The Taiwanese just can’t seem to get enough of Steve Jobs, either in person or his doppelgangers. Readers will remember TechEye’s story earlier this year about a TV ad campaign in Taiwan that used an American expat named Brook Hall to play Jobs in a very convincing ”press conference” at a Hsinchu Science Park setting.
Now, some disreputable punters in Taipei have gone even further by publishing a bestseller in Chinese Mandarin – and purported to be a ”translation” of an Amazon besteller from the USA – titled, get this, “Steve Paul Jobs’s Eleven Pieces of Advice for Young People Today.”
The alleged author is a chap named “John Cage”, who of course does not exist, and the publishers are keeping mum about who the actual “ghostwriter” is and even who the real publisher is.
It’s Ghost Month in Taiwan now, a month-long religious ritiual in which the ghosts of all ancestors come back to Earth to haunt the island nation and play havoc with the normal rules of daily life, so it’s fitting the fake Jobs book has surfaced now.
It’s reached Number 5 on the financial books bestseller lists here, and has reportedly taken in huge amounts of naive readers’ cash over the past few months. John Cage, as readers familiar with modern music will know, was the name of a very eccentric and creative New York composer, and he certainly never wrote the book on Jobs.
About the only thing the fake book got right was that Jobs’ middle name is Paul.
The book was purportedly e-translated into Chinese from its original English version, although no one can trace the original source of the book or find its U.S. counterpart on Amazon. Do you see a ghost here? It’s definitely a ghost-written piece of deceit written on a ghostly dare.
The police are now investigating the case, and if the publisher is found guilty of deceiving the public, he could be in for some ghostly jail time. Stay tuned. This story has legs, as all “fake Steve Jobs” things seem to have.
The alleged author of the book, “John Cage”, is said by the publishers to be “a graduate from Stanford University and who previously served as editor in chief at mass-circulation economic and financial magazines.”
In addition, nowhere in the entire book does it say when and where Jobs offered his sharp-witted ”advice” for young people, as no dates or sources are cited.
Enter Taiwan’s version of Sherlock Holmes.
An enterprising reporter in Taipei was able to trace the street address of the publisher of the book, and when he went there he found – guess what? – a computer store.
The store’s owner said the book was legit and all copyright protections were in order and that the truth of the entire matter will be revealed next month, when Ghost Month is over.
Meanwhile, over 10,000 copies fo the book have been sold and a whole legion of young Jobs fans have read a book that he never wrote. Ghostly.