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Wizard Audiobook

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

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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 (2133 )
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4.0 (1906 )
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4.1 (1926 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose Santo Andre, Brazil 08-17-14
    Jose Santo Andre, Brazil 08-17-14 Member Since 2014

    You can tell who I am by my reading, or can you?

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    "Too much details, written by a fan"

    If the goal of a biography is to create the mood of the times and the life of a person, Tesla's time and life was very boring. This is a highly detailed book, that cites many actual facts, and tries to describe all Tesla's inventions. You can have a glimpse of the style by the very long title. The author is also a clear fan of Tesla, this may prevents him from creating a certain distance from the character. After reading Mr. Isaacson's wonderful bios of Jobs and Einstein, I may be expecting too much. I think we are still lacking a good Tesla's biography, and the character deserves it. I confess I could not go though all the book, and stopped after its half. May be a missed the best part, probably not.

    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
  •  
    Douglas 02-04-13
    Douglas 02-04-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "The Most Thorough Tesla Biography To Date"

    Seifer does a magnificent job of bringing to vibrant color the life and times of one of the most remarkable and peculiar geniuses of science. A must read!

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reece WestValley, UT, United States 12-13-11
    Reece WestValley, UT, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2010
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    "I really enjoyed this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wizard to be better than the print version?

    There are a lot of people and names to remember and the audio version does a good job of helping the listener understand who is speaking.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wizard?

    Nikola Tesla was an amazing man and Marc J. Seifer’s book takes great effort to document his achievements in depth. This book brings to life the environment of the times and lays down a clear timeline of events.


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Simon Prebble tries to bring some life and personality to the characters in the book. He does a great job of narrating; however, at times his voice acting can be a bit silly.


    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will CORAL SPRINGS, FL, United States 11-23-12
    Will CORAL SPRINGS, FL, United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Great"

    I learned more about history than I did in school! great book would highly recomend it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl D Baner 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.


    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thack Archuletta 11-14-15
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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
  •  
    Lorin 12-08-14
    Lorin 12-08-14
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    "The Man History Forgot"
    Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

    Yes, because there are a lot of things to digest although very interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed learning more about Tesla of course, but I also liked learning about his contemporaries and how there histories were interwoven.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Hari Karam Singh
    London
    6/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Well read, well researched, level headed whilst still paying mind to the mysterious and conspiratorial angles. It's a fascinating story full of inspiration, character flaws, rags to riches to rags to legend. I'm going to miss it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Goronwy-Wyn
    Cardiff, United Kingdom
    2/3/14
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    "Spell binding and I'm an Engineer"
    What did you like most about Wizard?

    I enjoyed the linking of the dates to world events. I found the story itself very interesting, I found the observations insightful and I found it quite heart breaking that such a great inventor was frustrated by greedy financiers who had no vision.
    Although I will accept Tesla needed strong management to keep him on message.


    What other book might you compare Wizard to, and why?

    many that have not been recorded yet I'd love to hear Da Vinci's life story or Baron De Fourier, or Countess Lovelace.


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

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    pretty much


    Any additional comments?

    More of the same please biographies of Newton, Einstein, Hitler, Stalin, keep um coming!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brian
    Livingston, United Kingdom
    11/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What Genius"
    Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

    No, I usually only listen once to books like this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The depth of detail and back up research carried out.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Many parts of the book were very enjoyable.


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

    Generally, how Tesla never completed the tower, then it was destroyed.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book. A bit long at times but, over all a good book if you like that technology thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shane
    6/14/15
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    "A definitive analysis of a genius"

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Tesla's life story. I had always imagined him to be brilliant but I now know that he was also an incredibly haunted and flawed individual.

    My one criticism would be that the author can take the reader down too many sidelines. Although some of these additional narratives are useful and entertaining, just as many are not and seem to get in the way.

    Having said that I would recommend you consider purchasing this book if you have a real interest in Nikola Tesla.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    3/19/15
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    "Exceptional story but stretched too far.."

    Needs trimming and checking for repeat content. Could possibly loose one third of time by sticking to time and moment

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    YORK, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Enlightening"

    Profiling the huge contribution of Mr Tesla to the world in general not just electricity. He moved in some very influential circles. This book is very well presented and I found the narration a little sleepy at times, At over 17 hours long this book is a good value purchase and great if like me you spend a lot of time driving, then this book will be a good informative companion arming you with plenty of facts with which to bore people with.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • AshaTestMbsPlan-UP-add
    Newark, United Kingdom
    11/15/11
    Overall
    "Excellent Audio"

    This is my new experience with listening Audio, and I recommend everyone to listen to Audio book.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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