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 Audiobook

Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

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 -

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 (2347 )
5 star
 (828)
4 star
 (830)
3 star
 (490)
2 star
 (135)
1 star
 (64)
Overall
4.0 (2098 )
5 star
 (794)
4 star
 (692)
3 star
 (420)
2 star
 (133)
1 star
 (59)
Story
4.1 (2118 )
5 star
 (844)
4 star
 (769)
3 star
 (369)
2 star
 (90)
1 star
 (46)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 02-21-13
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 02-21-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    53
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good historical account"

    I have always been interested in Tesla. I wanted to know more about his inventions, and to understand better why he has faded into history.

    This book fulfilled both desires. I learned a lot about his inventions (very interesting), and I learned that he was such an overblown stuffed shirt with a Messiah complex that people couldn't stand him. Frankly, I stopped the book with about an hour to go just because I disliked Tesla's personality so much.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Gundaroo, Australia 12-10-12
    Peter Gundaroo, Australia 12-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping tale of Tesla's brilliant life and work."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wizard to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version. Audio would be hard to beat, especially as a way to absorb information while on a long trip. Never dull!


    What other book might you compare Wizard to and why?

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel, by LTC Rolt. Brunel's genius was as wide-ranging as Tesla's.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My reaction was one of amazement at the scope of Tesla's achievements. An incredible life.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the early years of technology.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-21-12
    Dean 04-21-12 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    444
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The inventor we owe so much to"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Reading about a man who changed soo much of our technology...for the sake exploration through invention. It is inspiring to consider he did so much, for the sake of doing it, not for the glory or money.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Bothell, WA, United States 12-05-12
    Brandon Bothell, WA, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great In-depth Bio of Tesla"

    Pros:
    Learn about all aspects of his life

    Cons:
    Got lost in some of the technical discussion on his inventions

    I picked this up to learn about a historical figure that I have heard contributed greatly to modern science but short of the Tesla coil I knew nothing about. The book took a deep dive into all aspects of his life and his projects. While I am not electrical engineer I was able to general understand his inventions, but got lost in some of the technical discussions.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reece WestValley, UT, United States 12-13-11
    Reece WestValley, UT, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I really enjoyed this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wizard to be better than the print version?

    There are a lot of people and names to remember and the audio version does a good job of helping the listener understand who is speaking.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wizard?

    Nikola Tesla was an amazing man and Marc J. Seifer’s book takes great effort to document his achievements in depth. This book brings to life the environment of the times and lays down a clear timeline of events.


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

    Simon Prebble tries to bring some life and personality to the characters in the book. He does a great job of narrating; however, at times his voice acting can be a bit silly.


    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl D Baner 11-10-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating Yet Boring"
    Would you try another book from Marc J. Seifer and/or Simon Prebble?

    A well researched and exhaustive book on Nikola Tesla. I found the information about the inventor and his relationship with both Thomas Edison and Westinghouse fascinating. Also the extent of his ground breaking and original research in electric power, electric motors, radio and other technologies was interesting. Also the competition between inventors, patent wars, and claims of who was "first" was interesting as well.


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

    Too much time is spent on Tesla's personal life and relationships with different luminaries of the time. Some of his relationships like those with Mark Twain are interesting and added color to the story. Others like Tesla's relationship really more of an acquaintance with Rudyard Kipling seemed to be more of name dropping than essential to the story.

    I found some of the cultural aspects like the fascination with life on Mars at the time interesting yet at the same time there was too much detail, and too many examples provided by the author. Much of the details provided seemed like overkill - I felt like I had already gotten the point and was being bludgeoned with additional trivia.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Simon Prebble does a good job in bringing color to the stories and the characters but all in all much of the book seemed repetitious and boring.


    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 02-04-13
    Douglas 02-04-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2743
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    524
    412
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    418
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Most Thorough Tesla Biography To Date"

    Seifer does a magnificent job of bringing to vibrant color the life and times of one of the most remarkable and peculiar geniuses of science. A must read!

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 03-24-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2012

    Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11030
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    332
    332
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5239
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complex Mind, Tragic Trust"

    I liked the book, but I could have done without the psychoanalysis. At one point, the author, Marc J. Seifer, a distant relative of Nikola Tesla, says that Tesla was a megalomaniac. That term has never been used by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Wikipedia defines megalomania as, “Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence.’” Wikipedia goes on to describe one characteristic as an overestimation of one’s own powers.

    Tesla was not delusional. Tesla was powerful scientific mind, rivaling his one-time employer, Thomas Alva Edison; and unwillingly providing Gugliemo Marconi the foundation of wave generation and transmission that Marconi developed into long-distance radio transmission. Tesla wasn’t a dupe with respect to Marconi – Marconi used Tesla’s patents without acknowledging Tesla or compensating him. To some extent, Tesla was able to recover money in the Courts, but that was long after Marconi was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics.

    Tesla was, however, naïve about finance. Given the opportunity to share business interests 50/50 with financier J.P. Morgan, Tesla insisted that Morgan have controlling interest, 51%. Tesla believed that Morgan would take care of him, and that he and Morgan had the same idealistic world view. Morgan must have believed that Tesla’s socialistic view of technology would lessen Morgan’s profits and powers, and he abandoned Tesla – even though Tesla’s earlier inventions were the basis of much of Morgan’s success. Perhaps Tesla, whom Seifer suspects was gay, was in love with Morgan when he gave Morgan control of a key part of his future.

    Tesla wasn’t always right. For example, he rejected Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, even though that supported Tesla’s much earlier discoveries about radio waves. At least, I think that’s what Seifer was saying. I didn’t understand about half the science in the book, but that’s because I lack the physics background. By analogy, Seifer’s transmission was fine; but the receiver was faulty.

    “Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius” was an interesting listen. Tesla worked on developing technology, such as the wireless transmission of power, that is possible but not widely used. I liked “Wizard” because it opened the door to the future, as seen from the past.

    26 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thack Archuletta 11-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful book, absolutely recommend it"

    The book is wonderfully put together and treats on the life of Tesla very well. I was captivated the whole time. Especially enjoyed the guy who narrates this book; he did wonderfully. Have him do the audio on more books!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorin 12-08-14
    Lorin 12-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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.