
  • Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, the Creation of Apple, and How It Changed the World
  • Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others
  • The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge
  • Humans Are Underrated: Proving Your Value in the Age of Brilliant Technology
  • The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India
  • Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
  • What Would Google Do?
  • Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization
  • Catherine the Great
  • Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security
  • It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business
  • The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks
  • The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue
Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.

With his newest non-fiction book, Once Upon a Time in Russia, Mezrich tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of billionair
More about Ben Mezrich...

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“To guys like Mark, time was another weapon of the establishment, like alphabetical order. The great engineers, hackers - they didn't function under the same time constraints as everyone else.” 4 likes
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