Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues - this book chronicles the rollercoaster life and searing intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.
Reviewed on 23rd January 2012
I must begin by confessing to being a fan of Steve Jobs and the products that his company has produced - I carry at least one with me everywhere. that is the background to how I am approaching this book. I'm not usually one for reading biographies, particularly one as huge on the shelf as this (though it's actually only around 600 pages), but was given this one as a Christmas present so felt I had to read it.
I really enjoyed it. Isaacson gives just the right amount of detail - there was no point in the book that I felt it needed more, and he manages to put across a lot of his subject's emotion and personality in a book that could only come from the extensive range of interviews he's performed with Jobs and those who knew him throughout his life. The amount of work that has gone into the book really shows through and makes me appreciate the book even more.
Each chapter deals with a different theme from his life, which sometimes means things aren't quite in chronological order, but nothing feels out of place - it's quite a surprise that someone's life can be chopped into chapters so elegantly. It's made very clear that Jobs' demanded that he not have any influence over the text, and there are places where it is tactfully critical of his nature, but in being so it only serves to make the book feel more truthful and a better representation of who Jobs was.
Reading the final third of the book did feel quite emotional, possibly because I can relate to some of the things Jobs was going through, but probably more likely due to the skill of the writer to intertwine the negatives around the many positives that Jobs had in his final decade at Apple. As I've said, I really enjoyed reading this book, and would certainly recommend it as one of the best biographies I've experienced.