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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
Informative and fun to read. This book allows the reader to get first hand understanding of an American genius.Published 2 days ago by larry
This is my favorite book of all time. I've bought so many copies over the years as I have frequently given it away. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Pterodactyl
Doesn't matter much if you like Physics. Richard P. Feynman was into a whole lot more! A true Renaissance man who lived several parallel lives and truly knew how to have a good... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Jim Coe
Amazing. Just amazing. Bought it to share it with my son....Published 18 days ago by S. M Tendulkar
I really liked the book! Richard was an amazing physicist and this book shows the amazing person that he was!!!! Feynman forever!Published 20 days ago by Chetzyl Ballardo
Richard Feynman's "Surely You're Joking" is really a collection of peculiar & interesting stories. Read morePublished 22 days ago by JoelS