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Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins Paperback – October 7, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
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"Tom Perkins is a man of extraordinary passions, among them deals, venture capital, entrepreneurs, ocean racing, vintage cars, and extraordinary women. Valley Boy is a heady mix of picaresque adventure and high finance, more fun than most novels, told in a charming, intimate style as if you were a privileged guest on one of Tom's legendary yachts."
-- James Stewart, New Yorker contributor and author of the best-selling Den of Thieves
"A smart, often funny and wholly engaging account of a fabulous and varied life lived on the frontiers of high tech America. Utterly absorbing from first to last, this is one memoir which is as unique as its author."
-- Richard North Patterson, #1 New York Times best-selling author
As if Tom Perkins didn't have it all--and he does not seem to lack for one single thing--the guy can damn well WRITE, too. I picked up Valley Boy before dinner, got engrossed by the Hewlett Packard intrigue, sailed on through Danielle Steel, and wound up skipping a meal. This is an entertaining, penetrating, and even wise look at the high life, California-style!
-- Sean Wilsey, author of the best-selling Oh the Glory of It All
"I read it in one sitting and enjoyed the fascinating, frank and open discussion of Perkins' life."
-- Prof. Herbert Boyer, cofounder of Genentech
Praise for Tom Perkins
"A Titan of American Business"
"One of American venture capital's founding fathers." -The Economist
"You know you're rich when...you assemble one of the world's great collections of supercharged cars of the 1920s and 30s, sell it just before the antique car market collapses, but still drive to the office in a late-model turbo Bentley. Perkins provides a paradigm of life lived wisely and well, without a wrong note, a missed step, or (it seems) a dream unrealized."
"A Silicon Valley Luminary...A decisive, brilliant strategist...His success came partly from a willingness to risk everything he had-literally-to get his way."
-San Jose Mercury News
"A big engine...a grand figure in the life of the Valley."
-David Kaplan in Silicon Boys
"A charismatic corporate gamesman with a gambler's nerve."
-San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Where this book loses its way or becomes less interesting is when the author branches in to subjects that are diverse and of interest to him but maybe not the reader. For example, his sojurn into writing a cheesy novel which I previously read may not be of interest. Or, a reprinted interview about his short-term second wife, novelist Danielle Steele may not be of interest. Particularly when he insinuates that the interview cannot be believed. One thing is for sure, if you have no interest in sailing, this boat is definitely not for you as that is his passion including a complete chapter on a favorite novelist specializing in Clipper ships who he befriends. This is about 1/3 of the book.
All these sections have their own interest but I cannot overstate the value of his business discussions about HP and subsequently starting the famous venture capital firm which made him incredibly wealthy. this covers about 33% of the book.
There is one part of the book that is not covered sufficiently, the story of his wife of over thirty years who dies of cancer.Read more ›
Writing about his beginnings as "one of American venture capitalist's founding fathers," a race that ended up with him being charged with manslaughter in France, his purchase (and help with the design) of the largest private sailboat in the world, fights at the San Francisco Ballet, or his resignation from Hewlett Packard, Perkins offers his stories with candor and (refreshingly for a man of his power and wealth) a sense of humor about himself. Even if you're not particularly interested in Silicon Valley or sailing, you'll enjoy this book, by a man who has lived a very full life.
By the end of the memoir, you feel you've spent a fine evening with Tom Perkins, that he is your friend. Yet, he drops plenty of hints that he can be an asshole, creating tension just by entering a room. And only penultimate self-absorption could spur a man to build a boat that far exceeds the dollar and technology equivalent of a Stealth bomber.
The fascinating aspect of this book is to question why anyone with such excessive wealth would share his life so openly. Yes, there is some effort to describe his past controversies in the most attractive light. (BTW, it's Raab not Robb). Yes, he flings some last dirt over his enemies. And maybe he senses his time has come, that he will soon succumb to a multi-generational heart murmur.
Perhaps he revealed his motivation when he admitted to the Commonwealth Club that he checks his Amazon reviews daily. Even as the most successful venture capitalist ever, Tom Perkins still needs validation. Like Citizen Kane, this fascinating Valley Boy needs a rosebud. Who can resist reading about a complex man like that?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having met Tom and currently working on his Lamborghini. I will have the book signed when i see Tom this month. Plus in my life eating a big mac with a billionarPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was a fascinating book. Tom Perkins embodies the phrase "the sky is the limit". A very inspiring real life story, that proves the importance of loving what we do in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jose D
I one of my first books was Two Years Before the Mast, which got me hooked on being at sea. Later, I had a tour aboard a destroyer, the USS JOHNSTON (DD-821) as the Supply... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carol Lefcourt
Written exactly as if he was sitting in front of you telling the same stories. Enjoyed every chapter and blend of work and personal stories.Published 12 months ago by dannyc
If you want to see how the billionaires of the world think and operate, this book is one to read. They operate on a much higher business plane than the normal American business... Read morePublished 16 months ago by kurt seraphine
Few memoirs have been as captivating as Tom Perkins personal account. Very well written and surprisingly quite honest, Tom touches on interesting stories from sailing, major... Read morePublished 19 months ago by David Larsen
The Silicon Valley is really about the people working there. This book is an excellent
insight into the making of a Valley Boy. Read more
Very much enjoyed reading the life stories of Tom Perkins, co-founder of KPCB; even more his account of the Maltese Falcon that I saw sailing off the coasts of Croatia a couple of... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rodrigo SEPULVEDA SCHULZ