- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books (May 2, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767906039
- ISBN-13: 978-0767906036
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nudist on the Late Shift: And Other True Tales of Silicon Valley Paperback – May 2, 2000
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A Los Angeles Times and Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
"Bronson has a rare ability to spin the worlds of business and technologies into entertaining stories."
--The New York Times Book Review
"The most complete and empathetic portrait of the Valley so far."
--The Village Voice Literary Supplement
"Bronson has captured this remarkable place and time."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Bronson relates the stories of a generation of new and wannabe multi-millionaires with conversational grace...an engaging, instructional and fascinating read."
"Illuminates a shadowy world with a penetrating light."
"Bronson is tuned in to the quirks of both personality and culture. His prose, often funny, maintains impressive velocity and is well suited to the manic life of the Valley and its colorful menagerie of characters."
"This clever storyteller keeps you laughing as you breeze from one episode to the next...a juicy collection of true tales."
From the Inside Flap
t and writer for Wired and other publications, Po Bronson has earned a reputation as the most exciting and authentic literary voice to emerge from Silicon Valley. In his national bestseller The Nudist on the Late Shift he tells the true story of the mostly under-thirty entrepreneurs and tech wizards, immigrants and investors, dreamers and visionaries, who see the Valley as their Mecca. Taking us inside the world of these newcomers, brainiacs, salespeople, headhunters, utopians, plutocrats, and innovators as they transform our culture, The Nudist on the Late Shift is a defining portrait of a new generation in the whirl of an information revolution and an international gold rush.
Po Bronson is the author of two novels and one book of nonfiction. Bombardiers, a dark satire of high finance, was an international bestseller that was translated into twelve languages. The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest, soon to be a feature
Top customer reviews
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Which is the problem.
Most of the essays in Nudist appeared in similar form as articles in Wired. I know this because the details in those articles stuck with me. I remember the lady with emphysema and her gift for closing software sales. I remember George Gilder's knee swelling because of his caffeine-fueled excess on a hotel treadmill. I remember Danny Hillis. And on it goes.
For someone who has not read all of the Wired articles, this book is great fun. Bronson's skill with details places the reader right smack in the middle of the chaos that is Silicon Valley. You can practically smell the hot asphalt.
But if you are a regular Bronson reader, save your money. I wish I'd known ... but who can deny a guy a way to make a quick buck on work that's already done?
This one's definitely on the 'gift' list. Read it.
Right off the bat, 'Nudist' impressed me with its engaging prologue and strong, clever voice -- and humor. Lots and lots of humor in this book, and of an uncommonly intelligent variety (in fact, there might be a little _too_ much, to the point that a non-American might have trouble following the overabundance of colloquial language). What's more, the stories are engrossing and interesting (for my tastes, anyhow), and told with a sharp, grounded perceptiveness that, I felt, truly did them justice; from front to back, 'Nudist' maintained my attention. Another strength: a good, appropriate treatment of the people and events in question, being concise and encapsulated yet detailed enough to be complete. Also, the author manages to squeeze in healthy doses of historical and geographical context, which I found to be worthwhile in themselves. Combine all this with functional formatting and a polished narrative, and the book worked for me.
What I liked most, however, lay in the broad, underlying lessons offered by the collective story of turn-of-the-millennium Silicon Valley. Namely, 'Nudist' comprises a sort of dissection of the (at the time) forthcoming dot-com bust, by way of examining the reasoning, mentalities, and behavior of some of its actors -- things which would translate directly to the overoptimism, questionable business practices, and other contributing factors in the eventual bust. Through this unique, on-the-ground account, we are shown how assumptions and shortsightedness can culminate in disaster, and, thus, are granted great perspective and many meaningful insights, all of which are as valid in our personal- and social structures as much as the economical. Indeed, there is much to be learned from these tales, as to lend the book a special, unexpected relevance, transcending its business-oriented content.
My thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work.
* * *
Some notable quotes from 'The Nudist on the Late Shift':
"In this day and age, some of us are lucky enough to be free to make what we can of the world [...] That is the true spirit of entrepreneurism." -- p.xxv
"Silicon Valley is not quite what you think it is when you first look at it, either: you can have skin of any color and be from any country and have any disability or sexual orientation, et cetera, but if you're white and educated, all sorts of prejudices may be held against you." -- p.18
"What salespeople believe -- and all they need to believe -- is that they can sell the product. Not necessarily that it works, just that they can sell it." -- p.148
"The real work is done in silence, sitting in cubicles, staring at screens. Everyone is attempting to make things that have not existed before [...] I believe that to create and risk failing is the essence of feeling alive -- that in the moment of creation they shake off their anonymity and feel relevant to the sweep of the world." -- p.215
"One of the best ways to get rid of a troublesome coworker is simply to give out his name to a few headhunters, who will quickly bombard the guy with so many offers that he will resign on his own within the month." -- p.223
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