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The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook Paperback – 30 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (30 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434019550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434019557
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 510,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Mezrich is the internationally best-selling author of The Ugly Americans, Busting Vegas, Rigged and Bringing Down the House:The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions; which was made into a film (21) starring Kevin Spacey. Ben Mezrich lives in Boston.

Product Description

Review

`Ben has a gift for finding high-energy, strange-but-true tales and THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES is no exception ... You may think you know the story of the Facebook phenomenon, but you haven't heard the whole story and never like this ... Captivating ... THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES is the perfect pairing of author and subject. It's pure summer fun--a juicy, fast-paced, unputdownable Mezrich tale.' -- Kevin Spacey

Book Description

The fast-paced story of two Ivy-League outcasts who concocted a scheme to meet girls, and ended up inventing Facebook

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Ben Mezrich prefaces his story of the rise and rise and rise of Facebook with a cautionary note the reader will do well to heed. "I recreated the scenes in the book based on the information I discovered ... and my best judgement ..."

Recreation is a subjective business. There are frequent warning signs: "We can envisage ...", "It is easy to picture ...", and so on. The author's sources for chronicling the Facebook phenomenon from Harvard dorm to international phenomenon are not detailed, though the particular acknowledgment for Eduardo Saverin, one half of the founding partnership, should be weighed against the admission that Mark Zuckerberg, the genius other half, consistently refused to co-operate. One can only trust that Mezrich's understanding of the twin worlds of programming and the Silicon Valley jungle is more reliable than his acquaintance with rowing - the Harvard eight at Henley in 2004 would not have been sculling.

With those reservations, The Accidental Billionaires can be recommended as a racy read. There are no heroes, merely a cast of greedy characters assiduously and deviously cutting each other's throats.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gaviano on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Proof, if ever you needed it, that Aaron Sorkin is a genius. How he turned this dog of a book into something as entertaining and pitch-perfect as The Social Network is a mystery on par with the building of Stonehenge, the Marie Celeste or Justin Beiber. Combined.

Aside from the questionable approach where we get the inner thoughts of all the protagonists, the prose is so elementary and unengaging that it left me wondering if no one really read over properly before it went to print, least of all the author. Repetition of ideas and recaps rob the narrative thread of any pace it may have been building. For example, if we're told once that the Winklevoss twins were six five, we're told a thousand times. Anyone forgotten that Zuckerberg wears flip-flops or has a mop of curly hair in the last five pages? Don't worry, we'll go over that again soon.

It gets two stars rather than one because it at least doesn't try too hard to portray goodies and baddies but I honestly hope that a better account of the creation of Facebook comes along soon to dislodge this from its undeserving perch.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ban Mezrich has written an enjoyable and easy to read account of how Facebook was started by an IT geek Mark Zuckerburg who was a student at Harvard.

The book chronicles the early growth and how the web site grows from being just for Harvard students through its expansion to having several million users.

Most of the book concentrates on the battles that Mark has with one of his co founders Eduardo Saverin, and a pair of other students who asked Mark to work on their web site who end up as Olympic rowers.

The main problem with the book is that Mark Zuckerburg declined to speak to the author about the book. So most of the material is going to have come from the people who are suing or who have sued Mark for what happened after the web site become ultra successful. There are large gaps after Mark leaves Harvard to live in California leaving his fellow co founder in Boston and then New York. The detailed narrative stops in 2005. The author acknowledges that he could not have written the book without Eduardo's help and when the main contributing source is a bitter as Eduardo is after his shareholding is diluted and he is shut out of the business, you have to be slightly sceptical.

The book ignores most of the reasons why Facebook became so successful and all of its recent history. There are a brief couple of pages on the outcome of some of the disputes but to me that's not really enough to give them justice.

The book is written in the same racy style as all of Ben Mezrich's former books, most of which are about gambling or finance. The author has admitted in the introduction that he has adapted some of the situations to make them more readable.

If you are looking for a serious financial history of Facebook, this probably won't be for you. If you are looking something less serious, more exciting and easy to read, this is probably for you
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By profplums on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Interesting read, if only because we all know facebook.
Not as good as his other books which I highly recommend. To me the prose of this book was just not Mezrich, but perhaps that is because his reference methods had to be different for this?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Copycreate on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
Ben Mezrich's trade is writing about inaccessible subjects with such as easy reading style that his books become page turners. This one covers the founding of facebook, right from its conception in a Harvard dorm and the debate surrounding whether or not Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea from some classmates.

The book is not as good as some of Mezrich's others mainly because Mark Zuckerburg refused to contribute to the book. In 'Rigged', for example, or 'Bringing Down The House' you get far more of a sense of forbidden information because Mezrich is collaborating with a real insider. I'd recommend those books as better entertainment and they also have a better quality of information behind them, but if you're specifically interested in facebook then this book will still serve you well and give a good background overview - but take it with a little pinch of salt, you never really know what's true here and what's just good storytelling.
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