24 September 2010
Book Banter -- The Accidental Billionaires
Title: The Accidental Billionaires
Author: Ben Mezrich
Length: 272 pages
Genre: Non-fiction (technically)
Where Stacie's Copy Came from: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: The idea and genius behind Facebook came from some where. Then it grew. And no one really knows what happened behind the scenes except those that aren't talking about it.
Banter Points: Any time loads of money, reputations and genius is involved, there's bound to be contradictory truths; this title is no exception.
Mezrich steps between fact and fiction in his 2009 book. CNet's Caroline McCarthy went so far as to repeat "Early rumors about 'The Accidental Billionaires' suggested that Mezrich was particularly liberal with fact-checking." I would agree. Most of the story was told from three points of view, all individuals who tried to ride the Facebook comet to the top and failed. While Mezrich tones down most of the outrageous things that could have been said, and stated that Mark Zuckerberg declined to contribute (as was his right) it comes off as sour grapes.
Or maybe more like little boys who refuse to understand that they made their friend mad.
Bummer Points: I really wanted to like this book. The previews for the movie it's based on look like fun. Like a romping good scandal that has some fabulous truth to it. According to any review you read, Mezrich's previous formula for writing success has failed him in this title.
Personally, I found the book to be intriguing for the first 100 or so pages. After that, when everything starts to fall apart and the conflict should be getting interesting, nothing was going on because the action was happening out of the line of sight of the three sources.
Stacie' Recommendation: This may be the one book that a movie won't ruin.