Ashlee Vance does a terrific job of taking what might be a boring topic (technology) and giving it a plot that would do an exciting sci-fi novel justice. His writing style is matter of fact with just enough spice and vigor to give it life and raise it from being just another boring and/or worshipful biography. He sticks to quoting people he interviewed, as well as Elon Musk himself. There is little of his personal opinion until the end.
Some reviewers have criticized Vance as a “fanboy” at times in this biography, but I have to disagree. There are plenty of times in which Vance mentions Musk’s rocky relationships, his failed marriages, his often abrasive character when at work, and the tenuous relationships between him and his staff.
If Vance sounds like a fanboy, it’s because Elon Musk has done some truly remarkable things in our day and age. This book gives recognition to Musk’s dedication, drive, genius, and will to succeed. His story as Vance presents it makes me feel like I’ve been a witness to exciting times, as thought I were living in the time of the original space race between the U.S. and Russia.
I don’t typically read biographies, but since my husband mentioned wanting to own a Tesla a couple of years ago, I was curious about the man behind the machine. After reading the first five or six pages in the bookstore, I decided it was a book I had to have. I fully intend to have my (older) kids read this book (the f-bomb is strong in Musk).
Even if biographies are not the typical genre you read, if you like sci-fi (or even science fantasy), I think you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a biography, but it reads like an exciting adventure novel with the same build, climax, and excitement. It’s not to be missed.