From the author of the national best seller Chaos comes an outstanding biography of one of the most dazzling and flamboyant scientists of the 20th century that "not only paints a highly attractive portrait of Feynman but also . . . makes for a stimulating adventure in the annals of science." (The New York Times).
©1993 James Gleick (P)2011 Random House
I am self-absorbed and...oh wait this isn't an e-mail to my therapist. hehe I love the Science and Technology section here, it's my favorite. I hope to write my reviews at least well enough to peek the interest of a few listeners to the point where they will shift their tastes more toward educational literature, knowing that(after receiving some insight from me) they can be just as entertaining, if not more so than mainstream fiction
I am grateful that James did this, for I learned many new things. I have read many other books about Feynman, and have had that 'I'll eat it cause it's on the plate' feeling about the last few. I feel that way about this too, cause of all the revisited material, but Gleick fills in so many gaps that it is still very refreshing. Mind you all: If you are new to Feynman, this would be one of the most comprehensive books ever written on him! It covers all the old and much new material. This is for everyone!
This book is half biography and half science. Feynman was one of a kind and had a remarkable career. You can???t help thinking that this is how brains are supposed to work. The science exposition is clear and easy to follow. The narrator is a perfect match to the material.
One my pet peeves about some audio books is a narrator who doesn't bother to learn the pronunciation of names, but just wings it. I am not too far in, but already he calls Murray Gell-Mann "Jel Man" as though he were describing some man made of jelly. Gell is properly pronounced as the 'gel' in the first syllable of gelding, and the vowel in Mann is of the 'ah" variety. This sort of thing REALLY annoys me even although the book itself is quite good.
I've adored this book since it was first published. I am so happy to have it on audio now. The narration is pretty flat, and I'm not entirely sure about some of the pronunciations (Pretty sure I.I. Rabi is "Rah-bee" not "Rab-eye") but glad to have it nonetheless. Eagerly awaiting Gleick's newest!
This is a good general-purpose biography of the physicist Richard Feynman. Given that it's written for the average reader, it doesn't go into great depth about the Feynman's work. It does, however, give a good feel for Physics during the time that Feynman was beginning his career, notably during the period when he was working at Los Alamos. The beginning skips around quite a bit providing some background, so be patient, it does get around to Feynman's life. The only issue is with the reader. He manages to mis-pronounce a fair number of names in the book and someone should have taken the time to edit the performance so as to catch the mispronounciations in the mathematics and physics terms (e.g., "matrices" is *not* pronounced "matresses".)
I make art, music and videogames. I am interested in technology, culture, knowledge, existentialism and progressiveness.
Yes, in print or by a different narrator.
This is a fantastic biography of a great scientist and human, ruined by bad narration.
The narrator reads everything like a Sunday-school teacher reading out of a children's bible. He mispronounces scientific words and historical figures incessantly! This narration is a bad joke.
In a heartbeat.
I'm sure the narrator is a nice guy, but this book did not suit him. The audio director also needs to wake up!
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Like Bird & Sherwin's biography of Oppenheimer, Farmelo's account of Dirac, and Issacson's book on Einstein, Gleick's tome on Feynman brings to life the man whom one of his colleagues called "50% genius, 50% buffoon"--and then amended his comment to "100% genius, 100% buffoon!" Lots of personal accounts of the wacky, intense genius that Feynman was, with wonderful details of his work and how he helped to recreate science in the nearly mystical world of quantum mechanics.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
This is the best bio on RICHARD FEYNMAN by far, and it comes as no surprise that the author is JAMES GLEICK. Gleick is one of the greatest living science writers. His subject this time is the great RICHARD FEYNMAN. A scientist who is fascinating on all fronts- personal and professional.
In other writers hands this cornucopia of great material is wasted. Gleick is the right man for the job and he doesn't disappoint. He choreographs a memorable dance intertwining the personal and professional sides of this enigmatic,extroverted, exuberant, genius. whose life is a favorite study of scientific students and others like myself who have been lucky enough to discover the entrancing story of his remarkable life and work..
This is a highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable biography that anyone can benefit greatly from reading. As expected Gleick does a masterful job of disseminating all of Feynman's remarkable scientific discovery's and inventions in a manner anyone can not just come to understand- but appreciate as well . Thats a tall order that Gleick is renown for pulling off (see my review on his book on chaos theory) As far as I can recall, the narration is also quite good for both books.
Once youve read genius- or even before you read it, check out all the wonderful interviews with Feynmans on u tube. This is a great book about a great man. Highly recommended.
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
I am sorry I l left this so long before I wrote the review; I like to write them while I am on the last few pages and all is still fresh in my mind.
So...in summary only...here was a tireless intellectual, a rigorous mind, a loving husband, a man who subscribed to now rules that compromised his fundamental beliefs. Yet, here also was a man that went to Brazil to spend a week with a woman of questionable virtue to get a break from the stress of thinking.
My whole experience was enhanced when I found out that Feynman had been recorded giving 7 lectures to students at Cornell in the 1950's. Bill Gates had saved these and made them available on the internet: there Feynman was, alive, humorous, his coarse New York accent untainted, his clean clear thinking on show as if still here.
Nobel Prize winner, uncompromising, funny, passionate, tireless, the book brings him alive. How I'd love to have had dinner with him!
Yes, to a professional scientist or proficient lay scientist. There is a lot of physics that may be difficult for someone with no college physics.
Feynman's work on the atomic bomb while simultaneously caring for and exalting in the love of his life (his wife) dying from tuberculosis.
Feynman's rivalry with Schwinger and Gell-mann demonstrating an insecurity, which is not apparent in most descriptions of Feynman.
Gleick rambles on about genius, what it is and how to detect it. I think about half of that discussion could be cut. But it is a theme and Gleick raises several interesting issues about genius.
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