We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! | [Richard P. Feynman]

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.
Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. In addition to solving the mystery of liquid helium, Feynman has been commissioned to paint a naked female toreador and asked to crack the uncrackable safes guarding the atomic bomb's most critical secrets. He has traded ideas with Einstein and Bohr, discussed gambling odds with Nick the Greek, and accompanied a ballet on the bongo drums. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.

©1985 by Richard P. Feynman; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A chain reaction is not a bad analogy for Feynman's life. From a critical mass of gray matter it goes off in all directions, producing both heat and light." (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1727 )
5 star
 (964)
4 star
 (468)
3 star
 (198)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (37)
Overall
4.4 (744 )
5 star
 (469)
4 star
 (176)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.3 (738 )
5 star
 (396)
4 star
 (216)
3 star
 (93)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 11-18-07
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 11-18-07 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    694
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    292
    128
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    138
    0
    Overall
    "Could be better."

    The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a lot better. This one starts out pretty good but slowly became a bit of a grind. The narrator has nothing of Feynman in him. Too Dry.

    It picks up a little at the end but again, try The Pleasure of Finding Things Out---A lot better.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pankaj Jersey City, NJ, USA 03-01-04
    Pankaj Jersey City, NJ, USA 03-01-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Amusing but insightful book"

    I found this book an amusing but an insightful account of the adventures and lives of Mr Feynman. Mr Feynman, a nobel prize winner physicist, amuses the reader through out the book. However, deeper than the superficial fun and adventures, is an intellectual fun loving man who encourages thinking and understanding. Somehow and for some reason, I appreciate such people who think in life. Mr Feynman is one of them. His book shows how simple thinking enhances the flavour of our lives and how everyone should make some efforts to think in life. Think about what? Thats upto you to think out ;)

    A fun book for the scientific mind. Might be a fun listening for everyone (mostly) I believe.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretchen Underwood Swissvale, PA United States 05-25-13
    Gretchen Underwood Swissvale, PA United States 05-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't believe a narrator managed to kill this."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would absolutely recommend the book (and have several times in the past); however, I would recommend that they read the book, rather than listening to this audiobook. The narrator killed a book that I have always enjoyed.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    These are Feynman's stories and the narrator was not at all a convincing Feynman.


    Did Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! inspire you to do anything?

    Grab my copy of the book off of the shelf and read it again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 02-17-12
    Amazon Customer Utah 02-17-12 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    334
    210
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    253
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Curious Character Indeed"

    I am just not sure what to say about this book. It was interesting. It was weird. It was off the wall. Mr. Feynman is one of the strangest people I have ever read about. A Pulitzer prize winning theoretical physicist who also loves to drum, has had a one-man art show and loves to draw nudes, admits to smoking marijuana, and longs for hallucinations, he is (I hope) one of a kind. He lost me, though, with his definition of music: "Music is just drumming with notes." Hahahaha. Not quite, Mr. Feynman. His is a world seen strictly through the eyes of a scientist. He claims that artists and musicians can't possibly know enough about their art without studying science. Maybe he is right. But I know I for one could not survive long if I had to see everything through the eyes of science. It takes all kinds of people in this world to make it so interesting. Which makes me thankful for people like Mr. Feynman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 10-31-11
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    490
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    412
    198
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    72
    52
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Likeable, entertaining man!"

    The narration was perfection, and I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't the author himself narrating. It's a sort of stream-of-consciousness telling of the many events in his life that define his quirky curiosity and intelligence. Entertaining and humorous--loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Marysville, KS, United States 01-07-11
    Alex Marysville, KS, United States 01-07-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Favorite"

    I love books like this one. Lots of interesting anecdotes from a person smarter than me (that part isn't to tough to achieve!). I have hundreds of audio books but I always like to come back to this one every couple of years. My father listened to part of it with me and got hooked, himself. We still talk about the parts of it we enjoyed the most.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard SAN DIEGO , CA, USA 07-22-05
    Richard SAN DIEGO , CA, USA 07-22-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not So Wonderful"

    I recognize that Feynman was a great physicist, etc., but I just do not see what is so compelling about his non-scientific books, at least this one. Feynman adopts a studiedly colloquial, urban blue collar style-- exacerbated by the reader's sounding like a cross between a borscht belt comedian and Archie Bunker-- and just goes on and on. Feynman portrays himself as the eternal adolescent, specifically the class clown, and he becomes tedious in the same way that Tom Sawyer does when he, no longer so charming, intrudes himself into the adult novel "Huckleberry Finn," relentlessly juvenile and self-indulgent. Feynman's anecdotes are wordy, repetitious and frequently quite pointless. Contrary to many, I found none of his stuff to be sidesplitting, and rarely provoking of even a smile. And the book just keeps getting more and more annoying, at least through the 4 or so cds that I listened to before-- for the first time in my Audible.com experience-- quitting to go on to another book. Finally, Feynman's usually self-deprecating tone seems to me to often mask a streak of amoral cruelty. The guy clearly cares more about his pranks than about people.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Studio City, CA, USA 01-09-05
    Gabriel Studio City, CA, USA 01-09-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent book!"

    Feynman's book is a fantastic account of a tremendously interesting life. Very funny and constantly engaging. I found the reader fairly good, and I looked forward to getting into the car so I could hear more. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 05-14-08
    Tom 05-14-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Reader is Tough"

    You should listen to a clip before buying this book. The reader sounds like he is reading a children's book; it's impossible to listen to it!

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Walsall, West Midlands United Kingdom 11-06-03
    Amazon Customer Walsall, West Midlands United Kingdom 11-06-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "One of my favourites"

    I usually listen to audio books in the car, travelling to and from work. This was the first one in a long time that made me want more traffic to delay me so that I could listen to it a bit longer. I was often sitting in the car for a good five minutes after I had arrived home listening to one of the anecdotes.

    A fascinating insight into one of the greatest minds of the last century.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 86 results PREVIOUS1239NEXT
Sort by:
  • SeaEagle1453
    UK
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating insight into an extraordinary life"
    If you could sum up Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, amusing delightful


    What other book might you compare Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! to, and why?

    There is a life on Cochrane. Which wove his perspective into the events.


    What does Raymond Todd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I enjoyed his narration immensely. He brought extra colour to the book and brought Feynman to life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he is at Los Alamos and Boer wants him because he says it as it is.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book, I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    11/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Curious Nature"

    When I started listening to this, I wasn't sure about it, as he sounded a tiny bit arrogant. But then I realised that he just tells things straight. So if he's good at something, he'll say that, but if he's bad at it, he'll also freely admit it and laugh at himself unashamedly. Feynman is almost childlike in his curiosity about the way the world works and his enthusiasm for things, particularly safe-cracking and beautiful women! His life is a series of adventures and circumstances that would sound unbelievable if you didn't know they were true - his curiosity and openness leads him into all sorts of daft encounters and circumstances that are entertainingly described to the listener with humour and a lightness of touch.

    The book is just a series of little events (apart from his winning the Nobel prize), so if you want huge excitement or deep scientific explanations you won't be happy, but he is entertaining company. You probably won't enjoy this book if you've never come across Feynman and his work before - you don't need to know lots (I don't understand it in any depth), but a sense of his significance in the world of physics would be helpful. The narrator gets the tone just right, as if you're sitting having a chat with the great man himself. Very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Sale, United Kingdom
    7/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wish I had read this earlier"
    Would you listen to Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! again? Why?

    I wish I had read that when I was still a student! He had such an open mind to new experiences and was able to understand all sociological artistic and psychological phenomena in such a logical and humorous way


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Live the life logically but with humour


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JOHN
    County Cork, Ireland
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not A Lot Of Laughs"
    What disappointed you about Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!?

    I was expecting to be entertained and enlightened by this much lauded book but I found it dull and boring and Feynman comes across as a particularly unpleasant individual, an egotist of the first rank. I gave up on it just over half way through as I could no longer tolerate his presence. He may have been a genius and was undoubtedly a great physicist but he most certainly was not a good writer. The book has an undeserved reputation mainly due to the uncritical worshiping of all things Feynman by his adoring fans. Raymond Todd does a workmanlike job with the narration but unfortunately the source material leaves a lot to be desired.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie
    Amlwch, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Not joking - amusing and entertaining"

    The autobiography of one of the world’s cleverest scientists does not sound exciting but this is a wonderful story of a boy who grew up in depression USA making money mending radios and enjoying inventing things. The book goes on to describe his career through the academic and research world meeting many of the most brilliant people of the time, but it also tells the story of the Richard Feynman who loved the company of beautiful women and liked to understand how people interact. A lively, funny, engaging book which is a pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • M
    Kilwinning, United Kingdom
    9/13/12
    Overall
    "An insight into genius"

    This is an interesting and entertaining 'autobiography' that offers insights into the life of a nobel prize winning genius. Feynman was an uncompromising individual who pushed at scientific and social boundaries. He is candid and the narrative portrays his actions as normal, even where they clearly were not. So, perhaps without knowing it he has bared his sole even more than he intended. The reader is very good and I enjoyed this audible book. If you like biographies of clever and interesting people then you will like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Huddersfield, United Kingdom
    8/26/11
    Overall
    "Interesting and slightly surprising read"

    I must admit to having put off listening to this "book" as it seemed to fall into the category of "improving" rather than "entertaining."

    However: Twas a really good experience to follow in the diverse footsteps of such a widely talented bloke. At times the technical/maths got a bit hairy, but fortunately the emphasis on these aspects of a life well lived formed a proportionately small amount of the overall text.

    I look forward to a second "reading" in a few months time and hope for a similar level of enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ralph
    Bexleyheath, United Kingdom
    5/31/11
    Overall
    "A wicked genius - a beautiful life"

    I know more about the world having read this world - and it is even more fun than I suspected

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    1/10/11
    Overall
    "A classic science autobiography"

    A fantastic, memorable listen. I have listened to this book twice and find it strangely inspiring. Feynman was a fascinating character and to hear in his own words his view of the world and his reasoning of why he was the way he was is a real treat. It is full of humourous anecdotes and stories about his life that provide an all too fleeting glimpse of what he was like - not all of it likeable - he was a man of his time. Excellently read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Banchory, United Kingdom
    7/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I loved to hear it this time round"

    RPF is my mentor - when you need to get real about life and the world, read some Feynman. He is just so down to earth and brilliant at the same time. This is a must listen for everyone. Easily and sympathetically read by Todd. I love RPF's lectures as well- in his own voice. RPF is so non PC and has a very happy synicism about puffed up authority. A real lesson in how to live life and keep on being in wonder about the world around us.
    The world needs you back Dickie!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.