Tracy Kidder * Random House * September 20, 2016 * 288 Pages
Advanced Reader Copy provided by publisher through Net Galley.
Paul English is the cofounder of Kayak.com, the popular website that helps buyers find the cheapest flight available across multiple airline sites. English built the company from the ground up, and, in 2012, after Kayak (very successfully) went public, he sold the whole caboodle for almost 2 billion dollars.
A Truck Full of Money is English’s biography as told by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder. Though the book covers the typical topics you’d expect to see in a life story (like English’s childhood, his various career moves, and descriptions of the key friends and coworkers in his life), it also covers some things that surprised me–for instance, English’s bipolar disorder, his extreme discomfort (guilt?) with earning so much money, as well as his experiences working with homeless people. I honestly wasn’t expecting to read so much about mental health, the ethics and expectations of having money, or homelessness, but all three topics ended up adding a lot to the book. My awareness of these issues increased, and I felt like I understood Paul English better.
Overall, I’d say that I liked this book well enough. Honestly, it wasn’t what I was expecting based on the product description I read. But it was still okay. Certain parts bored me, but other parts really surprised me (in a good way), so it mostly balanced out in the end. If you really like techie biographies (I don’t), you will probably enjoy this one.