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The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Chrisann Brennan , Coleen Marlo
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.85
Price: £24.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition £9.49  
Hardcover £15.17  
Paperback £9.96  
MP3 CD, Audiobook £19.91  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, 29 Oct 2013 £24.80  

Book Description

29 Oct 2013
Steve Jobs was a remarkable man who wanted to unify the world through technology. For him, the point was to set people free with tools to explore their own unique creativity. Chrisann Brennan knows this better than anyone. She met him in high school, at a time when Jobs was passionately aware that there was something much bigger to be had out of life, and that new kinds of revelations were within reach. The Bite in the Apple is the very human tale of Jobs' ascent and the toll it took, told from the author's unique perspective as his first girlfriend, co-parent, friend, and - like many others - object of his cruelty. Brennan writes with depth and breadth, and she doesn't buy into all the hype. She talks with passion about an idealistic young man who was driven to change the world, about a young father who denied his own child, and about a man who mistook power for love. Chrisann Brennan's intimate memoir provides the reader with a human dimension to Jobs' myth. Finally, a book that reveals the real Steve Jobs.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc; Unabridged edition (29 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452618089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452618081
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,053,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

CHRISANN BRENNAN is a painter living in the San Francisco Bay area. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A tecchy trip down memory lane 2 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Chrissan Brennan is a similar age to me and it was wonderful to read about her experiences growing up in California. The fact that she was Steve Jobs's girlfriend was only part of the story - she is a warm and vibrant and talented woman in her own right and her observations were all the more valuable for that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile 12 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fills in the puzzle from another perspective - a non-business, personal, relationship and emotional one. Chrissann is remarkably positive given some of the pain and abuse she suffered. Well written too.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steve, We Hardly Knew Ye 29 Oct 2013
By G. Bestick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Millions of words have been written about Steve Jobs and the birth of Apple Computer. By the time you finish this courageous and insightful memoir by Chrisann Brennan, you'll realize how little we actually knew about the man who more than any other pulled us into the era of personal tech. Brennan met him in high school, was his lover into their twenties, had a daughter by him, and, through that connection, remained part of his life until he died. This is her story of attempting first to love him, then to understand him, and, finally, to survive him.

The push and pull of their relationship is fascinating, and Brennan dives deeply into what attracted them and what kept them apart. In high school they were both outsiders, with a creative, new-age slant on the world. Together they took LSD, stayed on an alternative farm, sat zazen. Separately, both took a spiritual pilgrimage to India. But underneath it all lay a primal power struggle. Jobs defined himself by his ability to manipulate and persuade others to do his bidding. Chrisann was less verbal and charismatic, but even when overwhelmed by Jobs, held on to a stubborn core of self she wasn't willing to surrender. His power threatening to subsume her identity: at one level this is a classic tale of feminist struggle.

A large part of the book is taken up with Jobs at first denying paternity for their daughter Lisa, and then being forced through DNA testing to acknowledge her. His conduct toward Brennan and Lisa was shameful, and Brennan suffered from it, both financially and emotionally. Although the behavior got better over time, the scars remained. Still, she stays remarkably even handed throughout, acknowledging Jobs intermittent generosity and genuine attempts to be part of Lisa's life while not glossing over his boorish and selfish behaviors.

Brennan has carefully and thoroughly separated the many layers that made up his character, beginning with the trauma of being abandoned by his birth mother and the initially hesitant embrace of his adoptive parents. She is witness to his fierce, observing intelligence as he is formulating his views of the world and his place in it. We see the profound effect of Kobun, his zen master, along with Job's lifelong attraction to the clarity, simplicity and casuistry derived from zen teachings. Chrisann gets bruised by his boundless ambition and the emotional voids that led all too frequently to abusive or amoral behavior.

Among his many talents, Jobs was a master marketer of his and Apple's image. Brennan has taken a lot of lumps over the years from people who had a stake in burnishing the myth of Steve Jobs. She may take even more once this book is published. But she was there at the beginning. She bore witness, was damaged, and endured. This is a brave book, full of striking insights. It reveals a much more equivocal tale of inventive genius than the recent biographies and movies about Jobs have described. Through her insights into Jobs and his time, she helps us understand the strange brew of spiritualism, idealism, materialism, hucksterism and self-absorption that propelled us into the modern age of personal technology.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some questions answered 30 Oct 2013
By PageTurner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Steve Jobs was known for more than his share of personality contradictions. A brilliant innovator who could be a mean and spiteful leader. A sleek thinker with a messy jumble of psychological and emotional needs running below the surface. Chrisann Brennan is the first woman close to Jobs to write about him, and she brings an entirely new facet of understanding to his life. She has mercifully avoided the objective litany of "And then Steve did..." in favor of the WHY he did it. She loved Steve Jobs, honors his contributions to our culture but also questions some of the costs-- both to all of us and to her, personally. As the father of her only child, Jobs remained in her life long after the loving relationship between them deteriorated. While he treated her badly, she continued to put their daughter first through many rough years. She took menial jobs and struggled to become a working artist. In this quirky, lyrical book, the atmosphere and sensibilities of their early life together are captured astonishingly well. But don't be fooled by the 70s setting and language. As someone who was there at the beginning of the computer boon Brennan brings a unique view not of the technology per se-- which she admits to knowing little about-- but to how it started and the way it changed our world. This is a perfect book club book, instigating meaty discussions on deeper topics. To name just a few: the delicate power balance between men and women, the complicated emotional dynamics set in motion through adoption, the trade-offs we make as our lives become more and more fragmented by technology. For many years, Brennan stayed silent in the wake of the `great man's' increasingly powerful influence. By deciding to share her experiences, we finally have a new window on to the man he really was.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, No Holds Barred, Personal Narrative 6 Nov 2013
By David Kopec - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a book for the casually interested. This is a deep book. A book true to its topic. It's about a relationship that spanned several decades. A love story. A story of the culture of the 70s that Steve Jobs emerged from. A story of the personal demons behind one of the greatest business men/artists/revolutionaries who ever lived.

If you're reading this book because you're primarily a technologist, a huge Steve Jobs fan, an admirer of his business accomplishments, or want a tell-all of his whole life story you're likely to be sorely disappointed. Read the Isaacson biography.

This is a personal narrative. It's for people who are interested in a deep study of his character - him as the whole human - the same people that may pick up an obscure book like Mona Simpson's A Regular Guy or John Sculley's From Pepsi to Apple. If you have never heard of those two people nor those two books then this book is probably not for you.

With that in mind - if you are such a deep student of Steve Jobs character then you will find this book rewarding. There is new information about his teen years and 80s personal life that has not been revealed in any previous mass market book, film, or interview to my knowledge (and I've read/seen just about all of them).

What I liked best about this book, other than the SJ insights, and also what it seems other reviewers found frustrating is the authenticity of the narrative. Chrisann tells her story with her voice. She's hippyish and crunchy, but also insightful and incredibly descriptive in a succinct, good way. I rationalize that she must have kept a diary, because her memories come off so vividly from the page.

If you want to understand the culture that Steve Jobs immersed himself in just prior to launching Apple, there is no better book. And if you want some new insights into Steve Jobs the person from someone who knew him intimately and you don't mind some love stories, teenage angst, and family squabbles then you will love this book. But again this is a deep cut - a book only for those very very interested in the field of Steve Jobs Studies.

PS I also learned a lot about the culture of the 70s alternative movement - I even felt transported back into another time and place during some pages. Two small critiques are some typos/grammatical mistakes and that higher quality photographs could've been chosen for the book center.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 30 Oct 2013
By Jessica Lares - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is not another Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, it's a page turner that will touch you, make you laugh, make you sad, and think a little differently. Even if you're not into the whole Apple culture, it's a great read as it flows more like a fictional novel than a true story, and I highly recommend it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've read just about everything I could find on Steve Jobs... 13 Dec 2013
By msa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I've read the Walter Isaacson autobiography. Garbage. I've read all the interviews, stories and unauthorized books. Interesting. I've watched every bit of footage I could find, and he's impressive.

However, this book gives you a look into his personal life that you wouldn't find anywhere else. To say the least, his personality was not as beautiful as his products. As much as I admire his success, strength and genius, I can't think of another word to describe him personally than 'emotional cripple'.

There's a lot of 1 star reviews here, and I think its because people are experiencing cognitive dissonance after reading some of these things about him. If you want to get a well rounded perspective on this man, I recommend this book to you. It's written extremely well, its especially impressive considering she has dyslexia. Overall, the book is a great achievement and insight into Steve Jobs and Apple.
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