If Yukari Iwatani Kane’s Haunted Empire teaches us anything, it’s that a dogged newspaper reporter who wants to write a book about Apple needs a narrative hook to hang the story on. In Kane’s case it’s right there in the title: Apple is an empire that’s haunted by its fallen emperor, Steve Jobs, an organization that just can’t make up for his loss and is falling apart right before our eyes.
The book pounds that premise endlessly, wrapping up numerous chapters by describing photos of “the emperor” looking down on his former subjects at Cupertino. No, seriously. Apple’s foundation, she writes at one point, is “a cult built around a dead man.” When Apple Geniuses knock on your door and offer you literature describing how AppleCare can guarantee eternal life, you’ll have to admit she’s right.