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Summary

A remarkable man in possession of limitless curiosity and intellect, Elon Musk makes a fascinating subject. Tech reporter Ashlee Vance has shadowed him for a year to bring us an engaging and deeply personal account of the man who wants to send us into outer space.

South African-born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it.

He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey, Jr. The personal tale of Musk's life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story. He was a freakishly bright kid who was bullied brutally at school and abused by his father. In the midst of these rough conditions and the violence of apartheid South Africa, Musk still thrived academically and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he paid his own way through school by turning his house into a club and throwing massive parties.

He started a pair of huge dot-com successes, including PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Musk was forced out as CEO and so began his lost years, in which he decided to go it alone and baffled friends by investing his fortune in rockets and electric cars. Meanwhile Musk's marriage disintegrated as his technological obsessions took over his life...

Elon Musk is the Steve Jobs of the present and the future, and for the past 12 months he has been shadowed by tech reporter Ashlee Vance. Elon Musk is an important, exciting and intelligent account of the real-life Iron Man.

©2015 Ashlee Vance (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating insight but a little repetitive

Well written book with a good relatively independent view of the history of Musks companies. Issue is repetitive nature of second half of the book- lots of the same principles come up time and again without really developing much further insight into the direction or the individual.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An eye opening insight into the future.

A recommended biography of a person that sounds like a slave driver, but driven by passion for a better future and humanity.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Too much rambling

There are very good parts in this book about Elon Musk's career but there is a lot of filler by talking about how his companies do better than the competition by doing this or other design choices. Most of them are subjective opinions of the author or the people interviewed and are not measurable facts. Also all of his childhood living with his father is missing yet they keep alluding to it later on as a key point in his life. I feel I learned something from Elon as an entrepeneur in spite of the filler of this book though so not all was lost.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great insight into Musk's worldview

Really enjoyed this background on the vision and drive of Elon Musk. Puts a lot of things in perspective and tells an amazing story. Well worth a listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Very good book, highly recommended. It shows what it really takes to be successful if you translate it to whatever it is you would like to do

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very good

Good narrator, great insight into Elon Musk and overall a very good book. Incredibly interesting!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Extremely interesting and eye opening biography!

Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Gets really deep into what makes Musk and his companies what they are now. More than just a way to learn more about Musk, it shows some of what's necessary to accomplish such successes.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed R
  • London, UK
  • 05-01-17

Inspirational story

Being an engineer myself I found learning about Musk's approach and achievements fascinating and inspiring. Would highly recommend for anyone interested in technology or business.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good

This story was an interesting listen. Musk is a real genius and the things he has achieved in business seems unreal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Scotland
  • 20-12-16

The power of personality

If you could sum up Elon Musk in three words, what would they be?

insightful, enjoyable, entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

Musk is just a balls out force of will.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

He is a solid performer and made the autobiography experience enjoyable.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • innovate risk
  • 26-10-17

Fascinating insight

This is an excellent audio book onto the insights of Elon Musk. In particular the first half provides a brilliant view of his background, his leadership style and the type of personality that drives such an interesting person.

I did find the second half of the book a bit too much about the industry of space exploration, electric cars and solar power. This meant you were losing the insights into the person, and it became a more technical book on the industry.

Overall a great read but perhaps this should have been 2 books - one about the person and one about the industries.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison Cope
  • 13-08-17

Fascinating

I found Elon's story really fascinating but I would have liked to hear more from Elon himself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Fabrice Kabongo
  • 12-06-16

Very inspiring!

when you listen to this book, you know your dream of changing the world can be achieved

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • simba nyatsanga
  • 11-04-18

The greatest industrialist of our time

This is an amazing and deeply researched account of one of the most gifted figures of the last few decades. Elon has managerld to build a hugely complex and synergetic industrial empire in some of the most difficult and multi disciplinary fields including Electric vehicles, space exploration and renewable energy. As of writing he's now also involved in Artificial general intelligence and human computer augemantion. I highly recommend this book for any aspiring engineer, scientist or entrepreneur.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-18

Life of the 'Real' Ironman

Elon Musk's journey through the silicon valley is an inspiring lesson to young entrepreneurial minds.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-02-18

extremely fascinating and inspiring story

The world really does need more Elon Musks! And this account of his life gives a clear understanding of how he achieved what he achieved and the type of person he had to be to achieve what he has. very inspiring story, some great nuggets of wisdom for those who may also be aspiring to make a real and meaningful difference in the world. The narration was also very enjoyable to follow.

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  • Teboho
  • 23-02-18

excellent

I recommend this, wish a got it when it came out. I will now be reading more biographies.

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  • Arpit Prakash
  • 17-02-18

It's Average

Just want to mention this : This is the story of how , why, when Elon's companies went up down left right. This is not a Biography. This is log book of Elon's life. If you want to read a real biography, read Steve Jobs by Walter Issacsson. Where you can see what Steve was thinking, what was his mindset for all what was going on.

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  • Vinodhan
  • 12-02-18

Worthwhile

A useful insight into a polarizing character. There are several genuine lessons to be learnt in following the rise of the tech giant. Well written and entertaining, with good narration. Recommended.

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  • Johann
  • 31-01-18

Captivating, mesmerising and even funny

The book keeps you hooked from start to finish. it's an exceptional good insight into Musks rise to the top, his inner workings and the revolutionary vision he is nodoubdetly going to execute in the future.