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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the national best seller Chaos comes an outstanding biography of one of the most dazzling and flamboyant scientists of the 20th century that "not only paints a highly attractive portrait of Feynman but also . . . makes for a stimulating adventure in the annals of science." (The New York Times).

©1993 James Gleick (P)2011 Random House

What listeners say about Genius

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching

Great recount of Feynman's life and the history of physics throughout it, including the tear-jerking moments. It makes me sad that I was born too late to know about him while he was still alive.

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  • Douglas
  • 2013-04-07

Wonderful Biography!

Like Bird & Sherwin's biography of Oppenheimer, Farmelo's account of Dirac, and Issacson's book on Einstein, Gleick's tome on Feynman brings to life the man whom one of his colleagues called "50% genius, 50% buffoon"--and then amended his comment to "100% genius, 100% buffoon!" Lots of personal accounts of the wacky, intense genius that Feynman was, with wonderful details of his work and how he helped to recreate science in the nearly mystical world of quantum mechanics.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Craig Mcguire
  • 2013-10-04

Story: Great - Reading: Annoying and embarrassing

Would you consider the audio edition of Genius to be better than the print version?

I suspect that reading this book on my own would have been preferable to this lacklustre reading. If the non-nuanced drone did not lull you to sleep; perhaps, it was from the jolt of the plethora of mispronunciations - names and common words - detritus, for example. An editor would have been helpful; Estell should realize that we are blushing with him. Despite the reading, I felt both entertained and edified by this biography. A five star awaiting another opportunity.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laurie
  • 2011-02-10

So glad to have this in audio...

I've adored this book since it was first published. I am so happy to have it on audio now. The narration is pretty flat, and I'm not entirely sure about some of the pronunciations (Pretty sure I.I. Rabi is "Rah-bee" not "Rab-eye") but glad to have it nonetheless. Eagerly awaiting Gleick's newest!

14 people found this helpful

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  • David's Opinions and Reviews
  • 2012-09-08

My Hero!

I am grateful that James did this, for I learned many new things. I have read many other books about Feynman, and have had that 'I'll eat it cause it's on the plate' feeling about the last few. I feel that way about this too, cause of all the revisited material, but Gleick fills in so many gaps that it is still very refreshing. Mind you all: If you are new to Feynman, this would be one of the most comprehensive books ever written on him! It covers all the old and much new material. This is for everyone!

4 people found this helpful

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  • J B Tipton
  • 2011-02-14

Feynman Life and Science

This book is half biography and half science. Feynman was one of a kind and had a remarkable career. You can???t help thinking that this is how brains are supposed to work. The science exposition is clear and easy to follow. The narrator is a perfect match to the material.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Marc Wilhelm
  • 2012-02-08

Ok, that's the last straw...Dess Carts?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, in print or by a different narrator.

What other book might you compare Genius to and why?

This is a fantastic biography of a great scientist and human, ruined by bad narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator reads everything like a Sunday-school teacher reading out of a children's bible. He mispronounces scientific words and historical figures incessantly! This narration is a bad joke.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

In a heartbeat.

Any additional comments?

I'm sure the narrator is a nice guy, but this book did not suit him. The audio director also needs to wake up!

23 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Schneider
  • 2013-03-06

Great Book, Bad Performance and Editing

Would you consider the audio edition of Genius to be better than the print version?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Estell?

I was embarrassed for Dick Estell and any Editors attached to this recording. Do some research; Show some respect both to the author and those great minds represented in this book.

Any additional comments?

I hope in the future Audible will re-record this Audiobook.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Karl
  • 2011-04-22

Good General Biography, Reader a Bit Lacking

This is a good general-purpose biography of the physicist Richard Feynman. Given that it's written for the average reader, it doesn't go into great depth about the Feynman's work. It does, however, give a good feel for Physics during the time that Feynman was beginning his career, notably during the period when he was working at Los Alamos. The beginning skips around quite a bit providing some background, so be patient, it does get around to Feynman's life. The only issue is with the reader. He manages to mis-pronounce a fair number of names in the book and someone should have taken the time to edit the performance so as to catch the mispronounciations in the mathematics and physics terms (e.g., "matrices" is *not* pronounced "matresses".)

15 people found this helpful

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  • G. Green
  • 2015-05-01

Feynman's own books are far better

Roughly 60% of the material in "Genius" is a paraphrasing of the stories contained in the books "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" which are edited transcriptions of recordings of Feynman telling these stories. The Feynman books are a joy and a revelation. In addition they are wonderfully narrated. In contrast, Gleick's paraphrasing of the stories saps them of the vitality and character of Feynman. Making matters worse, the narrator of "Genius" is dull and mispronounces the names of important physicists and mathematical terms. Get the Feynman books, and skip "Genius."

5 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 2011-10-14

Mispronounced names!

One my pet peeves about some audio books is a narrator who doesn't bother to learn the pronunciation of names, but just wings it. I am not too far in, but already he calls Murray Gell-Mann "Jel Man" as though he were describing some man made of jelly. Gell is properly pronounced as the 'gel' in the first syllable of gelding, and the vowel in Mann is of the 'ah" variety. This sort of thing REALLY annoys me even although the book itself is quite good.

20 people found this helpful