Bezos’s sprawling interests and empire can leave the book feeling disjointed. The chapters could be arranged in a different order and you wouldn’t really notice because each is about something very different — Alexa, retail, entertainment, space exploration, The Washington Post, Trump. My advice? Read the ones that interest you and skip the rest.
Stone has produced a readable and comprehensive account of Amazon’s journey. The book will no doubt be enthralling to budding entrepreneurs who view men such as Bezos as masters of the universe. Yet I wanted to hear more about the victims of the “toxicity” alluded to by Bray: the warehouse workers and small business sellers; the high street retailers and small companies ruined by Amazon’s unfair competition, due to the low rates of tax it pays and its near monopoly over online trade. These stories do feature in Stone’s book, yet they are dwarfed by quotes from sycophantic hangers-on and page after page of turgid minutiae, written in faintly admiring tones, documenting Bezos’s business acumen.