A Truck Full of Money
By Tracy Kidder
Random House, 9780812995244, September 2016, 288pp.
The Short of It:
If you are into the start-up culture and enjoy seeing ideas comes to fruition, you will find something of value in this read.
The Rest of It:
This is the story of Paul English, a kinetic and unconventional inventor and entrepreneur, who as a boy rebelled against authority. Growing up in working-class Boston, English discovers a medium for his talents the first time he sees a computer. As a young man, despite suffering from what would eventually be diagnosed as bipolar disorder, he begins his pilgrim’s journey through the ups and downs in the brave new world of computers. Relating to the Internet as if it’s an extension of his own mind, he discovers that he has a talent for conceiving innovative enterprises and building teams that can develop them, becoming “a Pied Piper” of geeks. ~ Indiebound
If you paid attention to the title of this post, you’ll see that this was a DNF (did not finish) for me . This is a rarity, especially when it comes to a book club pick, which is what A Truck Full of Money was to me. I try really hard to finish all book club selections but I just could not get past the 45% mark on my Kindle.
It’s well-written, so it’s definitely not the writing that caused me to eventually give up. No, I believe it was the subject matter. I work in Information Technology. I am surrounded by programmers and application developers but within the higher education sector so I expected to be somewhat enlightened to this new world of start-ups but I was bored people! Bored out of my mind.
At one point, Paul English becomes heavily involved in philanthropy and this part interested me because when someone is in possession of that much money, and we are talking quite a bit of money, it’s admirable when they choose to support charitable causes.
Kidder goes back into English’s childhood and here again, I was kind of pulled in only to be pushed away again. It just wasn’t enough for me to keep reading but he was the founder of Kayak.com and battled bipolar disorder to get to where he is today so I’m not really sure what didn’t work for me because his story is certainly compelling.
Have you read A Truck Full of Money? If so, let me know your thoughts.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
9 thoughts on “Review: A Truck Full of Money (DNF)”
If it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. My measuring stick is cell phone games. If I spend more time playing on my phone than reading, then the book isn’t working for me. I have one now that I will be DNFing shortly because Angry Birds 2 is more interesting to me at this point in time. Weird how sometimes a book which we think we should like just doesn’t work for us.
It’s gotten some good reviews and the author is pretty well known. I just could not get into this guy! Technology is not that interesting to me since I am surrounded by it at work. I will say this, application developers, and I mean this in the most genuine way possible, they can be a little dry. Brilliant, but dry. Your game comment made me chuckle. I read this straight through until I hit that 45% mark but I was like, why? It felt like work and I just didn’t want work I wanted a distraction.
Except, I just did the weirdest thing. Right after this book I started another, which I was raving about to my friends but I just now realized I’ve been reading a different book all along. How did this happen? I started the one book on my Kindle but when I returned to the bookmark it was in another book. So all this time I’ve been giving the wrong book credit. Thank GOD I noticed it before writing the review. How embarrassing that would be. I only noticed it when I went to Goodreads to update my progress and the blurb didn’t match.
I understand. I would be very interested in reading a book about what I do for work either.
Too bad this one didn’t work. I read Kidder’s Mountains to Mountains (or some such title) and really enjoyed it.
Bored out of your mind …. sounds rough. The subject matter doesn’t compel me much. I trust your judgement. I will pass.
My book club discusses it this Thursday and I may skip it. Haven’t decided yet. I read enough to discuss it but not sure I even want to.
This book doesn’t sound like it would be my cup of tea at all.
Just finished this! At least it was short, but yea. I agree – an easy one to DNF (but I finished. Woo hoo). It didn’t get any better. I do recommend his earlier books, House was wild and Mountains Beyond Mountains is VERY GOOD, imo. But this was an effort I felt he started and couldn’t not finish. It had promise but whatever it was, the spark didn’t light.
It was just so darn dry.