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Elon Musk:

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

  • Read by: Fred Sanders
  • Runtime: 13.4 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 5.19.2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Genre: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
  • 13.38 hrs5/19/2015Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 9780062373762
0 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5

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A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Business & Investing

In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over forty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies—PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity—and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators that led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science fiction.

Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

Editorial Reviews

“[A] spirited and riveting biography.”

Wall Street Journal

“Exhaustively reported…this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him.”

New York Times Book Review

“An essential read…a riveting portrait of Silicon Valley’s most driven entrepreneur since Steve Jobs.”

Financial Times

“It’s clear that this new Musk bio delivers the goods…Vance provides a wealth of insights about how this tech titan operates.”


“Does an admirable job of balancing the highs and lows of Musk’s outsized personality. He writes a thought-provoking chronicle that doesn’t suffer for being only a first act, as Musk is still leading the field in innovation.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“Vance paints a complicated picture of a complicated man…Throughout, Vance elucidates Musk’s unusual combination of vision, determination, intelligence, whimsy, and ruthlessness that enabled these successes…Vance ably conveys the reality of this man who is both a dreamer and a doer.”

Publishers Weekly

“Fred Sanders narrates this smartly written biography with the right balance of gravitas and entertainment value, providing accents for some of the major characters including a convincing South African accent for the story’s star…The combination of great narration, well-written and well-researched content, and a bigger-than-life subject propels this nuanced work into the upper atmosphere of audiobook biographies. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


“Elon Musk is a man after my own heart: a risk taker undaunted by setbacks and ever driven to ensure a bright future for humanity. Ashlee Vance’s stellar biography captures Musk’s remarkable life story and irrepressible spirit.”

Richard Branson, English businessman and investor

“More than any entrepreneur since Steve Jobs, Elon Musk sets the bar for what’s possible in technology. We are fortunate to have our very own real-life Tony Stark in Elon, and here, for the first time, we have his story vividly told.”

March Andreessen, venture capitalist and web pioneer

“The book Elon Musk is a compelling firsthand, behind-the-scenes look at how Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity were formed and how Elon works to bring his passions to fruition. He is a unique character changing the world, and Ashlee Vance’s book is a riveting account of how Elon’s game-changing ideas have been conceived and born, and now flourish.”

J. Craig Venter, PhD, first human genome sequencer and creator of synthetic life

Author Biography

Ashlee Vance is an award-winning feature writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. Previously, he worked for the New York Times and the Economist. Vance was born in South Africa, grew up in Texas, and attended Pomona College. He then ended up in San Francisco and has spent more than a decade covering the technology industry. Vance is a noted Silicon Valley historian.

Reader Biography

Fred Sanders, winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction and memoir to fiction and mystery and suspense.

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