From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography, bolstered by 40 interviews with its subject, is the current gold standard for books about Steve Jobs, but Blumenthal's in-depth look at the innovator's life makes a close runner-up and a winner for younger audiences. Blumenthal, a former business reporter, uses a speech Jobs made to a graduating class at Stanford as an inviting hook to draw readers in. He told his audience stories about the most important incidents in his life, beginning with his adoption, and how the dots of his life connected in mysterious ways. His adoptive father was skilled with his hands and a perfectionist, a trait Jobs carried on, sometimes to extremes. The worst moments in Jobs' life, like being fired from Apple, the company he built, led him to bigger and better moments, and an eventual return to Apple, where he would give the world iPods, iPhones, and iPads. His final story was about his cancer, and his message was to follow your heart and intuition. Through original interviews, a smart use of source material, and a wonderfully easy-going style, Blumenthal gives a full portrait of Jobs, with his many well-documented flaws (which here might be a tad underplayed), his original and far-sighted aesthetic, and his willingness to push himself and others to achieve the best as he perceived it. One advantage this has over Isaacson's book is the well-placed sidebars that explain everything from how computer memory works to Jobs' distinctive wardrobe. This is a smart book about a smart subject by a smart writer. To be illustrated with photographs. Glossaries and sources are appended.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist