Siefer delivers a concise and entertaining recollection of the life and mystery of Tesla allowing the reader to ultimately decide on what Tesla was really up to over his last decades.
Urban planner. Environmentalist. Geek.
Someday, someone will write a brilliant book about Tesla. This isn't it.
Writing is all about choices about what, and what not, to include, and I'm not sure Seifer made any. He tells readers the 1890 address of a building that had since moved, so that if readers should ever be transported back in time, they will know how to find it. He mentions a book in passing and can't help but mention who edited it. I often wondered if there could be any information I would be less interested in knowing.
His subject matter is so intrinsically interesting that it is almost worth the slog. Can you believe Tesla would put on demonstrations showing scientists multiple new technologies, and that he would send electricity through his body so he could shoot fire out his fingertips? The author, unfortunately, often skips the human story of discovery or the motivations for Tesla's rivalries, and goes straight for all the maddening details. Walter Isaacson should take this book as source material and write something good.
I thought I could make it through but I had to jump ship when Seifer refers to woman gushing with hormones just because she walked near Tesla. He never embellishes the facts when discussing men, but for women, he pretends he's writing fiction. Bad fiction.
The book is well written and well performed. If you want to know about Tesla, this covers pretty much everything. That's its strength and its weakness. It got so detailed in a couple parts that it really dragged to the point that I almost stopped listening. However, I'm glad I didn't because once I got past the slow part, it got really interesting again and I learned quite a bit that I didn't know before.
The performance was good, with different voices and a moderate pace, although all the Americans sounded like gruff dockworkers. The story, however, was far too detailed to be entertaining. It chronicled, seemingly, every trivial relationship in Tesla's life, regardless how little the impact on his outlook. The author portrayed Tesla as more of a common, whiny man, than as a visionary. I'm not quite sure if I, now, feel like Tesla was a genius or a charlatan.
story lines frequently overlap time frames making it difficult to follow the chronology of events in the book. Exhustive in detail and repetitive on many counts with numerous examples given to make a single point or citing numerous events that could have been summarized by a blanket statement.
For example the author could have said "Tesla made requests for financing from JP Morgan 25 times, each of which was refused" instead of spending hours outlining each of those requests.
Good information... fascinating man and mind... glad I listened... I feel we owe a lot to this man...wish the book had been edited more or perhaps even abridged.
this was an interesting book was well-read. I did find it hard to follow because of technical jargon. I also think that the authors could have added more of a human touch to his descriptions of Nikola Tesla. however this did inspire me to relearn many of the principles of electricity.
I really enjoyed this insight into the genius that was Tesla. It is a long listen, but worth every minute. However, it is a little diminished by the attempts by the narrator to create characters using different voices and accents.
The reader is very good, but the subject can get too technically confusing on occasion.
There were many details about his life that don't appear to have affected his work but that did give a hint into his psyche and personal life. In a book, rightly so with the subject, mainly focusing on the technical achievements of the inventor, these personal tidbits that have no apparent affect on his work seem more like distractions than useful or insightful information. They seemed to only manage to serve as anecdotal and filler making a long book too much so.
The other problem I had was the jumping around of the timeline. While this doesn't happen often, in comparison to the large amount of story and information about Tesla's life, they were actually more confusing because of their infrequency. If the book had been topical, following a thread of his life or a specific invention this would be common and understandable. That type of book would not be viewed chronologically for the entirety of his life but only in snipits. Where as this book attempted a little of this and a majority of a chronological telling of his life the effect was occasional and mild confusion, buy of course that could just be me.
Overall it's a good book. Just don't expect to sit down and blow through this one quickly. Only a serious Tesla-file would be able to handle this in more than 1-2 hour chunks.
The book well written and reader does a good job, parts are too technical for the average reader.