The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ben Mezrich's uncanny knack for scuba diving into an ocean of court documents and unearthing a compelling narrative is as skillful as Mark Zuckerberg's transformation of a dorm room website intoa billion-dollar business.
I was led to the book by the film adaptation, "The Social Network," and floored at how much better the book is than that ridiculously absorbing screenplay.
Mezrich deserves credit for taking numerous leaps of faith in imagining socially awkward moments and male bonding rituals in concocting his tale. Even if his vision of the betrayals, misunderstandings and epiphanies that led to Facebook's creation wasn't exactly spot-on, it's certainly the way it ought to have been.
In his matter-of-fact distance and comprehensive empathy for all of the characters who emerge, Mezrich paints convincing portraits of Zuckerberg, the Winklevosses, Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker. All are complicated egotists whose divergent and blending interests created the monstrosity that the social network giant became. Without any of their help, no doubt it would have faded to black like Friendster or MySpace.
Mezrich's book, on the other hand, will stand strong even after Facebook's relevance has vanished. "The Accidental Billionaires" is an unqualified triumph, and it broke my heart when my time with it ended.
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