54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
This is the best bio on RICHARD FEYNMAN by far, and it comes as no surprise that the author is JAMES GLEICK. Gleick is one of the greatest living science writers. His subject this time is the great RICHARD FEYNMAN. A scientist who is fascinating on all fronts- personal and professional.
In other writers hands this cornucopia of great material is wasted. Gleick is the right man for the job and he doesn't disappoint. He choreographs a memorable dance intertwining the personal and professional sides of this enigmatic,extroverted, exuberant, genius. whose life is a favorite study of scientific students and others like myself who have been lucky enough to discover the entrancing story of his remarkable life and work..
This is a highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable biography that anyone can benefit greatly from reading. As expected Gleick does a masterful job of disseminating all of Feynman's remarkable scientific discovery's and inventions in a manner anyone can not just come to understand- but appreciate as well . Thats a tall order that Gleick is renown for pulling off (see my review on his book on chaos theory) As far as I can recall, the narration is also quite good for both books.
Once youve read genius- or even before you read it, check out all the wonderful interviews with Feynmans on u tube. This is a great book about a great man. Highly recommended.
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!
despite not fully understanding the quantum physics. I enjoyed getting to know a legend of modern science on a closer level. I thought the balance of personal history and theory specifics to be enticing and challenging. great book.
Roughly 60% of the material in "Genius" is a paraphrasing of the stories contained in the books "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" which are edited transcriptions of recordings of Feynman telling these stories. The Feynman books are a joy and a revelation. In addition they are wonderfully narrated. In contrast, Gleick's paraphrasing of the stories saps them of the vitality and character of Feynman. Making matters worse, the narrator of "Genius" is dull and mispronounces the names of important physicists and mathematical terms. Get the Feynman books, and skip "Genius."
I am a Physics and Engineering student.
I enjoyed this book. It is somewhat technical, but not too much and an understanding of these things is not really necessary to enjoy the book. If you have an interest in the history of science, like I do, you will like this book. Feynman lived in a pretty cool time for his field and he himself was a pretty cool guy. Very entertaining. Also, the narrator does a good job.
This is a superb biography, Gleick's masterpiece. He not only gets into the science, the other scientists, and the personal life of Feynman, but he presents a feel for what he was actually like. I can picture Feynman lecturing, complaining about curricula, and impressing his colleagues and women through this book. Gleick goes on welcome tangents about topics like genius, the apt title of the book. Many great stories abound.
I was surprised to learn that Dick Estell had mispronounced some names and terms upon scanning other reviews. I know of some famous scientists, and I have an MS in Math, but when I listened to this audio book, I didn't catch the errors, probably because I didn't know the pronunciations of some of the scientists myself. I only mention this because I would not let concerns over mispronunciations deter you from listening. (I know I would.) This is the best bio out there on Feynman, and the narration kept me going.
I am a math teacher in a vocational school. I want to become a physics teacher also. Self development, teaching and upbringing intrest me.
This book is quite extensive. What makes one a genius is a riddle and this book nicely pondered questions around it
Learning that Dick did physics just for the excitement of finding out things. Even though for the advancement of physics it could have been more benefitual if he had read more about other peoples research. But then on the other hand it was important that he had his own way of thinking and calculating
So far most informative book about Feynman that I have read.
Good biography balancing his life story with his contributions to science. Balanced approach makes it readable and you don't have to be a science wiz to understand his contributions. Very readable.
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.