Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

On the jacket:

The bestselling author of Bringing Down the House pens the incredible true story of the accidental creation of Facebook, and the even more amazing tale of what followed.

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends-outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and longtime legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with the opposite sex. The two figured their ticket to social acceptance-and sexual success-was getting invited to join one of Harvard's elite final clubs. But on their road to getting punched into the famous Phoenix Club, they found an even more valuable ticket to social stardom-one lonely night Mark Zuckerberg hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus, subsequently crashing the university's servers, and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his spartan Harvard dorm room, the barebones framework for Facebook was born. 

What followed-a real-life adventure filled with unimaginable wealth, sex, exotic locales, six-foot-five identical-twin Olympic rowers, and betrayal-makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. The great irony is that Facebook succeeded by bringing people together-while at the same time, it tore two best friends apart.


Ok. I have watched The Social Network before I got a chance to read The Accidental Billionaires. It's a downside, in my opinion because I wasn't much interested in the story, I already knew the basics. If you are reading this review and have already seen the movie, still read it. A story is definitely better on paper, than on screen (or so I believe), for the simple reason that the book contains the main, unedited, uncompromised story. Also, it's nearer to the facts, because the authors has really done a lot of research!

What works for The Accidental Billionaires is that it's not like your regular non-fiction. It has a lot of 'she says/he says' going all through it. On the other hand, it would've been great to read about Zukerberg's version/views.

A little sketchy, The Accidental Billionaires is a decent read irrespective of having seen the movie or not. It you have seen the movie, push it to a side of your mind and then read. What say?

Rating: ***/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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