Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
I always wanted to read a good biography for quite a while till I told this to a close friend of mine who happens to be a voracious biography reader – result? Instantly he gifted me with half a dozen damn good ones, not disclosing the names right away as anyways you are going to read my briefs about them as soon as I finish them. Fortunately the first one I picked up was on a guy – I almost had no idea about – all I knew till last month about Steve Jobs was that he was the guy behind Mac / iPad / iPhone – none of those things that I ever used. But what I know about him now is a plethora of information, facts, figures and what not that this space will do no justice to it if I start listing them down here. Also, I find myself simply incapable of reviewing this superb book (if I may call it that) with such a limited vocabulary that I have. I am totally in love with this guy and the products that he has created (read invented), first thing I am going to do now is to get myself a MacBook and an iPhone as soon as the budget permits, as my little token of appreciation to the great guy. Although this book wasn’t an easy read to start with as its almost 530 pages in thickness plus the copy that I got was quite a size bigger then the normal paperbacks we get, its almost impossible to hold it while lying down on the bed so I had to read it sitting on my couch with the book balanced on my lap (like seriously). Plus the story as it unfolds is so damn good and in great details that I had to actually take a break after every chapter to digest, adjust it in my brain and even brag about those points that I just read to my kiddo and wifey and let me say this that even they were amazed to know all that.
Steve Jobs was one heck of a man, I can say that now very well after reading all about him and like the Author says one will run out of adjectives – if you would start describing him in mere words. Like its no secret that he started his company from his parents garage and grew it into a multi billion dollar corporation now. Starting from the company’s name to its logo – almost everything has a background story to tell. I had no idea that he was such a big fan of Alan Turing who he claims won the second World War single handed and died by eating a poisoned Apple to save his secrets from Germans. Not only that – the products that he wanted or actually made – he always wanted to make them out of this world and we all know how world class they are. He was actually one hell of a guy who wanted to make a dent in the Universe and now today we can very well agree that he indeed made one in his life time and left a company which will go on and on without him being present any longer. How he hired, fired, nurtured and behaved with his staff, friends, immediate family, kids, parents (adopted) as well as his own who abandoned him while he was a child – makes up for damn good read. His eating habits as he will call himself a Fruitarian (I had never heard of this term before this book – ever), there was this one time he ate so many Carrots that he turned Orangish in color :). Or not wearing shoes at all, turning barefoot for his job, not taking bath for days, not using a deodorant etc etc. Also, the crazy guy when they detected Cancer – tried doing his own therapy for almost a year before finally giving it all up and taking professional help. They could have saved him – if only he agreed with the doctors in timely fashion then following his own whims and fancies.
His personal life, first wife, divorce and an abandoned daughter – how and what he does for them at a later stage or can be said how he was forced to do for them is another superb chapter of his life. I could never believe that a Biography could be this interesting – or may be because the world was anyways in Awe with him that it makes up for a supremely interesting read. It actually made me laugh out loud so many times especially the way Walter described how frequently he will actually cry out in public once his wishes weren’t full-filled. How he behaved with his friends and colleagues – totally unbelievable stuff. Also, his interaction with the CEO’s of other companies and how he treated them at times – seriously unbelievable. But the best and my personal favorite will always be his love hate relationship with the then Microsoft CEO – Bill Gates (superb episodes). His hand behind the making, running and success of Pixar as well as the fallout with Disney is one damn good and inspiring episode. Another too good chapter(s) were his choice of movies, music, likes in the genre as well as his indifference with Beatles and the final outcome is simply too good, the guy will just not give up. And let me not even talk about the invention of iPod, iPad, iPhones and other fantastic products as that will stretch this write up further couple of pages if I do that.
This should be an authentic biography from all standards as it does line up his negative traits too and author does clear it before even starting the project with Steve himself that he is not going to like what is written about him to which he responds that in that case it wont be called an in-house book :). The book is in so much great details that I guess it covers everything he has done in his life and an outstanding effort by Walter Isaacson. I saw both the movies based on his life and this book – one with Ashton Kutcher in lead (Like Seriously what they were thinking?) who almost resembled a lot like real Steve Jobs and acted well too but that movie left so much expected with not so much delivered. The other that came last year with Michael Fassbender in lead too wasn’t the best I would say as they made a lot of changes and took too many cinematic liberties – makes up for a good movie viewing but cannot be called an apt adaptation neither of the book nor of his real life.
I am definitely looking for more biographies by Walter Isaacson now after reading this and already got one more very interesting one already, which I shall be finishing soon. Do read it guys – if you haven’t already and if you have – do let me know how you like it :).