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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 (1795 )
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4.0 (1611 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ProfGolf 06-11-16
    ProfGolf 06-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Tesla deserves better"

    Tesla is a fascinating character in the history of technology. But this book does not do him, or us, justice. To begin with, the book spends fairly little time on Tesla's genuine contributions to the development of induction motors and AC power generation and transmission. But it spends a great deal of time on later, and much more controversial, claims of contributions to radio, wireless power transmissions, death rays and (in my opinion) silly philosophical musings by Tesla. I feel that, in a futile attempt to bolster the popular view of Tesla as the inventor of almost everything, the author has belittled the deserved reputation of an important, but limited, contributor to the science and technology of electricity. Pointless meanderings into the science of handwriting and questionable psychological theories further undermine the author's case. Instead of the intended result of defending Tesla against those who claim he was a kook without any non-derivative contributions, the author's implausible defenses of Teala's latter life behavior merely gives the detractors more ammunition.

    I found the narrator difficult to get used to. His natural voice sounds almost like a parody of an effete snob. But I adjusted and actually enjoyed some of the voices he put on for characters in the book.

    But I cannot recommend this book. If there isn't a better Tesla biography out there, then someone needs to write one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    T. Fredette South Korea 06-07-16
    T. Fredette South Korea 06-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    "It's Tesla, not Tesler"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different narrator and a more interesting story.


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

    Probably not. Too much repetition of the same facts. 2 or 3 times mentioning Tesla surrounded by lightening would have been enough.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He kept saying "Tesler" instead of Tesla" I'm sure Mr. Prebble would do a great job on books where the pronunciation of a name wasn't so important but honestly, that's 80% of the reason I stopped listening half way through.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Wizard?

    I'd totally rewrite it making it more personal and less a recitation of fact.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Mollinet Layton, Utah USA 06-02-16
    S. Mollinet Layton, Utah USA 06-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Better for a science nerd"

    This book on the life of Nicolai Tesla gives a very detailed look at his life, almost too detailed in fact. There are a lot of detailed scientific explanations that get long and difficult to get through. I'm a computer engineer by trade, so it may have been more interesting to me than other people might find it. We learned about every phase of his life, which could be interesting but really isn't. I finished the book, and felt like I learned something, but wouldn't really read it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    ES Centreville, VA 05-27-16
    ES Centreville, VA 05-27-16 Member Since 2013
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    "the book is too flabby"
    Any additional comments?

    Tesla was brilliant but underappreciated and undercompensated for his inventions. However he was also too grandiose in many of his endeavors and it is clear that he had only a limited appreciation of physics. His claims that he could topple buildings with a clock size mechanical oscillator does not take into account the energy requirements. The book presents accounts of people and events of the time but spends far too much space on inconsequential things and becomes boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 05-13-16
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 05-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    "It is all in the details, and this is detailed"

    About as detailed as you can get. Sometimes it is so tedious that you wonder if you are reading his personal journal. This is very informative and you will learn just how influential this man was. Our lives have all benefited from Nikola Tesla. The narrator is very good and keep you listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Izk 05-12-16
    Izk 05-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Nice linear autobiography of Tesla"
    What made the experience of listening to Wizard the most enjoyable?

    I liked the history and quotes from tesla given in this book. They add to the story nicely and it is as if Tesla is speaking to ge reader directly.


    What other book might you compare Wizard to and why?

    Since this is my first book I am not too sure. I am interested in learning theories of the universe so perhaps an audible book from Neil Degrass Tyson.


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

    This is my first experience with the reader. He has an older experienced voice. It isn't memorizing but is enjoyable.


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

    Just hearing quotes from Teslas thoughts and experiences. I really enjoyed hearing them word for word.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa J. Shultz Breckenridge, CO 04-13-16
    Lisa J. Shultz Breckenridge, CO 04-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Tediously long"
    Any additional comments?

    For some reason, I felt compelled to listen to all 22+ hours of it but it was much too long for me! I commend the author for writing such a detailed historical biography. If you are into electrical geeky stuff, and if you like to read about a genius, go for it. I did learn a lot but I am sure glad to be done with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    scott drawert 04-12-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A great book about a great man!"

    Very few people have learned about or even heard of Tesla. A great book that will be used in our home school curriculum along with other resources to teach about a man, that we have so much to thank for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Matt 04-10-16
    Matt 04-10-16 Member Since 2014

    Matt

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    "The rise and fall of Tesla."

    This is a bare-bones story of both a genius beyond our understanding and a multi-flawed human being who we see in everywhere, every day, and sometimes even in the mirror.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    George C. 03-16-16
    George C. 03-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "In Depth"

    Very detailed, even going into some of the details of electrical engineering. There were slow points for sure. But it's a biography and not every period in a person's life can be thrilling. I enjoy biographies however, writers tend to turn their subjects into demigods. Not here! The author stays near the center of the road as he steers through Tesla's life. Some how the author connected me emotionally to Tesla's life. So much so that at times I avoided returning to the book for a few days knowing that what was to follow was not going to be parades and roses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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