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No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman Paperback – February 17, 1996


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No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman + "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character + Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (February 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039331393X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393313932
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sykes made three TV documentaries about physicist Feynman (1918-1988) in the late '80s, including a BBC feature by the same title as this photo-hagiography. Illustrated with more than 130 photos and reproductions of such ephemera as Feynman's childhood notes on science books and encyclopedia articles, the text is mostly from Sykes's scripted interviews and from Feynman's own Curious Character stories. Nonetheless, the range here is broadened by contributions from 18 family members and colleagues. A chapter on Feynman's role on the Challenger Committee, which investigated the causes of the 1986 explosion of NASA's Challenger space shuttle in which seven astronauts died, casts more light on the investigation than on Feynman. The format is reminiscent of the physicist's bestsellers, e.g., Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman , with pictures. Sykes's off-putting calculated reverence, however, doesn't conceal his subject's inimitable, irrepressible spirit.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is not a biography of Nobel Laureate Feynman-the gold standard for that is unquestionably James Gleick's Genius (LJ 10/1/92)-but rather a very interesting and pleasing compilation of anecdotes, interview excerpts, and conversations by a man who has made several excellent films about and with Feynman-including The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and No Ordinary Genius. Even for those who think they know Feynman and his work, this book is a rare and touching glimpse of him in his own words and in the words of those who knew him best. A pleasure to look through (there are more than 100 photos) and read and an excellent book for general and popular collections. A browser's delight.
Mark Shelton, Athens, Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Roberts VINE VOICE on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book for all those individuals who are even remotely interested in the life of the great Richard P. Feynman. It is illustrated with pictures that cover the entire scope of his life; from his earliest days as a boy all the way up to his final years.
The book is mostly a collage of anecdotes and commentary written by a slew of people from all walks of life. We hear from an artist friend of his, Feynman's musician friends, his sister Joan (who herself received a Ph.D. from Syracuse university) and his daughter, as well as the memories of such distinguished colleagues as Freeman Dyson, Hans Bethe and Marvin Minsky.
So order this book, borrow this book, do whatever you have to do to read & enjoy it. Come, take a tour of the life of a humble & friendly (and extraordinary) genius. You owe it to yourself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Arief Yudhanto on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
My reading of "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman" was surely "forced" me to read the life of Richard Feynman furthermore: NO ORDINARY GENIUS is a GREAT BOOK. Family, friends and colleagues of Feynman share their views regarding the genius (with bump's-language-style) Feynman. The photos are great and can make a good spot on his life. Truly inspiring especially when he stated that he's an irresponsible man! And also, he couldnt stop to do physics until several days before his death: he's still doing the physics in 70. Feynman also brought the tiny-state named TOUVA to the world: even a geographic teacher wouldn't know bout this region! Buy this book, okay?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have just purchased this book, and I am finding it difficult to put down. After having greatly enjoyed Feynman's autobiographical works, I was interested in finding out more about his life. And this book certainly didn't disappoint. On the other hand, I must say that I sometimes feel sad that the best most of us can hope for is to be Sallieris to Feynman's Mozart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The most extraordinary scientist of his time, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman had an immense love of life
and all it offered. No Ordinary Genius traces Feynman's remarkable adventures, inside and outside science, in his own
words and those of his family, friends, and colleagues.

Review by BookList:
Feynman was a brilliant and puckish physicist, dynamic teacher, charming storyteller, and all-around buffoon who inspired
near hero worship in the people he worked and played with. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" (1984), a collection of
autobiographical anecdotes, became a best-seller, while two major biographies, James Gleick's superbly readable "Genius"
(1992) and this year's in-depth "The Beat of a Different Drummer" by Jagdish Mehra, delve into both his quirky personality
and his influential career. This photo-album tribute presents a series of quick-but-intimate portraits through photographs of
Feynman and friends and a selection of entertaining and revealing excerpts from interviews and conversations. The pictures
and text are from the documentaries independent filmmaker Sykes made about Feynman's life and science. The supporting
cast includes physicists Richard Davies, Freeman Dyson, David Goodstein, and John Archibald Wheeler as well as a couple
of computer scientists, artists, musicians, and Feynman's children. The main events of Feynman's life--winning the Nobel
Prize; working at Los Alamos; discoveries in superfluidity, diffusion, and radioactive decay; and investigation into the
"Challenger" tragedy--are all discussed, as is Feynman's gift for having fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Krieger on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A mosaic portrait made up of impressions by and about this very human, deep-feeling man. Many personal photos and words show his qualities:

Quirky, courageous, funny, compassionate and nobody's fool, who could conceive that in one life a person could go from being a young working class kid on to university, falling in love and standing by the person you love as she faces the greatest of life's challenges (her own approaching death)at a very young age, believing you're fighting the Nazis by working on the Manhatan Project to build the world's first atom bomb, and later feeling deeply critical about this and speaking out against it...

Ever the iconoclast, he encouraged all young people who wrote to him to follow their own path regardless of what others thought, and wasn't afraid to play his beloved bongos as he travelled everywhere around the world, including when going to accept the Nobel Prize for physics.

He was also not afraid to tangle with power politics in Washington DC and at NASA when he wrote a dissenting opinion that was published as part of the official investigation into the Challenger space shuttle disaster. He exposed how bureaucrats deliberately overlooked design flaws in the now infamous "O" rings in order to meet public deadlines, even as he himself was dying of cancer.

A truly remarkable man. His humanity shines through in this book, as it also does in his letters collected in the book, "Don't You Have Time to Think?"

Both are highly recommended!
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