The performer cannot pronounce some pretty basic words. For example, he pronounces the first "s" in "Descartes" and "matrices" like "mattresses". Most European names were butchered. Many technical terms slaughtered. It's extremely distracting and makes the science and the story enormously hard to follow. I strongly recommend reading this book in text rather than listening to the audiobook.
I suspect that reading this book on my own would have been preferable to this lacklustre reading. If the non-nuanced drone did not lull you to sleep; perhaps, it was from the jolt of the plethora of mispronunciations - names and common words - detritus, for example. An editor would have been helpful; Estell should realize that we are blushing with him. Despite the reading, I felt both entertained and edified by this biography. A five star awaiting another opportunity.
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
I am sorry I l left this so long before I wrote the review; I like to write them while I am on the last few pages and all is still fresh in my mind.
So...in summary only...here was a tireless intellectual, a rigorous mind, a loving husband, a man who subscribed to now rules that compromised his fundamental beliefs. Yet, here also was a man that went to Brazil to spend a week with a woman of questionable virtue to get a break from the stress of thinking.
My whole experience was enhanced when I found out that Feynman had been recorded giving 7 lectures to students at Cornell in the 1950's. Bill Gates had saved these and made them available on the internet: there Feynman was, alive, humorous, his coarse New York accent untainted, his clean clear thinking on show as if still here.
Nobel Prize winner, uncompromising, funny, passionate, tireless, the book brings him alive. How I'd love to have had dinner with him!
Yes, to a professional scientist or proficient lay scientist. There is a lot of physics that may be difficult for someone with no college physics.
Feynman's work on the atomic bomb while simultaneously caring for and exalting in the love of his life (his wife) dying from tuberculosis.
Feynman's rivalry with Schwinger and Gell-mann demonstrating an insecurity, which is not apparent in most descriptions of Feynman.
Gleick rambles on about genius, what it is and how to detect it. I think about half of that discussion could be cut. But it is a theme and Gleick raises several interesting issues about genius.