Monday, February 7, 2011

The Accidental Billionaires

It turns out that sometimes the film is better than the book.

I really enjoyed The Social Network, but I am not enjoying listening to the book the film was based on, The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Monedy, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook.


- It's very one-sided. Ben Mezrich has extensively interviewed Eduardo Saverin but has not had access to the other major players, including Mark Zuckerberg.

- To get around his lack of actual knowledge Mezrich cheekily overuses phrases like, "It is easy to picture" and "we can envisage", and words like "perhaps" and "maybe" to cover scenes where he actually has NO IDEA what happened.

- Mezrich is very mean about geeks assuming that they are all hate themselves and are desperate to be cool. I know this is not true. He also assumes that, in the normal course of events, a computer nerd will never have sex with anything more attractive than a bin-liner. This is also not true.

- The narrator, Mike Chamberlain, reads some parts really slowly as though they have momentous import. Chamberlain would be better off reading really fast and mumbling in the hope that no-one would notice sentences like, "He forced his pulse to return to a steady beat, like the steady bytes and bits of a processing computer hard drive."


  1. Hmm, there you go. Does The Social Network follow this book very closely, or does it seem like they added plenty of extra stuff for the film? I'm wondering if the film story was based only on Saverin's word or if they included research from other sources too (& aside from just making new details up)...

    Also, is that "...a steady beat, like the steady bytes and bits..." line genuinely in the book?! Hilariously terrible, if so!

  2. The film does pretty much follow the book, except the whole obsession with Erica Albright thing isn't in the book, which is a pretty key (and probably bullshit) aspect of the film.

    Also yes, that line really was in the book. And it's true! Try listening to your processing computer hard drive some time - it sounds just like your heart!