Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply researched, well done, and a new picture of Napster
Let me start by saying that I'm very curious about the anonymous Bay Area reviews that say the book is wildly inaccurate. I'm writing a dissertation chapter on Napster (not the company, more the system), and although I didn't comparing every date and name, it seemed accurate. There are also two completely contradictory reviews by people who supposedly worked at Napster,...
Published on May 7, 2003 by natpoor

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thick
Lots of content covering the Napster rise and ... transition. But, after a strong opening, it wasn't all that entertaining to read in the end. The book had a lot of important details and facts which led to Napster's history being the way that it was, but I was hoping for more anecdotal and fun stories about the company.
Published on February 18, 2012 by Mason


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply researched, well done, and a new picture of Napster, May 7, 2003
By 
"natpoor" (Ann Arbor, MI United States) - See all my reviews
Let me start by saying that I'm very curious about the anonymous Bay Area reviews that say the book is wildly inaccurate. I'm writing a dissertation chapter on Napster (not the company, more the system), and although I didn't comparing every date and name, it seemed accurate. There are also two completely contradictory reviews by people who supposedly worked at Napster, but who knows if they did.
I feel this book is better than two other Napster books, "Sonic Boom" and "Irresistible Forces". Menn seems to have done a really good investigative job - he is a reporter after all - and includes people, perspectives, and histories that the other books don't mention at all. For instance, it turns out I've met someone who is mentioned in Menn's book but isn't in the other books. Menn interviews people who didn't invest in Napster, not just those who did. In other Napster stories, John Fanning is a father figure, and it ends there. Menn actually researches John Fanning's history, and it is ugly, complete with lawsuits and a police record. Other sources annoying tease us with hints of who Shawn Fanning's father is, and say he is a famous Boston-area musician. Menn tells us who he is - I'm from Boston, and I have never heard of the guy (Joe Rando).
Having read books, business press, law reviews, computer press, mainstream press, and other sources about Napster, I do think Menn does a very good job. Since I was not involved in Napster, I cannot say which versions, which stories, are true. Menn's work, however, gives a much richer picture of the company and the dealings within and around it than other sources I have read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, well written, very imformative, January 19, 2004
By 
Justin C (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
I just got done reading this book and I have to say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. You could tell that the author, Joseph Menn, put a lot of work into this with many quotes, facts, and background information on each of the people he introduces. The story that Menn tells is fully detailed and I felt as if I was part of the napster crew myself. The story never has any boring momements and he illustrates the personal relationships between the workers fantastically. I always wanted to know what happened at the napster company and now i know. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a break from fiction and would like to know the story of a kid's idea that changed the entertainment world forver. This book is nothing short of an A+
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and dead on the mark!, April 13, 2003
By A Customer
As someone who actually worked at Napster during the time period of this book, let me tell you that the book is well written and dead on the mark. It uncovers exactly what no one knows -- John Fanning's pathological screwing of anyone (including his own family) to get what he wants, the common but rarely acknowledged minefield of business politics and relationships that coalesce around mega-hit startups (and the insanity that follows it), and of course one wild and crazy ride.
If you're a pedantic, ostentatious second-generation Napster ex-employee with obvious resentments about missing the boat, then this book is not for you. If you're everyone else, though, then buy buy buy!, because this book is a hell of an interesting read, and exposes a fairly common world that 99% of the non-Silicon Valley population doesn't even know exists.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thick, February 18, 2012
By 
Mason (Austin, TX) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster (Kindle Edition)
Lots of content covering the Napster rise and ... transition. But, after a strong opening, it wasn't all that entertaining to read in the end. The book had a lot of important details and facts which led to Napster's history being the way that it was, but I was hoping for more anecdotal and fun stories about the company.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All the Duplicity, November 13, 2004
Here we have a voluminous history of the Napster phenomenon, but only from a certain jaundiced angle. As a critical outside journalist, Joseph Menn was unable to directly interview some of the principal players in the saga, and often relies on legal documentation. In turn, much of his research is based on secondary sources and hearsay from people not directly involved in the events described. This all taints many parts of the book and reduces its believability. We do get a good rundown of the genesis of Napster, as teenage computer whiz Shawn Fanning and some ambitious hacker friends had a brilliant idea about music file sharing, which then got far more monstrous than anyone could have ever expected. Menn then spends most of the book describing the byzantine investment deals and corporate wheeling and dealing to launch the doomed Napster corporation, in ways that were preposterous even during the dot-com bubble. In the end, enthusiastic people with great ideas tried to cash in, and watched forlornly as others let everything crash and burn.

These investigations by Menn are initially informative but descend into a tiresome swamp of nitpicking and unnecessary details that detract from the more interesting cultural ramifications of the Napster craze. And the biggest problem is that Menn gets very personal, especially when describing the business executives who got involved in Napster after its incorporation - piling on criticisms from other people who are clearly not neutral observers, and dwelling uselessly on people's love lives and personal transgressions. This goes especially for an apparent personal vendetta that Menn seems to have against John Fanning, Shawn's uncle and business strategist who muscled his way into prominence based on his nephew's invention. It's reasonably evident that John Fanning was a poor businessman and unfairly latched onto his nephew for his own gain. However, be suspicious of an author who relies on character assassinations toward someone who refused to give him an interview. Menn's questionable personal motivations and general focus on unnecessary details damage what could have been a very insightful book. [~doomsdayer520~]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronology of a Boom Turned Bust, June 22, 2003
By 
J. Straub (Cleveland Heights, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Sean Fanning's Napster is widely regarded as the poster child for the dot-com-bubble's bust. In some ways that description is very apt. Characterizing the company as a VC-baby that never developed a business model and whose fame was based on giving away other's property would hardly be inaccurate. But All The Rave author Joeseph Menn goes far beyond the hype and failure to provide a detailed analysis and chronology of the company from pre-inception to post-collapse.
Menn, whose resume includes the LA Times and Bloomberg, takes an unbiased look at Napster and the decisions that they made. He documents the internal fighting that he proffers as the cause of the company's failure. He provides details about every Napster transaction, from the original 30/70 split between Sean Fanning and his uncle (respectively), the company's angel funding, investment by Hummer Winblad, the Bertelsmann loan, and the company's eventual bankruptcy.
The book, though, reads more like a novel than a business book. The book also incorporates afterthoughts from the company's principals about what they would have done differently in retrospect. With the exception of John Fanning (who ostensibly refused interview requests), Mann incorporates lessons learned from all of the principals both interspersed within the heart of the book and in a post-mortem chapter that serves as an epilogue.
For a company that once flew so high to have died so quickly is somewhat amazing (though not as much so today as perhaps it was five years ago). This book chronologies that trip. It is an exciting ride!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Shaun Young's Review of Joseph Menn's "All the Rave", May 8, 2012
Length:: 9:30 Mins

Shaun Young's review of Joseph Menn's "All the Rave" was made as part of a critical review assignment for the Spring 2012 Economics of Technology seminar at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, taught by Art Diamond. (The course syllabus stated that part of the critical review assignment consisted of the making of a video recording of the review, and the posting of the review to Amazon.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, intimate picture of the fastest growing company of all time..., May 28, 2011
By 
Mary Jo Mathew (last seen with waldo and carmen sandiego) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An amazing Silicon Valley narrative. The funny thing about geeks is, they turn out to have a lot of personality. This book will introduce you to several such geeks and teach you a little bit about their craft and ethic. You'll also meet the businessmen and laywers who were instrumental in Napster's rise and fall (and learn about their craft and ethic as well). The book puts these characters in an amazingly well-researched and well-recalled narrative, clearly establishing the relationships and roles of the characters in this great story. In particular, John Fanning, Shawn's petulant and self-serving uncle, is singled out as a large contributor to the downfall, and one foil to the tale's numerous "good guys."

The book also gives a great picture of the whole dot-com bubble and its mentality. A LOT of time is spent detailing how Napster scraped together the money needed to start and run its ever-growing enterprise. Highly recommended book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Light and Easy Flowing Detail of Napster's Rise & Fall, September 9, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Among the many vast fortunes and colossal failures written about covering the dot com era, we have the story of Shawn Fanning and Napster. Despite a remarkable rise to prominence and infamous downfall, Napster never made any significant monetary impact; however, the company and its founder shaped the industry of online music and peer-to-peer file sharing and left a significant impact.

Menn presents a thorough account of Napster's lifespan from Fanning's early work on development, the financial backing by Fanning's somewhat suspect Uncle, obtaining venture capital funding, and the eventual rulings leading to the demise of the company. If you have an interest in the companies that started the internet age and the mindsets and actions that were behind building them, this book will be of interest as Menn does a first-class job presenting Fanning's story and Napster's lasting relevance in the digital age.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside look at Napster, April 8, 2003
By 
Wayne Chang (Amherst, MA United States) - See all my reviews
...This book tells the story that the press doesn't tell; the chaotic side of Napster and the internal feuds.
Starting with the first paragraph, the book reveals that this isn't the normal story of Napster, but rather a deep story that reveals the people, not the image, behind the revolutionary service.
This book is definitely worth reading, if not for the real story behind one of the craziest businesses ever, then for the what-not-to-do business aspects behind it.
I definitely recommend this book to all readers. Have fun and enjoy the book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.