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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 (1661 )
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4.0 (1488 )
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Performance
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  •  
    bawalton 08-07-15
    bawalton 08-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Tremendous"

    List as many superlatives as you like. The story is fantastic it's very well done and the topic is very engaging for the scientific mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Hofer 08-02-15
    M. Hofer 08-02-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Comprehensive, but lacks cohesion"

    While the neither uncommon nor pervasive Freudian psychoanalysis and apologetics the author engages in sink the book, they do frequently distract from what otherwise might have been a great story. Seifer does an excellent job explaining his sources and giving an exhaustive account of Tesla's life. His lack of understanding on basic electrical engineering principles shows through, but this can be forgiven and I doubt that any Ph.D. in electrical engineering would have done nearly so well on Tesla's biography. Also, the talk on Mars seems to distract from the inventor. I wonder if Seifer was aiming to write a book on Tesla the electrical genius, Tesla the social oddity, Tesla the Freudian wonder, or Tesla the steampunk mad scientist. All of these are in the book, but Seifer does not transition well between them and does not appear to be trying to pick one to place in primacy.

    I found the history of the patent fights between Tesla and his contemporaries to be fascinating. I think a book treating the topic would be worthwhile given the big patent fights today. Although, I doubt Seifer in the right author to undertake such a work. His discussion of the patent fights focus (rightly so) on the reporting of them and their impact on Tesla's life.

    The narrator was good, but often mispronounced words within the field of electrical engineering or in science more broadly. It slowed down the book, which was already at a quite leisurely pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mminto 07-29-15
    mminto 07-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Best Biography Yet"

    This is literally the most inspirational and educational biography I have ever read. It is extremely thorough and expensive covering everything from personality to the actual science of his inventions. Nothing is missing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose 07-29-15
    Jose 07-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good but hard to understand at times"

    I found some of the the readers' strong British accent difficult to understand at times and had to rewind to try to decipher his pronunciation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwin W. 07-04-15
    Edwin W. 07-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent History Of Tesla"

    I found myself curious about the man Nicola Tesla. You can many literary references to the myth of Tesla in modern day science fiction. This was an excellent biography on the life of the man. This history furthers my interest in his work and I can see how fiction writers would use the mysterious man as the inventor of countless fictional inventions. A man before his time has been used as a description of many inventors, but I believe this saying applies most to Nicola Tesla.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dg410 San Jose, California USA 06-29-15
    dg410 San Jose, California USA 06-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Enjoyable but too long and sometimes unscientific"

    Well performed and enjoyable to listen to.
    I found the technical content to be poorly explained and inadequately researched. The author's apparent confusion over the basic terminology of electrical engineering lead me to skepticism over the correctness of the historical research.
    Also the endless search for banal analogies about springs and plumbing lead to more confusion, and not better insight, as the author no doubt hoped.
    And the desperate need for silly phrases to substitute for "Tesla", such as "the Slavic Prestidigitator" had me laughing aloud by the end.
    I know Tesla's life and work better now, but cannot say that I enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    d Fresno, CA, United States 06-19-15
    d Fresno, CA, United States 06-19-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Needs an editor"
    What would have made Wizard better?

    An editor. The book should have been very interesting, but the author's insistence upon ready every letter Tesla wrote to investors and friends adds needlessly to the book


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

    Simon was a fine reader. He was very easy to listen to.


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

    I liked the subject. Tesla was very interesting. After the 10th rejection letter regarding the tower, I couldn't help but wonder why the author chose to focus his time on rehashing events that were already understood.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book if you remove about 1/2 to 2/3 of the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica 06-04-15
    jessica 06-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent !"

    Ah what a great read and listen!Tesla was truly amazing ,so amazing that a character like his only comes around once every century a modern saint

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan baldwin 06-03-15
    dan baldwin 06-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book"

    I thought it was a great book, very technical in some points but not too much so that you can't follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. 05-31-15
    C. 05-31-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A massive, missing part of history"

    In order to understand the modern world and the world of the future, you MUST at least understand the vision of Tesla.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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