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Wizard Audiobook

Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.
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Publisher's Summary

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology. Among Tesla's creations were the channeling of alternating current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, and the giant turbines that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls.

©1996 Marc J. Seifer (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Seifer's vivid, revelatory, exhaustively researched biography rescues pioneer inventor Nikola Tesla from cult status and restores him to his rightful place as a principal architect of the modern age." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1440 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Peter Gundaroo, Australia 12-10-12
    Peter Gundaroo, Australia 12-10-12
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    "Gripping tale of Tesla's brilliant life and work."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wizard to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version. Audio would be hard to beat, especially as a way to absorb information while on a long trip. Never dull!


    What other book might you compare Wizard to and why?

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel, by LTC Rolt. Brunel's genius was as wide-ranging as Tesla's.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My reaction was one of amazement at the scope of Tesla's achievements. An incredible life.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the early years of technology.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Bothell, WA, United States 12-05-12
    Brandon Bothell, WA, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Great In-depth Bio of Tesla"

    Pros:
    Learn about all aspects of his life

    Cons:
    Got lost in some of the technical discussion on his inventions

    I picked this up to learn about a historical figure that I have heard contributed greatly to modern science but short of the Tesla coil I knew nothing about. The book took a deep dive into all aspects of his life and his projects. While I am not electrical engineer I was able to general understand his inventions, but got lost in some of the technical discussions.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-21-12
    Dean 04-21-12 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

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    "The inventor we owe so much to"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Reading about a man who changed soo much of our technology...for the sake exploration through invention. It is inspiring to consider he did so much, for the sake of doing it, not for the glory or money.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 01-13-14
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 01-13-14 Member Since 2012

    SezWho

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    "A solid Biography of an Eccentric Genius"
    Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

    Im not sure I would listen to this particular book, even though I thought it was excellent. However this book does inspire me to look into other good sources on Tesla.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wizard?

    It would be hard to pinpoint a single event. However it was very interesting to view Tesla through the eyes of his contemporaries. And visa versa.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Good performance. A little dry, but appropriate for a biography. Clear and understandable.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Good performance. It can be a bit confusing as the author tends to pop back and forth in time however I still recommend the book for anyone remotely interested in Tesla and inventors in general.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 02-21-13
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 02-21-13 Member Since 2016
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    "A good historical account"

    I have always been interested in Tesla. I wanted to know more about his inventions, and to understand better why he has faded into history.

    This book fulfilled both desires. I learned a lot about his inventions (very interesting), and I learned that he was such an overblown stuffed shirt with a Messiah complex that people couldn't stand him. Frankly, I stopped the book with about an hour to go just because I disliked Tesla's personality so much.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl woodbridgeLaneWoodbridge, VA, United States 11-10-12
    Carl woodbridgeLaneWoodbridge, VA, United States 11-10-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascinating Yet Boring"
    Would you try another book from Marc J. Seifer and/or Simon Prebble?

    A well researched and exhaustive book on Nikola Tesla. I found the information about the inventor and his relationship with both Thomas Edison and Westinghouse fascinating. Also the extent of his ground breaking and original research in electric power, electric motors, radio and other technologies was interesting. Also the competition between inventors, patent wars, and claims of who was "first" was interesting as well.


    What could Marc J. Seifer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Too much time is spent on Tesla's personal life and relationships with different luminaries of the time. Some of his relationships like those with Mark Twain are interesting and added color to the story. Others like Tesla's relationship really more of an acquaintance with Rudyard Kipling seemed to be more of name dropping than essential to the story.

    I found some of the cultural aspects like the fascination with life on Mars at the time interesting yet at the same time there was too much detail, and too many examples provided by the author. Much of the details provided seemed like overkill - I felt like I had already gotten the point and was being bludgeoned with additional trivia.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Simon Prebble does a good job in bringing color to the stories and the characters but all in all much of the book seemed repetitious and boring.


    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben TIPP CITY, OH, United States 11-05-13
    Ben TIPP CITY, OH, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    "High Hopes"
    What would have made Wizard better?

    If the book were written like a a story as opposed to a History lecture.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Marc J. Seifer again?

    Not Likely.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I feel from this reading he is a talented narrator. reading a poorly written book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narrator did a good job reading a history text book.


    Any additional comments?

    I had very high hopes for this book. Nikola Tesla was an amazing inventor and visionary. I really wanted to love a book that told his life story. Unfortunately, the book reads like a 22 hour long history lecture. I would have expected a man who's life was as pivotal as Tesla's to have a more story like quality. Some how the book manages to pile fact upon fact in an unending drudgery of point to point history. This book I think would have been everything i'd hoped if it read more like a story of Tesla's life as opposed to a fact sheet peppered with quotes from Tesla and his contemporaries. I dare say I'm sad I used a credit to buy it. Like I said I really really wanted this to be a great book... it's just not.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thack Archuletta 11-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful book, absolutely recommend it"

    The book is wonderfully put together and treats on the life of Tesla very well. I was captivated the whole time. Especially enjoyed the guy who narrates this book; he did wonderfully. Have him do the audio on more books!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jack annapolis, MD, United States 08-16-15
    jack annapolis, MD, United States 08-16-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Difficult genius"

    Nikola Tessla was a genius. His inventions, including the ac motor, radio, microwave and many more changed civilization forever. However, he was also a difficult madman at times.
    For instance, J.P. Morgan gave him $120,000 dollars for a specific project- to make a telegraph to send the Yachting news to his offshore boat. Instead, he took the money to go to Colorado to construct a radio tower. He antagonized Mr. Morgan, forever. Mr. Morgan proceeded to block all of his future endeavors. Because of his exasperating personality he became largely lost to history until Elan Musk named his car after him. Great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay 02-07-15
    Jay 02-07-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Very Disappointing"

    I've been listening to Audible books for more than ten years and this is the first book I didn't finish. I think Tesla is an very interesting person and his achievements are pretty amazing but the pace of the story was very slow with lots of detail about the fights over patent rights to his inventions and his personal relationships with other scientists. There's also some Serb nationalism and a weird attempt at doing a psychoanalytic analysis of Tesla. Simon Prebble is a great narrator but he didn't have much to work with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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