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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

oPtion$ book club - Inside Fake Steve's Brain

Thanks for the invitation, Matt.  I am happy to join PrawfsBlawg for today's book club discussion of oPtion$, a parody by fake steve jobs (aka Forbes editor, Daniel Lyons).

What makes oPtion$ so enjoyable is the character of fake steve jobs that Dan Lyons brings to life.  Being inside fake steve's brain is a frightening experience.  He is at turns paranoid, arrogant, narcissistic, egomaniacal, insecure, insufferable and abusive.  Yet, lurking behind this dysfunctional exterior is a pained human being who yearns to be understood.  We get glimpses of fake steve's humanity when he laments the fact that he was adopted, working conditions at Apple's factories in China and his own cruel treatment of Yoko Ono as part of his pursuit of the Beatles music library for iTunes.

The plot of the book (Steve Jobs's travails caused by the federal investigation into options backdating at Apple) is very much in the background. Fake steve's mind is front and center.  What keeps pages turning is not wondering what will happen next, but what perverse thought will next enter fake steve's brain?  Despite the tangential nature of the plot to one's enjoyment of the book, there are many funny scenes to keep readers chuckling.  A few of my favorites:

  • Jobs's deposition where he antagonizes the prosecutors with racist comments, general condescension and his Zen Crazy strategy.
  • Job's attempted settlement negotiation where he offers to pay $1 billion in penalties and the feds turn him down.
  • Hillary Clinton's shake down of the Silicon Valley "war council" assembled to thwart the federal backdating investigation.  Hillary demands tribute from the Silicon Valley executives in exchange for favorable treatment when she takes office.  ("She tells us to check with George Soros on the way out and he'll tell us how to move the money so it can't be traced, using a bunch of these phony baloney environmental groups.")

Bottom line:  oPtions is a fun book that would make a great holiday gift for law students, law professors, corporate lawyers, technology buffs, really any one who owns an iPod or has ever coveted an iPhone.

Posted by Renee Jones on December 4, 2007 at 11:47 AM in oPtion$ Book Club | Permalink


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Hi Dan, I really enjoyed your book. Who says corporate law can't be funny?
- Renee

Posted by: Renee Jones | Dec 4, 2007 12:59:31 PM

Thanks for the write-up of my book. I hope people get a kick out of it and have some fun.

Posted by: Dan Lyons | Dec 4, 2007 12:15:32 PM

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