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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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Could not put it down!

Beatifully researched and skillfully narrated this book should help bring Tesla back to the prominence that he deserves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Man History Forgot

Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

Yes, because there are a lot of things to digest although very interesting.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed learning more about Tesla of course, but I also liked learning about his contemporaries and how there histories were interwoven.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A biography that matches Tesla geniousity

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

Highly informative, yet engaging, this biography is packed with physics and electricity details (I had to look up some of it), yet conveying the true Tesla story, as I see it, the way an inventor becomes an entrepreneur and communicates with investors. Tesla provides a lesson for life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Prefer Audiobook than Reading the Book

Well researched biography of Nikola Tesla. I was rather bored and overwhelmed with his technical achievements (which I am sure the engineering listeners/readers would appreciate it greatly), but I think the narrator did his best in reading the book. I think I wouldn't be able to finish the book without the audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ben
  • Waterkloof South Africa
  • 06-30-14

Fascinating inventor, overly sequential story

Would you try another book from Marc J. Seifer and/or Simon Prebble?

I would look with caution at Seifer's other works given the plodding style with which he approached this fascinating inventor's life.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I listened with great interest to the first half of Tesla's career, but in the latter stretch I gave up eventually because there seemed to be too little editing happening as to what was really significant or interesting, and what was really just stuff that, you know, had happened.

Any additional comments?

I echo some of the other commenters' views that mentioned the amount of unfiltered detail in the latter parts of the book. It became less than gripping in the latter half.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • TIPP CITY, OH, United States
  • 11-05-13

High Hopes

What would have made Wizard better?

If the book were written like a a story as opposed to a History lecture.

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

Not Likely.

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

No. I feel from this reading he is a talented narrator. reading a poorly written book.

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

The narrator did a good job reading a history text book.

Any additional comments?

I had very high hopes for this book. Nikola Tesla was an amazing inventor and visionary. I really wanted to love a book that told his life story. Unfortunately, the book reads like a 22 hour long history lecture. I would have expected a man who's life was as pivotal as Tesla's to have a more story like quality. Some how the book manages to pile fact upon fact in an unending drudgery of point to point history. This book I think would have been everything i'd hoped if it read more like a story of Tesla's life as opposed to a fact sheet peppered with quotes from Tesla and his contemporaries. I dare say I'm sad I used a credit to buy it. Like I said I really really wanted this to be a great book... it's just not.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Will
  • CORAL SPRINGS, FL, United States
  • 11-23-12

Great

I learned more about history than I did in school! great book would highly recomend it.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • FOX LAKE, IL, United States
  • 02-20-13

Interesting Man...Tedious Read

Would you try another book from Marc J. Seifer and/or Simon Prebble?

Probably not.

What was most disappointing about Marc J. Seifer’s story?

Tends to drag on with too many excruciating details.

Which scene was your favorite?

Don't know yet. Still listening to the 21 hours of the book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sporadic interest.

Any additional comments?

I feel this book could have been condensed into about half the length to be more compelling to a reader unless one wishes to be enlightened to EVERY PAINFUL DETAIL of his biography.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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A solid Biography of an Eccentric Genius

Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

Im not sure I would listen to this particular book, even though I thought it was excellent. However this book does inspire me to look into other good sources on Tesla.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Wizard?

It would be hard to pinpoint a single event. However it was very interesting to view Tesla through the eyes of his contemporaries. And visa versa.

What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

Good performance. A little dry, but appropriate for a biography. Clear and understandable.

Any additional comments?

Great book. Good performance. It can be a bit confusing as the author tends to pop back and forth in time however I still recommend the book for anyone remotely interested in Tesla and inventors in general.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ANDRÉ
  • ORLANDO, FL, United States
  • 05-10-13

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful