If you're interested in the McCarthy Era, this book is for you and only for you.
This was one of the only books or audiobooks in my life that I haven't finished! The story really lost momentum after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (about halfway through). The book became repetitive and provided far too much detail on precisely how various parties eavesdropped on Oppenheimer due to his political leanings.
The audio quality was horrible; worst I've heard from Audible. It was clear that they recorded the book in chunks and re-recorded sections of it; the audio would sound normal then would get either muffled or become much more clear for a sentence or two.
It did have some interesting details about the Manhattan project, but the story slowed way, way down after that portion came to an end. Endless recounting of he-said she-said FBI-said.
Glad I used a credit for this book rather than paying full price. Would've demanded a refund otherwise
An excellent tale of a scientific leader who struggled through adversity and left a legacy of achievement in difficult times. A very balanced view of a great man who struggled to do the right thing during the rise of nuclear politics and a time when policy disagreements were often called treason by by those manipulating the FBI for political purposes. A cautionary tale that still rings true today.
This is such an interesting story, so American in an international way. Oppenheimer was a genius, obviously, but he had a fatal flaw. The book appears to be thorough and well researched, a story well told. My only complaint is that it is obvious where the recording begins and ends. Some parts are faster or louder or seem to have a different background. That was annoying.
Reading the description of this book, I had the impression that it was going to focus on the rise and fall of this role in the automatic age, especially concerning his "trial". However, this book starts all the way at this birth and meanders slowly through his life, his marriages, etc. I have read biographies before and I love non-fiction, but this was just boring. It needs an abridgment desperately.
While the narrator was in fact fine on his own, it was the recording itself that was done poorly. The book would switch between a normal reading to a faded out reading, like he had moved behind a wall. Clearly this book was recorded in sessions and no one bothered to make sure each session was recorded with the same quality. For a paid book, this is pretty unforgivable. I've listened to plenty of free, volunteer read audiobooks, that didn't have this sloppy quality.
This well researched, illuminating account of Oppenheimer's life, goes to great lengths to describe his murky relationship to the Communist Party and it's various members. While at the same time filling out the more personal aspects of the famed Manhattan Project leader's life.
The seminal work on one of the most important and vexing men of the 20th century. The book is tremendous history, impeccably researched, and expertly presented. Unfortunately, the production quality is significantly below what Blackstone Audio typically does. The initial narrator is great but apparently he mispronounced a couple of the names in the book, particularly Louis Strauss (he pronounces it like Leo Strauss, when in fact it is more like Straws), so they corrected this but the audio mixing of the correction is poor, it's in a different tone, volume, and cadence. Strauss in particular is a central character throughout 50% of Oppenheimer's life so in every instance of his name coming up, hundreds throughout the book, you get the sliced in narrator and it's very abrupt. I expect more of Blackstone Audio.
Lover of entertainment
I loved the book. It was extremely well researched. The story was told and read beautifully.