Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Enthralling 'Steve Jobs' - Brilliance, Weirdness, Warts and All

"If you are on the fence about whether to buy and read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, I have an answer for you: Do it.

However, I should warn you, the book isn't for the faint of heart. It's 656 pages in the hardcover edition, which translates to a couple thousand on your iPhone if you buy it as an e-book. It covers a lot of ground, from the initial pairing of Jobs and Steve Wosniak in a garage to the rise and fall of Jobs at Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL), to Pixar (Nasdaq: PIXR) and "Toy Story" to the passive-aggressive takeover of Apple 12 years after he was shown the door. Of course, there's the iPod, iPhone and iPad, and the worldwide juggernaut that Apple has become, spawning astounding products, amazing ad campaigns and millionaires left and right.

But that's the best or worst of it. If you dive right into this bio, you might also learn that Steve Jobs was a mean, emotional train wreck of a man wrapped around an intense and focused genius capable of masterful manipulation of others and utter self-delusion. I've got to say, I had a hard time slogging through the "sh*t" -- and it is sh*t, as Jobs was so apparently fond of saying about anything and everything that didn't amaze him -- about his "abandonment" as a child when he was given up for adoption and his subsequent abandonment of his first daughter. As a young man, Jobs was pathetic and sad. Oh, and this whole notion that his fruitarian diet meant that he didn't have body odor or need to shower? Well, you might have some questions come up, like, "How can a guy be so intelligent, so amazingly insightful, and yet be such a freaking idiot?"

Of course, as a creative genius, Jobs was astounding. Mesmerizing."

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