The Accidental Billionaires

  • by Ben Mezrich
  • Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
  • 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends, outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance, and sexual success, was getting invited to join one of the university's Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard.Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order. And he used his genius to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.What followed - a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers - makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost, and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Infotainment, poorly written

This book is too poorly written to be worthwhile novel, and contains too much invention to trust as a non-fiction business biography. I'm as much of a sucker for a business narrative with reconstructed dialogue as anybody, but this books carries that gimmick way too far. The author admits in the introduction that he has simply made up whole conversations and incidents. Long sections consist of Mark Zuckerberg's supposed thoughts and internal dialogue, which is a neat trick since Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed for the book. To be fair, at least some of these sections are clearly labeled as supposition, but it's a darn lazy way to write a biography.

The writing is really over the top: "Dead silence. A moment frozen in time. A single paragraph on a single page in a book that spanned three centuries of pregnant, frozen, moments like this".

Check out "Stealing MySpace" for a similar book which is better written, and has more respect for facts.

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- Charles E. Grant

Ears still bleeding

I work in tech and was looking forward to listening to this book. From the reviews it seems like people either really like this book or hate it. I'm the latter. This book fails on every front; poor writing, bad storytelling and awful narration in which Mr.Chamberlain seems to inflect on every F-word making them seems entirely natural even in a colloquial university setting. The story reads like a raunchy Hollywood Seth Rogen film, is short on facts, and it irks me how he presumes to be in the heads of the characters and tells us what they're "thinking" considering he never even interviewed Mark Zuckerberg. Granted we get a disclaimer before the books starts but everything here is over the top. Waste of my first credit!
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- Maria

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-14-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio