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Always adventurous, Feynman was also a careful planner, recounts his friend and fellow drummer Ralph Leighton in this affectionate memoir. When a chance remark happened to dislodge a long-dormant memory of a faraway Siberian land called Tannu-Tuva, Feynman and Leighton set about scheming to get there--a program that included learning the little-described Tuvan language, picking up the rudiments of throat singing, and reading the scattered, hard-to-find literature concerning a place that, in Feynman's fond view, was as close to paradise as the earth contained. It also involved corresponding with scholars in what was still the Soviet Union and wrangling with bureaucrats to secure the necessary papers--all for the sake of seeing a country that had to be interesting, Feynman insisted, just because its capital, Kyzyl, had such an odd spelling.
These picaresque armchair adventures make up the bulk of Tuva or Bust, an unconventional mix of travelogue and scientific biography that's a pleasure to read at every turn. The book yields a memorable picture of Richard Feynman--who did not live to see Tuva, but whose memory is honored there today, thanks to Leighton's refusal to abandon their shared dream. --Gregory McNamee
I quite enjoyed this unexpected little gem.
From a literary standpoint, 'Tuva or Bust' is well-written for a book of its type, with a clear, functional narrative, not... Read more
I read many books about Feynman, but this is different. I could understand him a little bit better; how passionate, how curious, how obsessive (in a good way of course! Read morePublished 5 months ago by alev
It is not about Richard Feynman. It is a journal of an unsuccessful attempt to enter an insular country. Feynman plays a cameo role, if that, in the story. Disappointing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mia L.
What a story!! Such a long time to keep at a dream! Richard seems like a very unique adventurer--so sorry to learn he never physically made it to Tanna Tuva. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kris Jordan
This is another fine book about Feynman by a fellow physics faculty member at Cal Tech and recounts their adventures spawned by an exotic stamp Feynman found of a tiny country near... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Michael
If you have never read anything by Richard Feynman (or don't even know who he was), with help from Ralph Leighton, you have missed something wonderful. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Dee Phelps
This is a great book about one of the greatest American scientists of the 20th century. It has alot of information about cold war era issues surrounding the adventures of Mr. Read morePublished on June 17, 2013 by jtmedley21