Fei Fei 's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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it was ok
bookshelves: biography-memoir


Isaacson received the exclusive chance of interviewing Jobs and the dozens of people closest to him. But at the end of the 600-some pages, offers up little analysis or depth into the real Steve Jobs. What made him tick? What gave him the razor sharp business acumen to predict consumer trends? Why WAS he so mean and pathological? Isaacson dances around main issues plenty of times and certainly offers some juicy anecdotal tales and guesses from friends and colleagues, but in the end, he himself never forms a composite answer. This biography reads like an never-ending interview as the interviewer moves from one quote to another and one source to another. That may have been fine as an interview piece for TIME (for which he used to write) but it's hardly enough for a lasting memoir.

What upsets me the most is the fact that Jobs allowed Isaacson this rare chance into his personal circle so that he can understand Jobs like nobody can ever before. All this in order for Isaacson to write a biography that JOBS' CHILDREN CAN READ AND GET TO KNOW THEIR FATHER. Jobs himself admits that he's hardly the model father, more often than not neglecting their care for his companies, Pixar and Apple. This biography was suppose to be a chance for Jobs to show his children why he did the things he did and share his passion for his work. But Isaacson understands neither business nor Apple enough to fully capture this. Although the second half of the book is mostly about the growth of Apple in the last decade - relegating Jobs, the person, to a minute role in the book - Isaacson lacks the business capacity to fully analyze the full cause and effects of Apple's decisions, products and actions. So what you are left with is a hap hash mix of personal anecdotes on Jobs and rough dissections on Apple - not enough biography nor enough business case study. Even worse, what Isaacson wrote on the personality of Jobs is NOT a flattering one in the least. Even the most ardent Jobs/Apple fanatic will find it hard to like him after the picture Isaacson paints in his book. If the average reader is left wanting after reading this, I can only wonder what his children will think when they have a chance to read it.
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Reading Progress

November 4, 2011 – Started Reading
November 4, 2011 – Shelved
November 4, 2011 –
page 103
November 5, 2011 –
page 240
November 7, 2011 –
page 359
November 7, 2011 –
page 400
60.98% "The first half of the book is about Jobs; the second half is about Apple. There's something undefinable - I can't seem put my finger on - that makes me dislike the book. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the narrative prose, nor any maligned facts. Perhaps its just that I find Jobs the person to be so fundamentally dysfunctional."
November 8, 2011 – Finished Reading
September 8, 2013 – Shelved as: biography-memoir

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Fei Fei Desiree wrote: "Was he really mean and pathological?
Nice one thanks for sharing! I'll remember this review the next time I pick this book up from the shelf. If it ever happens. :)"

Mean and pathological might be putting it lightly. Jobs is not a decent human being, let me just warn you :P

message 2: by Fei Fei (last edited Nov 09, 2011 08:24AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Fei Fei Desiree wrote: "Jobs is not a decent human being, let me just warn you

Oh man. I never expect that. I thought maybe he was kinda ambitious but down-to-earth kinda guy."

Nope. Sorry to disappoint. He had major control, abandonment and anger management issues. Extremely OCD and had a chronic eating disorder. Treated friends, family and colleagues alike like crap. Denied the existence of his first born child until the state finally slapped a paternity suit on him. ... just to name a few.

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