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Publisher's Summary

Alan Mathison Turing. Mathematician, philosopher, codebreaker, a founder of computer science, and the father of Artificial Intelligence, Turing was one of the most original thinkers of the last century - and the man whose work helped create the computer-driven world we now inhabit.

But he was also an enigmatic figure, deeply reticent yet also strikingly naive. Turing's openness about his homosexuality at a time when it was an imprisonable offense ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of only 41.

In Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma, David Boyle reveals the mysteries behind the man and his remarkable career. Aged just 22, Turing was elected a fellow at King's College, Cambridge on the strength of a dissertation in which he proved the central limit theorem. By the age of 33, he had been awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services: Turing was instrumental in cracking the Nazi Enigma machines at the top secret code breaking establishment at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

But his achievements were to be tragically overshadowed by the paranoia of the post-War years. Hounded for his supposedly subversive views and for his sexuality, Turing was prosecuted in 1952, and forced to accept the humiliation of hormone treatment to avoid a prison sentence. Just two years later, at the age of 41 he was dead. The verdict: cyanide poisoning.

Was Turing's death accidental as his mother always claimed? Or did persistent persecution drive him to take him own life?

Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma seeks to find the man behind the science, illuminating the life of a person who is still a shadowy presence behind his brilliant achievements.

©2014 David Boyle (P)2014 Audible Studios

Critic Reviews

"The tone of the book may be gloomy but there is plenty of entertainment value..." (Anne Ashworth, The Times
"He tells these stories, on the whole persuasively and with some startling asides." (New Statesman)

"A book that is engagingly sensitive to the sentiments of what is sometimes called 'middle England'" (Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • AJ
  • Vermont
  • 01-30-15

short well told story of Alan Turing

read while exercising. enjoyed. would have liked a little more detail on his creative thoughts and on his collaboration on both sides of Atlantic

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jan
  • United States
  • 09-14-17

Both the machine and the man

science, mathematics, computing, biography

The only thing that I knew about Alan Turing before this book was a few things about his role in cracking the Enigma Code in WW2. This limited biography explores his role in advancing the computer sciences and development of A I. There is also detailing of his being persecuted by his own government because of his homosexuality.
Barnaby Edwards is very good as narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristen W.
  • ALLEN PARK, MI, United States
  • 02-04-17

Interesting but basic

The information was interesting but there could have been more about the theories and applications of his work.

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  • Story

Invented

He helped to finish World War 2, and the co!mputer of today, A great man

  • Overall
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  • Story

Great book

What made the experience of listening to Alan Turing the most enjoyable?

Everything. Informative. Entertaining.

What other book might you compare Alan Turing to and why?

I can't think of any right now.

What about Barnaby Edwards’s performance did you like?

Very-well read.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

A wonderful book if you have any interests in technology and/or gay rights.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Turing From 30,000 Feet! 😱

Just saw the movie and enjoyed it very much.
The movie, while very appealing as an engrossing story took considerable liberty with its portrayal of Turing the man, choosing to emphasize the persecution of Turing the homosexual.
While as a physician I am uncomfortable with the idea of chemical castration as a criminal punishment, I certainly have many patients who have had "chemical castration" as a part of their treatment for prostate cancer. No such symptoms as portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Immitation Game" occur in my patients. The symptoms of Turing the actor are consistent with those of a man under extreme duress and in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Perhaps in this case a distinction without a difference. 😱

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Astral Surfer
  • 12-18-15

Short but succinct and intriguing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's a fascinating taster about a complex individual and it raises philosophical questions as well as looking at code breaking and AI. It's made me want to know more about the man and his work.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a biopic about Turing.

What does Barnaby Edwards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Relaxed and easy reading style made for enjoyable listening.

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

Yes, I did. At only 2 hours, it rattled along and packed in a lot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Aird
  • 01-30-17

Ok biography but light on his work

It presents a good overview of Turing's life, is well written, and superbly narrated; however, if you're hoping to learn anything detailed about his work, this may not satisfy you.