Stakes High for Ben Mezrich

What’s that sound? Could it be tech reporters sharpening their nails, in anticipation of next month’s release of Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, billed as the true story of the founding of Facebook?  Mezrich, you’ll remember, is the author of the nonfiction bestseller Bringing Down the House, about MIT students who beat the odds in Las Vegas, who later conceded that he had fictionalized parts of that book. 

The New York Times Bits blog and Boston magazine both note that the stakes are higher for Mezrich in the new book — and not only because Mezrich will face stiff scrutiny from tech reporters and bloggers, who have already debunked some details in leaked copies of his original proposal for the book. Mezrich has also received a $1.2 million advance for the book and has made a film deal with West Wing creator Alan Sorkin. And let’s not forget that the Facebook founders could be litigious. In addition, the Bits blog says, Mezrich’s main source is not airtight: he had access only to Eduardo Saverin, who provided seed money to one of the site’s founders, Mark Zuckerberg, before Saverin was ousted from the Facebook team. 

Libraries are showing some reserves on the book. This could be one to watch, depending on how other reporters and Facebook respond to the book.

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Ben Mezrich
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Doubleday – (2009-07-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0385529376 / 9780385529372

Available from Random House audio (July 7, 2009)

  • CD; $35; 9780739383582

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