Start reading "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Cur... on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character: Adventures of a Curious Character [Kindle Edition]

Richard P. Feynman , Ralph Leighton , Edward Hutchings , Albert R. Hibbs
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (682 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $15.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $8.56
You Save: $7.39 (46%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $8.56  
School & Library Binding $19.32  
Paperback $11.46  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $19.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Mass Market Paperback --  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, Unabridged $17.45  
Multimedia CD --  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

A New York Times bestseller—the outrageous exploits of one of this century's greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original.


Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (read the chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant of stupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (check out "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You Just Ask Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible to enjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch of hilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. At some point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all the merriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authentic knowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give up on seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideas that have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had all these qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and verve in his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around the world--adored him. --Wendy Smith

From Publishers Weekly

History will remember Nobel Prize–winning physicist Feynman (1918–1988), for his work in quantum physics and his role in the investigation of the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. Contemporary readers and listeners, however, will remember him best for his reputation as a free-thinking iconoclast whose personal adventures were hilarious, insightful and inspiring. Todd does a fabulous job of conveying Feynman's infectious enthusiasm and childlike sense of wonder with his energetic portrayal of the scientist. He's adept even in difficult sections, such as when Feynman "speaks Italian" and "Chinese"—inventing completely made-up but accurate sounding languages. Todd does a good job of portraying Feynman's inquisitive manner and conveys the book's message and attitude with aplomb. While he sounds nothing like the late physicist (Feynman— the subject of James Gleick's Genius—had a thick Long Island accent and sounded more like a cross between Yogi Bear and The Honeymooners' Ed Norton), Todd's clean, polite voice is a revelation. Based on the Norton paperback. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1207 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (June 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V1WXKU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,688 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
205 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Open Palm September 23, 2002
Format:Paperback
A late relative of mine, a world-renowned physicist, once said: "One has to be an open palm. As soon as it clenches into a fist, the person looses the ability to learn and to enjoy new things. And that is the onset of old age".
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 ›
Was this review helpful to you?
168 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique moments from the life of a unique man. December 4, 2000
By Spiff
Format:Paperback
It is not often that you see a Nobel-winner physicist behaving the way Feynman did, with such humour mixed with an obviously enormous amount of knowledge. Feynman was no ordinary physicist and no ordinary citizen, a rebel who could not be forced to behave like many around him.
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!
Was this review helpful to you?
136 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of Feynman's zany adventures! February 13, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a jewel. One would be hard pressed to find a more comical and enjoyable book to read - anywhere. Feynman is the scientist who breaks (or should I say, shatters?) the stereotype of the lab-coat physicist who wears thick, taped up glasses. The great Richard P. Feynman is a testament to how great we as a race can me. I like to think of him as a cross between Goethe & Robin Williams (and I do NOT mean that in any sort of deragatory way). As a physicist, he was top notch, but as a person he was something even more. He had a marvelous sense of humor & enjoyed playing pranks on people. His love of life spilled over to all the people he met during his sojourn on the planet. I only wish that I had been one of those lucky few to have met & known him personally. Perhaps what is most remarkable about him is that he had friends from all walks of life. Many were scientists, yes, but many more were "ordinary" people off the street. That is rather noteworthy given the fact that so many Ivy league-calibre professors feel that they too "intellectually gifted" to associate with the rest of we mere mortals. Someone once said that Edwin Hubble wasn't a humble man, but then again, Hubble didn't have very much to be humble about. I would argue that one could say the latter of Feynman as well, but not the former. READ THIS BOOK and share the experiences of one of the most extraordinary and yet fun loving personages of the 20th century (if not all time). I guarantee it will make you laugh like few other books you will ever read.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading.
An essential read for anyone who cares about science or wants to...
Published 2 days ago by Lora
5.0 out of 5 stars Those who are just too smart take a sideways view of life and the...
Every so often a book by a person is a really honest unabashed story about themselves. Those who are just too smart take a sideways view of life and the humans in it. Read more
Published 7 days ago by BSkadman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
funny and well worth the time to read
Published 7 days ago by Tom Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A beautiful insight into the mind of one of the brilliant physicists of the 20th century.
Published 10 days ago by Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The only thing i have to say about this book is: surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!
Published 11 days ago by Henrique Ferraz Arcoverde
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the reading
A lovely read - adminst the sadness of what the result of their endeavour created. Of course, the atom bomb was not his ' only' achievement. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars A signature life style: Do everything you think might be worth doing,...
A fine book by a great role model for modern humans. Feynman shows by implication how one conscientious scientist, student, and teacher decides that he does not have to only... Read more
Published 16 days ago by James D. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 16 days ago by Alexandre Goncalves
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro and stories of the man
Great intro and stories of the man... Not just the well known parts of his life, and his notarity, but the little lesser know tidbits like the lock picking, etc.... Read more
Published 16 days ago by PS56k
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
a whole book on how great he is...
Published 16 days ago by John ONeil sr
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
Why "You Just Ask Them?" worked for Feynman about getting intimate with...
He's spot on.

It's pretty basic - if a girl believes a guy is lower value than her she loses attraction. Supplicating (ie. "buying" her affection, putting her on a pedestal, etc) is the last thing you want to do as a first impression. The thing is when you first meet someone you know... Read More
Apr 8, 2011 by Beau J. Randall |  See all 2 posts
the paradox of Feynman
I enjoyed his book. Just a few random comments. I found his bongo playing adventures interesting in that such a smart guy found it difficult to be good at it. I especially enjoyed his social error at Princeton regarding the lemon and milk in his tea.

His view of the world shows that the... Read More
Jun 16, 2007 by L. Murray |  See all 5 posts
Albert Einstein's theory of gravity is generally explained in a wrong way Be the first to reply
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category