163 of 190 people found the following review helpful
Don't accidentally buy this book,
This review is from: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal (Hardcover)
I enjoyed Ben Mezrich's "Bringing down the House" but his latest books have been terrible. First the very boring "Rigged", and now "The Accidental Billionaires", about the history of Facebook.
All of his books follow the same formula: A young, brilliant man suddenly finds fortune and girls by using his skills to make money in interesting ways. Usually he has a mentor. His success causes some friction with his friends, but he eventually wins out, albeit at a price. This formula is so rigid one wonders if Mezrich begins his books with a Word Template... Chapter Five - Hero realizes the idea will make lots of money... Chapter Eight - Hero gets with girl way out of his league...
The characters seem like hand-puppets even though they are allegedly real-life personas. You have the unlucky-in-love nerd, his pushover sidekick, and the jealous jocks. The dialogue is so mundane and contrived you can't imagine anyone talking that way.
As for women, they exist only as status symbols in Mezrich's books.
Now, the story about the founding of a website will not excite most readers, so Mezrich tries to sex it up with stories of lavish parties and groupies. The problem is Mezrich admits to creative storytelling in the Forward-- collapsing time frames, combining characters, even imagining scenarios. So, in effect, everything not publicly documented could be fabricated.
As a history or bigraphy, then, we already know that the book is useless. But it also fails as a compelling drama. In some chapters basically nothing happens. Mezrich will spend pages describing the setting in detail, the characters will make a few remarks, and then the chapter ends. What was it about? Why was it important? Who knows. But these chapters do pad out the book, which is a breezy read anyway. You will finish the thing in a few hours. There's about 10 words per line, 20 lines per page, and very little content. The meat of the book takes us up to 2005, before Facebook's truly phenomenal growth (it was still far behind MySpace at the time), and before anything is resolved. Like many of the chapters, the book just sorta ends. I suspect the movie rights to this book were sold before the book was even in the outline stage, and he was on a tight deadline.
In short, this book gives you no reliable information, and is not even entertaining.