Before its scheduled October 24 release, the first authorized biography of Apple co-founder and long-time CEO Steve Jobs who died on Wednesday has shot to number one in sales through pre-orders at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Published by Simon & Schuster, Steve Jobs is a 656-page work by Walter Isaacson which details Jobs as driven by demons.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years-as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues-Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
Jobs, who kept himself away from biographers and other journalists who wanted to get close over the years, granted access to Isaacson in the last weeks of his life, saying I wanted my kids to know me.
Isaacson is a former managing editor of Time magazine who has written bestelling books on Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. The book was originally slated for a late November release but Simon & Schuster, upon Jobs' death, is rushing the book to print. On Friday, Steve Jobs was ranked number 1 among all books in the Amazon Best Sellers Rank. Amazon is selling the $35 retail hardcover book for $17.88.
Steve Jobs is also number 1 in Amazon's Kindle store due to massive pre-orders. That ebook sells for $16.99. Steve Jobs was also number one on Friday at Barnes & Noble's bn.com, selling at the same discounted prices as Amazon for hardcover and ebooks.
The publisher describes Jobs the book as revealing that Jobs was, Driven by demons, saying he could, drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Jobs cooperated with the book, said Simon & Schuster, but asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against.
Isaacson will give readers more a hint from the book in an October 17 piece the author will have published in Time magazine. In it, Isaacson recalls finding Jobs curled up in pain in a downstairs bedroom at his home in Palo Alto, California. Jobs told Isaacson he was too weak to climb the stairs to his old room, but Isaacson says Jobs' mind was still sharp and his humour vibrant.
In one of the first reviews, Barnes & Noble writes that the book presents the enigmatic, sometimes-temperamental genius more closely than we have ever seen him before. Yet this biography never loses sight of Steve Jobs' impact on a world he helped remake.