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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) Paperback – April 17, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
Looking at our parents and grandparents, older colleagues, and now increasingly often at my own contemporaries and at myself, I am beginning to understand what a hard task it is - to remain an open palm.
Almost no one avoids the nostalgic illusion - in our better days snow was whiter and girls prettier, and what we've been taught is the only correct doctrine. One only sees how ridiculous such claims are when confronted with a different, higher breed of people, who remain curious and young at heart at any age. Richard Feynman was one of such people.
In case someone does not know, Richard Feynman was a physicist, a Nobel prize winner, a participant of the Manhattan project, the founder of quantum mechanics. I have no idea what it is; they say, though, that a new race of computers will shortly change our world and our perception of it; these computers will be supposedly built on principles foreseen by Feynman.
Feynman's book, subtitled "Adventures of a Curious Character", is his memoir - not written down, but narrated in conversations with a close friend. It is very clear that nothing surpassed his ardent passion for physics. When Feynman spoke about his subject, he rejected all notions of etiquette and subordination; Nils Bohr and Einstein could discuss their new ideas only with him - other colleagues just gaped in awe at any dictum of theirs. Feynman writes about the very *process* of discovery - this is probably the only sincere and authentic description of scientific creativity of such scale in literature.Read more ›
This is probably the first Feynman book you should read, and it is indeed a book that anyone interested in science with a touch of good humour MUST read. While I am definitely not a fan of those "just read it" reviews, if you are still questioning if Feynman's thoughts are worth your money, I have to say "think no more, and go for it"
I strongly suggest getting "What do you care what other people think"? in the same amazon order so you can read it right after. It is a book which basically shares the same type of structure, but includes more thoughts on Feynman's youth, and a more emotional story about his first wife Arlene. Both titles are full of wisdom and fun. A good 3 rd title is "Most of the good stuff". It might be useful to mention that these titles often appear to have no chronological order, and the new Feynman reader might be left somewhat confused about when and why the events where happening. That is why you should also get the excellent biography of Feynman, "Genius", by James Gleick, which will definitely solve that problem.
For those who are worried about any massive amount of math and physics, fear not. That is obviously part of Feynman's work, but it is not essential for the books I mentioned. (But it is true that knowledge of the 2 subjects will probably make some thoughts more understandable. When it comes to math I often know what Feynman is talking about, as I had several years of nasty math classes in college, but when he is lost in his world of high physics, I am often left scratching my head...)
Unique moments from the life of a unique man. Highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well before Nigel Degras Tyson this guy was the father of the scientific method. His stories are well worth the time to read this book. Enjoy.Published 3 days ago by Monte Huebsch
Richard's genius is telling in this personal biography that reveals much about his persona as his genius. A gorgeous book to read, but don't expect predictability.Published 5 days ago by James Euclid
Very fun read, awesome as it teaches you about general life and science while making you laugh and making you take a look at the bright side of lifePublished 5 days ago by jose pita
A great enjoyable but 'simple' read by a great brain. Not essential reading but when brain strain becomes to much...Published 5 days ago by S. Thoms
Having first read this book around 15 years ago, I happened upon it again this morning. I remember liking it, so I decided to reread it. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Douglas Goldstein
Dr. Feynman is truly an extraordinary man. Reading his life stories was very entertaining. This book changed my stereotypical view of what the life of a great scientist is like.Published 19 days ago by Andrew
This is one of the best books to inspire young folks to look into a scientific career. Not only is it very funny and readable, it shows how much fun scientists can have. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Hoa Nguyen