There are more than enough books about Steve Jobs’ life – there’s nothing publishers like more than the untimely death of a well-known figure, and when the Apple founder died in October 2011, he was nothing if not famous.
There are the worthy ones – like the 650-page official biography by Walter Isaacson, issued just weeks after his death, and the book of quotations I, Steve (2012). There are the personal ones too, like The Zen of Steve Jobs (an examination of his meditation techniques, 2012), and The Bite in the Apple (2013), written by Chrisann Brennan, the girlfriend Jobs abandoned after the birth of his first child, Lisa.
Brennan isn’t the only one to examine Jobs and find him wanting. Randall Stross’s Steve Jobs and the NeXT big thing contains the notable paragraph “Jobs's attempts to build a profitable rival to Apple had led him from one strategy to another, from blunder to blunder, disaster to disaster. What makes the NeXT story especially intriguing, however, is the gullibility of many others who lent money, careers, and prestige to Steve Jobs's quest.” (Yes, OK, that one was written in 1993.)
Then there were the sixteen eminent thinkers who came together to write about Jobs (Steve Jobs and Philosophy (2015), edited by Shawn E. Klein), and no less than 190 well-known artists who drew pictures “to pay respect to the man that changed everything” (Steve Jobs: Artists’ tribute, 2012).
Still, if you were putting together a short-list of enjoyable reads about Steve Jobs, you’d be hard pushed not to include Jessie Hartland’s new(ish) graphic biography Steve jobs: Insanely great.
Hartland is a commercial artist and the book was originally conceived as a kid’s book, but the publishers obviously recognized there were plenty of adults out there keen to get a working knowledge of the life and times of Steve Jobs, without having to read 650 pages.
Hartland covers the early life (adopted kid tinkering in the back yard with dad), the drop-out years, the start-up times with Steve Wozniak in his parents’ garage, and on through the Apple years, until Jobs’ death in 2011 – all in black and white cartoon-style pictures.
Idealog brings you a taster… (Click for larger images)
Steve Jobs: Insanely Great. Copyright © Jessie Hartland 2015. Reprinted by Permission of Random House Australia Children’s. All Rights Reserved. RRP $24.00