Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

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Book Rating (499)

Narrator Rating (82)

Written By: Ashlee Vance

Narrated By: Fred Sanders

Date: May 2015

Duration: 13 hours 24 minutes


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.”

Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who 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, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including 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 fantasy.

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.


  • Anonymous

    great book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • David G.

    Funny, informative, and thought provoking.

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating read. Well narrated.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting book indeed although a bit too long in company overviews.

  • Richard B.

    Wow, excellent writing on an important human. I had no idea his companies came so close to bankruptcy. I didn't know Tesla is the only successful major US car company since Chrysler hit the market 70 or so years ago. the index portions are also interesting. I strongly disagree that we need to waste trillions of dollars putting humans on a dead planet with little sunlight, but I respect Musk's passion for Mars anyways.

  • Anonymous

    Gave me a new understanding of how we must all think differently and be open to advancement in all areas of our lives.

  • Andrew D.


  • Matthew S.

    Great book

  • Steve G

    I knew nothing more about Elon Musk other than his Tesla company and witness to the Electric charging stations in a gas station en route to Phoenix. The narrator made the experience gripping and kept my attention. I couldn’t wait until the next car errand or time at my desk to continue listening.... in the end , I view Elon Musk as THE true visionary of our time.

  • Anonymous

    Great book and the narrator was really good as well. Highly recommend!! Dives deep into the struggles and success

  • Elizabeth L

    Very well written, Vance explained lots of interesting facts about Musk and his companies without boring me.

  • Adam T

    Amazing. Simply amazing. Narration and novel were superb.

  • Chester Jagiello

    Wow...not to often in our history does a person like Elon Musk come along. The narration was superb

  • Eric Hanson

    A very entertaining, well written, well researched, and objective work on the most intriguing story of Elon Musk and the sub plots of SpaceX and Tesla.

  • Jason Hofley

    Great insight into Elon Musks life and how he operates.

  • Kevin Nyabuto

    This book really changed my life. Elon Musk is a true entrepreneur. Anybody doing anything worth doing will draw much inspiration from this book.

  • Navjot Singh

    Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur. He really showed how one person can have a courage to change the world if you set a target or goal and focus on it. It doesn't matter what happens along the way. People will hate you, some will leave you, some will drag you down but you don't care what people say or think. You must do what you think or what you want to do.

  • Fredric B Kimmel

    Makes me want to buy a Tesla so my great grand children may be able to go to Mars!

  • Lenny Sobel

    a true entrepreneur, check your ego at the door this is purely about business

  • Yehuda Bilu

    Great book. Good example of what human mind can do. Elon can be compared to our biggest and smartest inventors like Einstein Ford etc.

  • Norma Dugger

    Excellent Would listen again if I had the time Enough words for now

  • Roy Dequina

    Very insightful book on Elon's life journey, work and what he'll leave behind. I'm inspired to emulate some of his wisdom toward my own personal and business ventures.

  • Jonathan Munn

    Very inspiring! Loved it! It had me thinking on how I want to impact the world we live in.

  • Nate Johnson

    Excellent read for insight into Elon Musk and all of his companies and ideas!

  • Michael Lee

    Very inspiring! Great for aspiring entrepreneurs, engineers, business owners, and philanthropists on how to think big and focus on the "how" of things and challenge the status quo. Loved it.

  • Jonathan Brochu

    Very interesting infos about a lot of different subjects regarding Elon Musk, his achievements and personal life. You won't find all of this info just searching on the internet, some of it, yes, but not all.

  • Christine Infanger

    Wonderful and insightful book! Great details on the early stages and development of each of Musk's companies and small glimpses into what drives him. There isn't a lot of childhood biographical information so if that's what you like, you may be a bit disappointed. If you're more interested in the 'whys' and 'hows' that delve deeper than standard biographical content, you'll probably love this book as much as I do.

  • Michael Gallogly

    Very inspiring for a young engineer. The reader develops a connection to Musk. He is changing the world, and this biography makes the reader want to be part of that change.

  • Cass Almendral

    Excellent! Being an admirer of Elon Musk's accomplishments I found this to be a fascinating and insightful book about his current mostly business life. It goes back to some of his college experiences. It comments about his difficult childhood but not in much detail. The details are in what exactly happened at PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and his involvement in Hyper loop. Highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know how Elon Musk got to where he is.

  • Diane Sanchez

    Downloaded the sample review and it is intriguing but not very clear of when the book will be available and where....on my wish list !

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

by Ashlee Vance

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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
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