Small Fry
A frank, smart and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs.Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents--artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs--Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be.Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs's poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents' fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.

Small Fry Details

TitleSmall Fry
Author
ReleaseSep 4th, 2018
PublisherGrove Press
ISBN-139780802128232
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir

Small Fry Review

  • Leslynn
    January 1, 1970
    Copy courtesy of NetGalleySo, this book....... it's one of those which elicit strong emotions in a reader, especially a parent. There are times when you wonder why these people were allowed to be parents, why no-one smacked some sense into Steve & whateverthemothersnamewas, how did this child evolve into a somewhat coherent individual? Proof that:- intellect does not ensure good parenting (or even a mediocre attempt at it)- fame & money clearly does not make you happy- whateverthemothers Copy courtesy of NetGalleySo, this book....... it's one of those which elicit strong emotions in a reader, especially a parent. There are times when you wonder why these people were allowed to be parents, why no-one smacked some sense into Steve & whateverthemothersnamewas, how did this child evolve into a somewhat coherent individual? Proof that:- intellect does not ensure good parenting (or even a mediocre attempt at it)- fame & money clearly does not make you happy- whateverthemothersnamewas was a selfish, brutish individual who should have made better life choices- that children defy, even after death- even when surrounded by people, you can be alone.A well-written memoir, which is worth reading.
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    Lisa Brennan-Jobs new memoir, Small Fry, is searing in a Mommy Dearest expose` way, with me exclaiming and throwing the book down on at least three occasions, with a, “He did what?!”.And that’s saying something for a former high school counselor, who’d thought I had hardened to any shock at inconsistent parenting and emotional abuse. So let me tell you, Steve Jobs takes the Apple cake. But instead, pick up a copy of Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ book and let her tell you in her very rational, yet compellin Lisa Brennan-Jobs new memoir, Small Fry, is searing in a Mommy Dearest expose` way, with me exclaiming and throwing the book down on at least three occasions, with a, “He did what?!”.And that’s saying something for a former high school counselor, who’d thought I had hardened to any shock at inconsistent parenting and emotional abuse. So let me tell you, Steve Jobs takes the Apple cake. But instead, pick up a copy of Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ book and let her tell you in her very rational, yet compelling writer’s voice.
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  • librarianka
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very well written and a very interesting memoir about the complex, distant father that Steve Jobs was to Lisa Brennan. The book joins its great predecessors such as the Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover or We are all shipwrecks: a memoir by Kelly Grey Carlisle that are non-fiction books that read like fiction. All the parts that make a great and compelling read are in place: an unusual and intriguing story, very high quality of writing and editing, maturity of the author able to tran This is a very well written and a very interesting memoir about the complex, distant father that Steve Jobs was to Lisa Brennan. The book joins its great predecessors such as the Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover or We are all shipwrecks: a memoir by Kelly Grey Carlisle that are non-fiction books that read like fiction. All the parts that make a great and compelling read are in place: an unusual and intriguing story, very high quality of writing and editing, maturity of the author able to transcend her experience and personal suffering and able to present an analytical, well-balanced piece of writing that is completely gripping. We cannot avoid rooting for the protagonist of this story and we get the satisfaction by observing how in spite of great adversity, she grows, matures, comes into her own. Lisa Brennan gives justice to the complexity of her father and presents a portrait that is far from simplistic and at the same time very vivid, clear and oddly in accordance with his own rules of esthetics: sparse and minimalistic, devoid of sentimentality. The subject matter of the story, the distant, at times cruel or even malicious father and the daughter who keeps seeking his approval, acceptance, admiration, love and who is denied this love by the parent, will resonate with many readers. The act of describing of the process of her coming into her own and moving beyond the negative formative experiences and its product - the book offers hope and might be as therapeutic to readers as it has been to its writer. As to the question posed many times: was Lisa, the first computer, named after the daughter of Steve Jobs? Yes and no. Watch 2015 documentary Steve Jobs the Man in the Machine to find out. Excellent and highly recommended book that could be material for a new film all together.
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  • Julie Garner
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reading copy of this book.Interesting memoir from the daughter Steve Jobs. It is a moving story if a young girl absolutely desperate for love from her family and at times finding it extremely hard to get that from either parent.Right from the word go, her father denies her. From a young and naive age it seems to me that Lisa became a parent to her mother and tried so hard not to be a stranger to her father. So many times when I was reading this book I found myself getting I received an advanced reading copy of this book.Interesting memoir from the daughter Steve Jobs. It is a moving story if a young girl absolutely desperate for love from her family and at times finding it extremely hard to get that from either parent.Right from the word go, her father denies her. From a young and naive age it seems to me that Lisa became a parent to her mother and tried so hard not to be a stranger to her father. So many times when I was reading this book I found myself getting angry with both parents. That was not the way you treat a child! Either of you! Obviously this is seen through Lisa's eyes but man, do you feel for this kid.I found it extremely fascinating that she offered such a personal insight into Jobs. It was completely different to how I imagined him to be. That said, all his faults make sense. Not that I calmly agree with them.I will admit I found the writing still a little disjointed but it was fairly easy to pull back to the point you were at after the distraction.Good alternative biography about Steve Jobs for fans of Isaacson but if you are looking for something to fangirl about him, this is not for you.
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  • Meggan
    January 1, 1970
    This book really makes you understand that people are complicated. Just because they are famous, or intelligent, etc., doesn't mean that success is going to translate into all aspects of their lives.
  • Carly DaSilva
    January 1, 1970
    I like memoirs, especially women’s memoirs, and I’m glad I managed to snag this ARC at BEA, the last of those I received when I raided the Grove Atlantic booth. I’m always a little turned off when writing (particularly in memoir, particularly in women’s memoirs) is praised as “unsentimental” right off the bat—ouch, sentiment is valid and no less moving than a lack thereof, why put apathy on a pedestal, traditionally viewed as a better (more masculine) writer’s ideal—but that of course has nothin I like memoirs, especially women’s memoirs, and I’m glad I managed to snag this ARC at BEA, the last of those I received when I raided the Grove Atlantic booth. I’m always a little turned off when writing (particularly in memoir, particularly in women’s memoirs) is praised as “unsentimental” right off the bat—ouch, sentiment is valid and no less moving than a lack thereof, why put apathy on a pedestal, traditionally viewed as a better (more masculine) writer’s ideal—but that of course has nothing to do with the content itself, which I really did enjoy, and which does indeed imply much of its emotional weight. Brennan-Jobs chooses to detach herself from these moments in her youth in conveying them to us, thus highlighting her father’s detachment and distance throughout the book, the emotional damage of that echoing in the absence of it in the writing.Her mother’s presence in the book is also a commentary on that, being a root of emotional turbulence and transparency throughout. By the end, Brennan-Jobs (and we) see how important this root is, faults and all. I thought the storytelling overall was very artful—it reminded me how our lives have their own themes and motifs and symbols and allusions, echoing themselves as they progress, as if our paths have been written and revised themselves. Brennan-Jobs beautifully highlights these moments here with her chosen anecdotes—descriptive paragraphs capturing aspects of her relationships with her parents and other adults in her life, scenes highlighting those things about them that most impacted and shaped her. It was this most of all that I really enjoyed while reading.I’d give this a 3.5 on the round-up end. It exceeded my expectations.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Despite the buzz around this book because her father was famous, Lisa’s story is essentially about a sensitive girl who feels isolated, as if she never fits in anywhere—like the ugly duckling in the fairy tale. Of course, she tells us the story everyone’s heard: Lisa’s parents were in their early 20’s when her mom got pregnant. Her father continued to deny paternity until the state of California demanded a paternity test, as it did for clients receiving welfare benefits. He then grudgingly paid Despite the buzz around this book because her father was famous, Lisa’s story is essentially about a sensitive girl who feels isolated, as if she never fits in anywhere—like the ugly duckling in the fairy tale. Of course, she tells us the story everyone’s heard: Lisa’s parents were in their early 20’s when her mom got pregnant. Her father continued to deny paternity until the state of California demanded a paternity test, as it did for clients receiving welfare benefits. He then grudgingly paid child support. But this is more Lisa’s coming of age story, caught between a mother who is mostly her best friend and protector, with the occasional ”you ruined my life” thrown in, and a father who makes her feel perpetually off-balance as he doles out affection sparingly, if at all. This book stands on its own as Lisa tells her story of growing up in the eighties and nineties in a dysfunctional California family--her story is universal enough to transcend the famous father. Brennan-Jobs is a compelling writer, and it seemed that by the end of her book that the “ugly duckling” outsider has finally found her place as a swan.
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  • Julie Miller
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reading copy of this book. Memoirs by women are by favorite genre, and this one is a new favorite. I didn't expect it to be the page-turner it was; Brennan-Jobs is a fantastic writer and her coming-of-age story about her relationship with her unpredictable father is compelling. The setting- California in the 80's- was brought alive for me as well.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    A literary coming-of-age memoir of the highest order, the story of a child trying to find her place between two radically different parents, identities, and worlds. Compassionate, wise, and filled with finely-wrought detail - an absolutely wonderful book.
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