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.
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius | [Marc J. Seifer]

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.
Regular Price:$41.99
  • 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

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

3.8 (1180 )
5 star
 (357)
4 star
 (439)
3 star
 (259)
2 star
 (87)
1 star
 (38)
Overall
3.9 (1039 )
5 star
 (355)
4 star
 (360)
3 star
 (212)
2 star
 (79)
1 star
 (33)
Story
3.9 (1053 )
5 star
 (339)
4 star
 (418)
3 star
 (207)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (29)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tim Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-10-13
    Tim Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-10-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Prefer the car to the book"
    What was most disappointing about Marc J. Seifer’s story?

    I normally enjoy books that combine biography and with explanations of science or technology relevant to the story. I was simply not knowledgeable enough to enjoy this book, because I was not given enough explanation to understand. For example, Tesla and Edison had different ideas for the design of light bulbs, but it wasn't explained in sufficient detail for me to find interest in it.
    This is probably my fault, although I didn't find this worthy man's life in the least bit interesting. It all seemed rather dry.


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry about the silly title. (Sometimes it is hard to come up with something). But I do find those cars fascinating...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-30-13
    James Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Revealing the magistracy of the wizard"
    What did you love best about Wizard?

    I think Seifer did a great job at bringing about the times of Tesla. He really was there for a period that will forever change history. I also like how he wrapped it up with the beginnings of people coming to terms with Tesla's greatness. My takeaway, this genius needed a publicist and sales guy!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Thomas Edison, just kidding! It was Tesla of course.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    He did a great job at carrying out a 22 hour read!


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

    It would've been a long sitting!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tonydinardo@earthlink.net Upland Ca.lifornia 06-15-13
    tonydinardo@earthlink.net Upland Ca.lifornia 06-15-13 Member Since 2013

    older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing How Wizards Are So Impractical"
    Where does Wizard rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a fine biography. Telling the story of a man cross-ways with time


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nicola


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    JP Morgan


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Really fine detail and good presentation ... very enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 05-10-13
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 05-10-13 Member Since 2011

    I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    240
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    209
    113
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    62
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Genius, with a unique personality"

    Who was Nikola Tesla? I had a vague idea, but after reading this well researched book, I can say I know the man. Without him, I cannot imagine how the world would be. No computer, no radio, no tv, no remote control...
    He made a difference, a dent in the world that we live in.
    But his personal life was no so bright. He struggled for money (and lost focus in his work because he was so obsessed about constructing his tower), was a celibate, treated the pigeon like his sons and was always kicked off by hotels. In other hand, he was always mixed with the "cream de la cream" of the society, always dressed very well and was frequently bragging that the money would pour in...
    He dreamed about free communication and free power, about internet, preached equality between men and women, and cared deep about nature.
    Who was Tesla? A unique guy indeed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelanna Balok 03-23-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hated the Narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I found that I could not listen to the narrator talk. I listen to audiobooks during my commute and this one made me sleepy. I was excited to listen to Tesla's story but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing either. It was dull.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted K 03-22-13
    Ted K 03-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delivers as promised, plus: a funny narrator"
    What did you love best about Wizard?

    The story itself is surprising, the classic elements of a 19th-century tale of giants astride the earth, with lust and madness to boot. I work in technology but this book had me see a more than one thing in a new light, and has built a deep respect in me for Tesla.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Marc J. Seifer? Why or why not?

    Yes, but I would check the length and consider carefully - this one was a monstrous length if consistently interesting and dense. I would love access to the notes and bibliography.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    I thought his voices were over-the-top and quite fun therefore. He probably wouldn't appreciate me saying that. Mostly I though it was a very creditable performance.


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

    Maybe but that would have been impossible without a cross-country road trip involving multiple drivers going non-stop. I listened to it while cooking - about 30 minutes to an hour several times a week - and it took me a month. It's a monster.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this one; filled with facts and questions which I hadn't taken the time to consider. How did we move from no electrical transmission to cities to cables 100 miles or longer, in 1890 - 1905? Why haven't we harnessed the rotational energy of the earth to generate electricity? Etc

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Novie Kailua Kona, HI, United States 03-06-13
    Novie Kailua Kona, HI, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2012

    Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    205
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    225
    61
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Rise and Fall of an archetypal "Mad Scientist""

    Listening to this absolutely fantastic biography of Nikola Tesla just makes me want to shake my head in sadness and disbelief. His great genius was literally raped by all the money moguls of Wall Street, and Edison? Shame on him! Of course Tesla was at times his own greatest enemy -- not patenting crucial inventions because he wanted to "save the world". Altruism is great in theory, but money talks. If Tesla had had business savvy, he might not have died penniless and alone.

    Seifer's book brings to life the clutching, grabbing and clawing for fame and recognition that went on in the early part of the last century that has, unbelievably, finally put mankind in the position that it is now. Cell phones, the worldwide internet -- name just about every electronic device we use today -- and Tesla's inventive genius was the fuel that guided it.

    I checked out Wikipedia after I read this book, and Seifer's in-depth portrayal of Tesla is spot on, and rounds out this amazing personality/wizard in such a way that I feel cheated that this man did not have a better and more charitable response to his genius.

    Simon Prebble's narration was just fine, although since there was very little dialogue, per se, I wondered why he felt he had to use accents. They weren't really necessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 03-05-13
    Jane 03-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much"

    This seemed to spend a lot of time in the weeds of Who discovered what, and when, and how could someone profit from it? I had read a biography of Tesla, but I have yet to find his story presented in a truly interesting way. Tesla deserves great credit for his genius, but I came away still somewhat confused of what use it has been to us in the long run.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray SARATOGA, CA, United States 03-04-13
    Ray SARATOGA, CA, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To much detail"
    What disappointed you about Wizard?

    Continuallty bogged down in details and multiple iterations over the same material


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

    Mor e focus on thhe underlying story line


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Prebble?

    Yes


    What character would you cut from Wizard?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    I finally had to shut it off and I like Mitchner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-03-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-03-13 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    162
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    226
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant Wizard gets his thunder stolen"

    Tesla was a brilliant inventor who has impacted us as much as Edison but is not as well known. The story Seifer paints is one of a brilliant inventor who as a dynamic visionary far ahead of his time tied up in corporate espionage with big names such as Edison, Westinghouse, Morgan and others. If Tesla had gained recognition for his inventions in his time rather then having many of them taken from him he would be much more widely known and would have had a legacy rivaling Edison and Westinghouse for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 41-50 of 64 results PREVIOUS14567NEXT

    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.