“You smell like a toilet” was the opening introduction to what the man behind the tech giant Apple was like and an inkling of what the odyssey of father and daughter would be like.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs was born to one soon to be known computer developer Steve Jobs and a student artist named Chrisann Brennan on a farm commune in Oregon. At the time of her birth her father named her despite claiming she wasn’t his.
Lisa’s writing is a unique cadence between classic AP style and her own tonality when speaking. It is like butter being placed on toast with lavishments that carry the reader through every phase to create a complex and yet easy accessible read.
Accessibility is one of her book’s strong points. Easily drawing parallels to every childhood where both the memories of wonderment along with the horrors underlying growth are illuminated.
One moment you are angered even horrified by many of the key character’s behaviors and actions and the next entrenched in sympathy for those who really knew no better. Some a product of bad advice others never really had a role model to understand much needed social behavior.
This is the other book’s strength. It’s treatment of key players not as legendary childhood pedestals but crudely drawn with the maturity that each person in her life had both benevolent and subversive flaws that lent to her strengthening.
Further she weaves the tale with an underlying conspiracy of angels, the ones routing for her and uplifting her life and devils, the ones who behind close doors and in conversation steered her trajectory towards loneliness and a lack of a father in childhood.
We even begin to see Steve Jobs borderline neglectful and often harsh actions of disowning her rooted deep in a conversation with a spiritual advisor years before. Depending on the baby’s gender he would either be tied to its care or would have no obligation to even claim it.
For every bit of cruelty given out there was a memory that showed either the awkwardness or the fun side that gave her father a place in her heart. From making sex talks an unashamed event to skating along the streets of Palo Alto there was redemption for Jobs at the end of his life.