Victor Davis's Reviews > Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
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's review
Nov 06, 2017

liked it

It's been a while since I tore through a book in 3 days! Merry Christmas and thanks for the long weekend I spent curled up by the woodstove reading nonstop. So, why only three stars? I'm not a fan of the author or the writing style. While I am grateful he told a straightforward, journalistic story of origin and struggle, he didn't do so in any unique or compelling way. What's compelling is the content, and Elon Musk is quite the character study to wow a reader, even if the writing comes off like a Bloomberg article. I was also irritated by the constant comparisons to Steve Jobs and Apple that have become endemic to technology reporting. You could make a drinking game out of it.

Having said that, I recommend this book to anyone curious about the man behind the curtain in all of these wild tech stories coming out these days about rocket launches, hyperloops and battery factories. However, if you really want an in-depth, entertaining, and actually compelling explanation of who Musk is and why he does what he does, look no further than the Wait But Why blog series on Musk and his companies. This side-splitting and mind-blowing series is what led me to the book in the first place, but in my opinion, outshines it. It's more focused on technology than biography and startup drama, going so far as to start in on electric cars by explaining what oil is and where it came from and starting in on rockets by explaining what gravity is and how it works. Here are the links below. I highly recommend them, particularly to geeks, and the book is a good companion piece for diving in for deeper month-by-month details for filling in the gaps.

Post 1: About Elon—and an intro to the whole series

Post 2: The full story with Tesla

Post 3: The full story with SpaceX

Post 4: About Elon’s secret sauce—the way he thinks
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Reading Progress

November 6, 2017 – Shelved
November 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 24, 2017 – Started Reading
December 26, 2017 – Finished Reading

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