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Publisher's Summary

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman, from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science - a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will delight anyone interested in the world of ideas.

"From the irregular trivia of ordinary life mixed with a bit of scientific doodling and failure to the intense dramatic concentration as one closes in on the truth and the final elation (plus, with gradually decreasing frequency, the sudden sharp pangs of doubt) - that is how science is done." (Richard P. Feynman to James D. Watson)

©1999 Michelle Feynman and Carl Feynman (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The most original mind of his generation." (Freeman Dyson, renowned theoretical physicist and mathematician)
"A sparkling collection." (Wall Street Journal)
"Feynman’s distinctive voice rings out in this book…Feynman is both interesting and quotable." (Scientific American)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Narrator even sounds like Feynman!

What a great and interesting man! This audiobook captures his essence and personality. It's filled with interesting stories and thought-provoking Passages.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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surely you're joking

I think Surely you're joking Mr Feynman is a much better read. If you have read that book then this book will have some duplication in stories.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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You will have heard some of it already

There's a lot of overlap between the stories, so it feels unedited. Other than that, the usual fare for Feynman - funny and insightful. Lovely voice performance as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, but material is covered in better book.

This is basically "surely you'r joking mr feynman", but not so much stitched together. Buy the other one instead.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 06-04-16

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
― Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

It is hard to not love Feynman. You can love his as a scientist, as a man, as a genius, as a teacher, as an iconoclast. He is the real deal. 'The Pleasure of Finding Things Out' is a series of 13 speeches, articles, essays, interviews by or with Richard Feynman. These are guilty pleasure reads for people who adore those great physicists of the early 2oth centuries who were lucky AND brilliant enough to be physicists when physics jumped from classical to quantum. These guys were amazing. Feynman wasn't among the first wave of theoretical physicists to dance in the quantum space, but he was a huge member of the second wave.

The thing that makes Feynman so interesting is just his unpretentious quirkiness, his love of telling stories, his ability to quickly grasp the root of a problem (whether in physics, biology, or religion) and give you an honest answer.

The only drawback to this collection is it repeats several stories. Feynman retold many of his favorite stories (locks at Los Alamos) or ideas (cargo cult science). So if you've read Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character or Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman many of these stories have been heard before. Even inside of this book a couple stories get retold a bit. It is unavoidable, but still a bit of a draw back.

Anyway, this isn't a deep dive into science. It is a flirtation with the curiosity that drives scientists. It is the recollections of one of the most fascinating characters to come out of the Manhattan Project and the post-quantum revolution period of physics. So, if you haven't read much on Feynman I might recommend reading 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!' first, but I'd still not neglect to check this out as well.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Perfect for introduction to Feynman or for long time fans

Not every section is equally interesting and relevant, but this is only because some are more interesting and relevant than anything written that long ago has any right to be.

The reader manages to sound much like Feynman himself, and really nails the cadence and emphasis.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mc2
  • Monument, CO, US
  • 06-03-16

Delightful Character with lots of Insights

I found Dr Feynman very interesting and logical when it came to physics and some of the engineering analysis.

I also found his stories insightful, funny and quite entertaining.

One of the drawbacks that I found was that when he ventured outside of science he sounded a bit foolish. His interest in philosophy was fleeting and superficial and it showed.

One of the pet peeves that I had was his view on religion and the supernatural. I do not mind doubt, but he never doubted evolution and accepted it as scientific dogma instead of doubting that faith and investigating the theory.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Richard Feynman Stories

This book is a collection of Richard Feynman's short stories. There are some gems in this books (like when he is reviewing the plans for the purification plant to make the materials for the first nuclear bomb - whole family found it laugh out loud worthy) and there are some stories that really drag (like when he talks about computing machines of the future - which have yet to materialize). It is 257 page wandering through stories from his life. It certainly would not make my top 100 audible books, but it was an interesting insight into the mind of a physicist. I would say the title is misleading. It is not about the excitement of finding things out as I had hoped, but the stories of a person during the cold war age. There are a few pictures in the book, but none of them are needed to understand the audio version of this book. AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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Very good and interesting

Interesting view into the man's mind. Repetitive at times on some issues as its a collection of different talks. Not disappointing at all and definitely makes you see things in a bit of a more feynman way.
The scientist dismantles his own perspective and tries to show how his mind works.

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Excellent story about one of the great detectives of life and nature

Would recommend the book to all that look to life and nature as a endless detective story where all aspects have to be investigsted and where there few absolute truths, only the temporary truths until new knowledge and insight is created. Thanks Richard for your devotion to making science accessible and understandable. I would wish more politicians, business people and decion makers would apply the scientific approach, and most importantly that the younget generation would find this timely and intetesting.

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  • Fritz
  • 01-07-17

All you want to hear is already in the first book.

Not worth listening if you have already gone through "Surely you're joking...". and if not listen that instead. A lot of repetition and new material is not anything special.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Babis
  • 07-21-15

How children should be raised

What made the experience of listening to The Pleasure of Finding Things Out the most enjoyable?

Inspiring and vivid stories, full of insights into life, human behaviour, raising children, and nature...

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pleasure of Finding Things Out?

Melville Feynman's deep understanding of inertia, and the way he explained it to his son

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

Colour

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story about Arlene.

Any additional comments?

There is some overlap with other books, such as 'What do you care what other people think?'

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Boris
  • 12-05-17

brilliant

various topics that would enrich anyone's world view. Definitely worth your time. ps this is just a collection of unrelated talks

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-20-15

Definitely worth reeding

What did you like most about The Pleasure of Finding Things Out?

It is a very funny book about a life of famous Nobel prize winner.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-17

Surprisingly Good

There are funny parts and inspirational parts. A very good listen. Highly recommended for those that like popular physics and a wonderful insight into one of the great minds of the 20th century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • 11-11-16

Marvellous

You can't go wrong with the words of this genius but I was very surprised to find that the narrator sounds so uncannily like Dr Feynman that I often found myself forgetting that it wasn't actually him speaking. Great listen. I recommend this to any lover of science and/or sophisticated thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Madden
  • 09-28-17

Much recommended

I don't have a background in the sciences. What I know about the sciences I have accumulated over the years driven only by personal interest.

I mention this because, despite my limited background, this audio book is accessible for someone like me. Some parts, I found less than interesting and chose not persevere with. But, for the most part I was really taken in and absorbed.

And, it's not just content that's interesting. The mind of Feynman shines through and delights across all the pages. He had such a fresh and idiosyncratic way of expressing himself. The reader deserves much credit for this. I don't know how, but he speaks with the very cadences of the man himself. Thank you - great quality audio.