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Download A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash Audiobook, by Sylvia Nasar Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (28,168 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sylvia Nasar Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455176175
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John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of thirty, dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed “impossible” by other mathematicians. But at the height of his fame, Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown and began a harrowing descent into insanity, resigning his post at MIT, slipping into a series of bizarre delusions, and eventually becoming a dreamy, ghostlike figure at Princeton, scrawling numerological messages on blackboards. He was all but forgotten by the outside world—until, remarkably, he emerged from his madness to win the Nobel Prize.

A Beautiful Mind is “a story about the mystery of the human mind, in three acts: genius, madness, reawakening.” A true drama, it is also a fascinating glimpse into the fragility of genius.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A Beautiful Mind is a brilliant book—at once a powerful and moving biography of a great mathematical genius and an important contribution to American intellectual history.”

    David Herbert Donald, New York Times bestselling author

  • A Beautiful Mind is a splendid book, deeply interesting and extraordinarily moving, remarkable for its sympathetic insights into both genius and schizophrenia. It is equally gripping as a portrait of the mathematical community at Princeton and of Nash’s friends and family, and the perhaps crucial part they played in his psychic survival and eventual emergence.”

    Oliver Sacks, bestselling author of Awakenings

  • A Beautiful Mind tells a moving story and offers a remarkable look into the arcane world of mathematics and the tragedy of madness.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Superbly written and eminently fascinating.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Nasar has written an intriguing account of a fascinating man, of a ‘beautiful’ mind, and of terrible madness. She has also written a deeply moving love story, an account of the centrality of human relationships in a world of nightmare and genius.”

    New England Journal of Medicine

  • “Economist and journalist Sylvia Nasar has written a biography of Nash that looks at all sides of his life. She gives an intelligent, understandable exposition of his mathematical ideas and a picture of schizophrenia that is evocative but decidedly unromantic. Her story of the machinations behind Nash's Nobel is fascinating…highly recommended.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Every once in a while there appears a book on science that mirrors the splendor of its subject. Sylvia Nasar’s A Beautiful Mind is such a book—an eloquent, heartbreaking, and heartwarming tale, told with elegance and assurance of a major writer.”

    Timothy Ferris, author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way

  • “A notable biography…Nasar, an economics correspondent for the New York Times, is equally adept at probing the puzzle of schizophrenia and giving a non-technical context for Nash's mathematical and scientific ideas.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Nasar tells a story of triumph, tragedy, and enduring love.” 

     Library Journal              

  • “Rarely has the fragility of the boundary separating genius from madness been illustrated with more compelling insight…Untangling the strands of this perplexing life requires the rare author who can explicate the complex rationality of differential calculus and also plumb the bizarre illogic of schizophrenia…Nasar tells the story of a great mind broken and then healed with subtle sympathy, which will touch any reader who understands what it means to hope—or to fear.”

    Booklist

  • “Nasar…provid[es] a sense of the rarefied and competitive atmosphere of mathematics departments in the nation's leading universities during the height of the Cold War. The peripheral characters of the book are vividly drawn, and episodes in Nash’s life are painted with an extraordinary attention to detail. She also presents advanced mathematical theories in an accessible and palatable way.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 1998 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Biography/Autobiography
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 2/15/2014

    " Genius, schizophrenic. Interesting, but did I finish it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 2/7/2014

    " A very revealing view of the great achievement as well as the very troubled life on Nobel laureate John Nash. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Petersen | 2/5/2014

    " It helps to understand the world of math when you read this book. That aside, a fascinating story about a brilliant man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric Rautenbach | 1/5/2014

    " This book gives a much clearer, and I assume much more accurate, depiction of the life of John Nash compared to the movie. I enjoyed reading about his life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meg | 12/28/2013

    " Not at all what I was expecting and very dense to try and read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Deborah | 12/23/2013

    " Very well written stroy of the life of a mentally impaired professor. Amazing how he was able to overcome his illness with psychiatric help and meds. to be able to teach college level students. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 12/21/2013

    " Way better than the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 10/2/2013

    " I read this book several years ago and loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 10/2/2013

    " I read this because I saw the movie and wanted to know more. I guess I didn't want to know all that much more, lots of tangents (get it - tangents) in the book that I didn't care about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan Edwards | 7/23/2013

    " Different from the movie. Movie was great but this provides a very in depth look at the man "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan | 2/16/2013

    " I never found anything beautiful about this man or the movie that tried hard to convince me that he was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/13/2012

    " One of the few books where I really did enjoy the movie as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Collibee | 8/28/2012

    " Really raw biography. Saw the movie later...didn't resemble book...didn't do book justice. Book was worth the read. Fascinating life...amazing yet sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Prawlins | 8/11/2012

    " A mind boggling read for someone who has no clue when it comes to math but wishes he did. Drags a bit while working through some of the details of his illness, and unfortunately, there's not a lot of detail on his recovery. But eye-opening and well worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Do_chara | 7/14/2012

    " Brilliant. More mathematically descriptive than the film and deals more with his abilities and achievements than his insanity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jscorse | 1/21/2012

    " What a life even though Nash seems like an asshole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 10/25/2011

    " The book gave me a good understanding of ivy league academia. In addition, it gave me a good understanding of the nature of mental illness. I have a new respect for the mentally ill...it is a journey and deserves respect and understanding where the person is... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rayni | 8/16/2011

    " I liked the movie a lot better than the book. I took the book on vacation w/us. I loved the movie. I learned a lot & it helped open a dialogue between my son living w/Asperger's & myself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nima | 6/5/2011

    " Great personality, speculative and insensitive treatment "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Plonka | 5/31/2011

    " A well written biography of John Nash, an eminent mathematician whose mind worked in strange ways. I suspect his illness was metabolically caused, since his environment provided a wealth of support from friends and family who recognized his special talents and tried to help him to utilize them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deepak | 5/15/2011

    " It's the survival of the fittest. (Even if it's between you and YOU). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muhammad | 4/28/2011

    " Buku hebat tentang orang hebat. Ketika membaca buku ini saya berpikir, hanya ada benang tipis yang membedakan kegeniusan dari kegilaan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Prawlins | 4/3/2011

    " A mind boggling read for someone who has no clue when it comes to math but wishes he did. Drags a bit while working through some of the details of his illness, and unfortunately, there's not a lot of detail on his recovery. But eye-opening and well worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 3/17/2011

    " Genius, schizophrenic. Interesting, but did I finish it? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stargazer | 3/2/2011

    " Very dry. Nash is a difficult character to like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 3/1/2011

    " I found the book hard to finish because it is written like thesis, with lots of detail and footnotes, but I stuck with it because I found the story of John Nash's battle with mental illness fascinating "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin | 2/27/2011

    " The book is a great combination of insightful and intimate. It is packed with detail, but does not drag.

    my favorite quote: "They argue about money, the housework, Johnny, social engagements, but he has committed himself to making her life easier and more joyful." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 2/19/2011

    " Fascinating enough for me to finish but not exactly a page turner. Even in the midst of bad choices, meanness, supreme selfishness, and eventual mental instability Dr. Nash had beautiful things to offer the world in his way. Sad to see the wreckage along the way though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/12/2011

    " A very interesting biography about a brilliant and complex bully. I really enjoyed the book and really hated the movie. The movie took artistic license to criminal heights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/24/2011

    " Just in love with this book! This man inspires respect and deserves Nobel Prize. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerilotion | 1/17/2011

    " I did enjoy this bio, but most of it was over my head.
    It didn't get really interesting until half way through the book. "

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About the Author
Author Sylvia Nasar

Sylvia Nasar, a former economics correspondent for the New York Times, is the Knight Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. She lives in Tarrytown, New York.

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.