It's being turned into a movie by Aaron Sorkin, but Ben Mezrich's book about the creation of Facebook is apparently as badly written as a typical status update on Facebook. Janet Maslin's New York Times review is unsparing.

In summarizing coveted advance copies of the book, other writers have been relatively kind to Accidental Billionaires. Mezrich speculates wildly in the book, after failing to get access to Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and early accounts emphasized how much fun this could be: Sex in bathroom stalls, liaisons with Victora's Secret models, drug-filled parties, etc.

To Maslin, the speculative writing is just bad; cheesy and poorly done. Some of the excerpts she mocks:

  • It's cold, so: "A stiff, crisp breeze whipped through the thin material of Eduardo's shirt..."
  • During a Eureka moment for Zuckerberg: "If Balzac had somehow risen from the dead..."
  • "'We almost hear the James Bond theme running through the kid's head.'"
  • Zuckerberg is imagined in a "James-Bond like lair."
  • After stealing data from a room where two lovers were getting it on, we "imagine him noticing, as he goes, that the girl's floral perfume still hangs, seductively, in the air."
  • Elevator music: "Speeding up the spine of a massive, San Francisco skyscraper... [he hears] the sickly, soft chords of a brutally mangled Beatles song, pumped through speakers embedded above the fluorescent lights that lit the carpeted, cubic lift."
  • "Maybe he'd never really known Mark Zuckerberg. He wondered if, deep down, Mark Zuckerberg ever knew himself."

This critical smackdown in the Times is destined to haunt Mezrich forever, mainly by making him chuckle every time he deposits one of the massive residual checks from the movie, after it becomes a worldwide blockbuster that has been completely rewritten.