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107 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one + CD..., March 14, 2006
This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
I have purchased almost all Feynman books so far.

Be forewarned. This book is a compilation of "Surely your joking..." and "What do you care what..." plus a bonus CD audio recording of a talk which was "in-te-res-ting" ( a Feynmanism).

If I had realized this, I would only have bought this book instead of all three.

For a more global and thorough exposition of his life, consider Gleick's '93 book "Genius".

For those wondering if they should find anything out about Feynman... There was a student that was asked if he wanted to come along to hear Feynman speak. "No. I'm going to study instead." Years later he was still kicking himself for passing up the opportunity. Feynman has this effect. Once you find out about him, you'll probably want to have done so earlier.

What's in store for you is a look back from the 20's to the 80's through the eyes of a physicist that married his sweet heart against the advice of family and lost her to tuberculosis a short time before a cure, rubbed elbows with the greats Einstein, Bohr, Dyson, Schwinger, Fermi etc, patrioticly worked on anti-aircraft defenses, helped build the atomic bomb, was bold enough to look at it directly behind a windshield that blocked the harmful ultra violet, cracked safes, deciphered Mayan hieroglyphs, learned to speak and taught in Portuguese, ironed out the problems in Quantum Electrodynamics, went around Caltech acting weird from a concussion for three weeks before any one noticed, "Well, next time say something!", he scolded. The '65 Nobel prize: "You'll raise more of a fuss if you refuse it.", learned to draw, play drums, inspired nanotechnologists, quantum computing research and after surviving 10 years of cancer helped trackdown the problem with the Space Shuttle Columbia and lastly said: "I'd hate to die twice. It's boring!"
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Feynman, you will like the CD very much!, November 18, 2008
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Frieswijk (Noordhorn, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
The stories in the book are the same as those in the well known Surely you're joking and What do you care what other people think. I had read those (plus James Gleick's 'Genius'), but still liked this book very much because of the accompanying CD. Play the CD first, then read the stories again - that really made the stories come to live for me!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Entertaining, June 28, 2008
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
This autobiography of the great physicist Richard Feynman should appeal to all those readers who want to know about his private life and scientific activities in detail.However, most of the material is taken from two previous books, "Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman" and "What do you care what other people think?". Some of the "adventures" were already related by James Gleick in his biography of Feynman, "Genius".So people who own these books can do without this one, unless they are real Feynman fans(like me!).
Another feature of this book is the CD which comes with it, and which contains a recording of a lecture by Feynman, covering most of the material of the Chapter entitled "Los Alamos from Below". I found this CD both entertaining and very useful, as it gives the listener a taste of what a lecture by Feynman sounded like. In fact, all the book, in its simplicity, sounds more like a series of lectures;and Feynman, in his distaste for "humanities", seems to enjoy "talking" to the public, with not a hint of literary artifice in his style!Of course, this could be seen as unbecoming such a brilliant mind, but Feynman keeps reminding the reader that he has no respect for anything but science(at one place, he talks about finding the professors of the philosophy department at Columbia particularly "inane").Some will also find his philandering a little exaggerated: but he is honest enough to admit that there is nothing he loves more than a "beautiful woman", and who could blame him?
Finally, it is worthwhile noting that, if some top-notch scientists had also literary gifts (two major examples being Poincaré and Einstein, whose writings are literary gems), Feynman couldn't care less: he even boasts that he does not give any importance to spelling mistakes, as long as the reader (or listener) understand what he is talking about! However, after reading his Nobel Banquet Speech , I was agreeably surprised with a much better style, which he even admits in the book. Talking about this speech, he says(p.343):"But then I said I received, all at once, a big pile of letters - I said it much better in the speech- reminding me of all the people that I knew; letters from childhood friends who jumped up when they read the morning newspaper and cried out 'I know him!he's that kid we used to play with and so on...'".Feynman seems to be quoting from memory, because this is not exactly what he said in the speech:"...victorious cries of 'I told you so' by those having no technical knowledge-their successful prediction being based on faith alone..."(see Nobelprize.org for the complete speech).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, October 1, 2009
This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
If Feynman were only a brilliant physicist he would have been an amazing man. But he was so much more. Reading this book I found that I really got to know what he was about. Every essay was interesting and entertaining. The man knew how to live life and if I manage to have half the experiences he did I well have had a great life. It seems like he was constantly exploring what the world had to offer. It is truly a shame he is no longer with us because I would have loved to hear him live. If you only care about physics this book is not for you but if you want to know about life in general this book is for you. He is truly and inspring and motivational figure. I intend to purchase more books and cds on Feynman.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Curious Character, August 11, 2012
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
In life, it seems that there are two types of geniuses - great minds and great teachers. Many of each type have come along throughout modern history, minds like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Niels Bohr, and teachers such as Nadia Boulanger, Socrates and Annie Sullivan. Very infrequently, genetics will stumble upon a phenomenal combination that provides both within once person - this was Richard Feynman.

Despite his incredible mind, he also had a knack for explanation and story-telling - a talent that no doubt arose from his love of the unorthodox. In this book, a collection of all of Feynman's greatest tales are collected for any readers, young or old, to divulge and enjoy. There are very few books in which 'Quantum Electrodynamics' and 'strip clubs' can make contextual sense in the same sentence, but Feynman flawlessly manages to make it work.

His tales are much more than mere fun stories of a silly old scientist, as they both entertaining and enlightening. One of my favorite sections from the book details a discussion that Feynman had with a friend of his, an artist. His friend attempted to tell Feynman that his scientific understanding of the flower only diminished its beauty, dragging it down to the boring depths of esoteric textbook terms and definitions. However, Feynman rejected his friend's claim, stating that he could "see much more about the flower than [the artist] sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes...All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts."

These interesting tales of explosions, safe-cracking, Los Alamos, nude painting and science allow us all to see into the nature of this incredible man - a truly 'curious character.'
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars curious indeed, March 8, 2007
This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful read....a chance to listen to a great scientist with a wonderful quirky mind. It is all interesting, some of it very touching, but the part on the investigation of the Challenger explosion is a classic study in bureaucratic malingering.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "M-U-S-T", July 22, 2008
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
I was introduced to "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman" 10 years ago by a friend of mine. I read with delight that marvelous book many times ever since. I am glad that Mr Leighton took the time to put together all the adventures of that charming and "curious character". In doing so, he allows us the pleasure of reading them in a chronological order, giving us the possibility to brush a better picture of the man behind the adventures...

A absolute MUST!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instead of buying three books with Feynman stories, buy this complete set, November 10, 2010
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
Title says all. If you haven't read any Feynman stories, this is the place to start. Then continue with the lectures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Combined Volume, May 4, 2010
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
As mentioned by others, this volume includes selections from "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think". There are two prologues by Ralph Leighton and Freeman Dyson. There is also an epilogue by Alan Alda. The book also includes a CD containing Feynman's talk on "Los Alamos from Below".

The breakdown:
- The book is classic Feynman, entertaining, funny, thought-provoking and stimulating all at once.
- If you do not own the above mentioned volumes, this is a nice hard cover book to keep in your personal library.
- The CD adds a nice little touch to a volume that essentially has little "new" material.

So, if you are a long time Feynman fan and are considering buying something written by him to read or re-read - this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I ever bought. Period., January 22, 2014
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This review is from: Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (Hardcover)
I bought this book with no knowledge of who Feynman is/was. Today I can talk for hours about him, having read at least three or four other books. He is an inspiration to generations, even after his death. What a remarkable man!

If you're reading this, just buy this book. And read it. And once more. You won't regret it.
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Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character
Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman (Hardcover - November 17, 2005)
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