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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 (28,138 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sylvia Nasar Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2001 ISBN: 9780743540759
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“HOW COULD YOU, A MATHEMATICIAN, BELIEVE THAT EXTRATERRESTRIALS WERE SENDING YOU MESSAGES?” the visitor from Harvard asked the West Virginian with the movie-star looks and Olympian manner. “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way my mathematical ideas did,” came the answer. “So I took them seriously.”

Thus begins the true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius who was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness, and who—thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community—emerged after decades of ghostlike existence to win a Nobel Prize for triggering the game theory revolution. The inspiration for an Academy Award–winning movie, Sylvia Nasar’s now-classic biography is a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over adversity, and the healing power of love.

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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

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

    Library Journal

  • “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

  • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and Autobiography in 1998
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Twigsy | 4/3/2017

    " I saw the movie made from this book years ago, and cried. It reminded me so much of my late husband, who wasn't exactly a genius but was "too smart for his own good," as his dad used to say. He was eccentric and had stores about being in the military and elsewhere that happened long before I met him. I used to wonder if it mattered if they were true, but eventually decided that it didn't. This book is a bit sadder than the movie, and shows more of Nash's human faults, but I loved listening to it. I have seen for myself that being very smart and living a "normal" life are sometimes impossible. This book makes Nash HUMAN. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hayfa | 2/18/2014

    " These book tells a story of Mr. Nash , I advise everyone to read it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simmie | 2/10/2014

    " I read this at a track meet...maybe because I was surrounded by sweaty athletes, or just sat there and read on the hard floor for 5 hours, but it was a little dry... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mamatoe | 2/9/2014

    " I picked up this audio book on a fluke at the library. I don't think I would have made it through the print version. It is interesting and very well written, but dense. It did open my eyes to life in academia, and I am looking forward to watching the movie. How could anyone possibly turn this tome into a popular movie? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nima | 2/2/2014

    " Great personality, speculative and insensitive treatment "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/30/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hailey Hepworth | 1/24/2014

    " this book is much better than the movie. Overall I really enjoyed reading and found this story facinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 1/20/2014

    " I wanted to like it but found it slow and disjointed, and had to push myself to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra Baumann | 1/15/2014

    " Paints a more complete, intricate picture of Nash than the film. Not necessarily a quick read but definitely worth the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 1/14/2014

    " Interesting, well written, but too long. Too much detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pricia | 1/4/2014

    " I found myself haunted by the movie and used this book to ground myself. Nash is fascinating; Nasar does not provide a lyric or symbolic frame of how imprisoned he was. It is a harsher reality of his day to day life and it helps shake the ache of the movie off. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 12/30/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lydia Stafford | 12/21/2013

    " Great movie & Great Book. It amazes me how the mind of a human works.. All the struggles he went thru & overcome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne-marie | 12/17/2013

    " A great novel, showing what true love is all about and what it can accomplish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James B. | 12/1/2013

    " Mathematical geniuses with debilitating mental problems are people too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gideon Arulmani | 8/19/2013

    " Evocatively written. But try saying that to a psychotic... insenstive title I thought "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty Apostolides | 3/6/2013

    " Quite an engaging read. The scientific life was well described and the intricacies between friends also insightful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Fallon | 3/3/2013

    " fascinating and NOTHING like the hollywood film "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 8/13/2012

    " 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 Brooke Hostetler | 6/20/2012

    " Extremely interesting. 4 stars because it is difficult to get through at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannap12 | 5/4/2012

    " The book about Nash is definately more accurate than the movie, and includes things like his rumored homosexual affairs during his marriage, also the fact that he neglected his first child from a previous relationship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke Huang | 7/27/2011

    " I am glad that I read this book and saw the film, because it just shows how Hollywood can simplify a person's life. Although I didn't find Nash particularly likable, he is fascinating. "

  • 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

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.