Over the course of the past week I must have written, un-written and re-written about 4,000 words as I tried to write a review of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. But I grew tired of my own complaining, that’s how much of it there was.
So let me just get to the point. The long and the short of it is Isaacson is a boring writer writing about something he’s not all that interested in. He borrows heavily from previous biographies and provides little that is new. Details are rare, huge things are glossed over, and nearly all the detailed bits are uninteresting or depressing. The end result is a generic, detached and slightly morose depiction of a fascinating man’s life. It should have been better.
Isaacson reports taking over 40 interviews to write this biography. Something tells me that a rote transcript of those interviews would make for much more interesting reading.
For evidence that Steve Jobs sometimes made mistakes, you need look no farther than his choice of biographer.