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Extended Audio Sample Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman Audiobook, by James Gleick Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,486 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Gleick Narrator: Dick Estell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9780307915108
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Chaos comes an outstanding biography of one of the most dazzling and flamboyant scientists of the twentieth century that “not only paints a highly attractive portrait of Feynman but also … makes for a stimulating adventure in the annals of science” (New York Times).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mesmerizing…a stimulating adventure in the annals of science…[Feynman] would be surprised by Genius, and very pleasantly so.”

    New York Times

  • “The book is a moving, beautifully written literate and perceptive account of Feynman’s life.”

    Nature

  • “Gleick’s narrative, consistently measured and elegant is a formidable work of scientific biography.”

    New Statesman

  • “I came away from Genius feeling that I knew a lot more about Feynman and his play in twentieth century science.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “An inspiration to anyone in pursuit of their own fulfillment as a person of genius.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “[Gleick] steadily levies just enough of the burden of Feynman’s genius on the reader so that the physicist remains, in the end, a person and not an icon of science. A genius could not hope for better.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • the most touching, affecting, and important works of scientific biography to have been produced in the last 30 years, a fine book that deserves a place in every collection.

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1993 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Autobiography/Biography
  • A 1992 National Book Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadrian | 1/28/2014

    " Very impressive biography of Feynman. Extremely interesting book - although with Feynman's life, it isn't too hard to make an interesting story out of it. Good balance of lucid scientific explanations and biographical narrative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ariane | 1/25/2014

    " James Gleick on Ritty! A winning combination. Even if I couldn't follow all of the science all of the time... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 1/25/2014

    " This book is half personal bio of Feynman, half pure physics primer - maybe even more than half. There's a bit too much dense scientific discussion to make it a casual read, but it does provide a useful overview of nearly all the major scientific breakthroughs from Einstein's relativity to nanotechnology. And it sheds some light on a very quirky genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chip | 1/22/2014

    " Bio of Richard Feynman: genius, physicist, teacher, and prankster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher Bennett | 1/7/2014

    " might be the best biography I've read. equal parts awesome and educational/mind-expanding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/5/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Since I'm not very well-versed in science, I've found that biographies of famous scientists are easier for me to digest, and I do pick up some tidbits of scientific information. Feynman really was quite a genius and a wild character as well. If I could ever understand his proposition that not only can an electron be in two places at the same time, but that the electron can actually travel backwards in time, I'd be a genius too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 1/5/2014

    " I'm always a sucker for a biography of Feynman -- this is perhaps the best. Read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Seray | 12/27/2013

    " Richard Feynman was my hero! Seriously, a true genius who was a humanitarian, a comic, a musician, a husband, an adventurer, a nerd - a real human being. He abides by my basic philosophy of life - Live to Play and Play to Live! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Somerville | 12/26/2013

    " Wonderful biography of an amazing man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/25/2013

    " A wonderful look at one of the most capacious, interesting and important minds of the 20th Century. Feynman's life and contribution to science should be read by anyone who has a remote interest into how the world works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fallenrain | 12/16/2013

    " Absolutely amazing stuff. This is how life is supposed to live, and success is supposed to be sought. You would have to be heartless to not enjoy this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Shanle | 12/10/2013

    " Fascinating look at the science and the scientist. Well balanced and full of humanity, shows the other side of the anecdotes in "Surely You're Joking" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne Lambie | 12/10/2013

    " A great point to start in understanding this great teacher. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saraarnold | 12/8/2013

    " A good intro to Feynman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrian | 11/26/2013

    " Richard Feynman is my hero, I wish there were more humans on this planet like him. This book was amazing and I highly recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gordon | 11/21/2013

    " Hands down Feynman was the most brilliant man of the the second half of the twentieth century. This book is not only for lovers of science, he was an very interesting man who did some amazing work in Quantum Electro Dynamics while drinking beer at his local strip clubs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 George | 10/17/2013

    " Man, Richard Feynman was amazing! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tatiana | 8/4/2013

    " I thought this biography sucked. Though he may have had his facts exactly right, he missed the whole spirit of what made Feynman cool. I don't recommend it. I was very disappointed, too, because he did such a great job with the Chaos book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 7/18/2013

    " A well-written book about a brilliant and interesting scientist and drummer who asked great questions about everything, figured into several historical moments, and had great adventures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 2/26/2013

    " I'm a sucker for science biographies. What I did like was an outsider's perspective on Feynman's life (as opposed to "Surely You're Joking"), but this book got a little to technical in its explanations of Feynman's physics, which was -- for a layman -- difficult to understand. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thorn | 1/31/2013

    " doesn't really add anything to "surely you're joking" and "what do you care what other people think?" that we couldn't live without. it was interesting, but most of the same information is available in more-engaging form elsewhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 10/26/2012

    " An exceptionally well-written biography of America's #1 asshole. Gleick has a really great understanding of both human character & science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 8/2/2012

    " Couldn't understand 80% of the theoretical physics, but loved having a peek into it, and the biographical picture of Feynman was fascinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Al West | 2/20/2012

    " A colleague try's to illucidate the genius of Richard Feynman a difficult task. It falls short... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Beintum | 9/3/2011

    " Interesting biography on the life and science of physicist Richard Feynman. Notable for his work on the Manhattan project and quantum electrodynamics. He's a very unique character with an interesting perspective on life and science "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robb | 5/27/2011

    " It would be difficult to overstate the impact that RPF had on nearly everything he touched. His philosophy towards learning continues to inspire me. The power of the subject matter overwhelms any treatment, but Gleick did it justice. b "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 5/24/2011

    " This book was fantastic. It was gripping, entertaining and enthralling. Highly recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 5/16/2011

    " Gleick makes all the craziness of particle physics and more accessible as he describes the life of one of the most phenomenal scientific minds of the 20th century.

    I greatly enjoyed it, although it took me a while to get through... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robb | 4/12/2011

    " It would be difficult to overstate the impact that RPF had on nearly everything he touched. His philosophy towards learning continues to inspire me. The power of the subject matter overwhelms any treatment, but Gleick did it justice. b "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaworu | 3/27/2011

    " Very impressive biography of Feynman. Extremely interesting book - although with Feynman's life, it isn't too hard to make an interesting story out of it. Good balance of lucid scientific explanations and biographical narrative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 3/17/2011

    " Fascinating look at the science and the scientist. Well balanced and full of humanity, shows the other side of the anecdotes in "Surely You're Joking" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gendou | 2/3/2011

    " This book attempts to be a more honest biography than others about Feynman.
    I suppose it does a good job of illuminating the less mythic aspects of his life.
    There isn't much original in this book that can't be found in other biographies, but it's about Feynman, so it's a fun read!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nakeva | 1/18/2011

    " A book for my favorites list. Richard Feynman was a thinker and this book gives you an idea of his personality. Good read for genius thought. I will certainly read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 7/27/2010

    " My favorite biography. Much much deeper than the auto-bio stories in Surely You're Joking, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Faizal | 7/13/2010

    " Biografi yang sangat bagus dibaca oleh pengkagum sains pencinta ilmu.
    Richard Feynman, saintis fizik, joker, the great teacher & explainer, penerima hadiah nobel fizik dan pencetus inspirasi untuk ribuan saintis serta bakal saintis.

    Wajar dimiliki dan dibaca "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jazzhunt | 3/18/2010

    " Loved this. (Except, if I remember rightly, for a random discourse on the nature of genius.) Feynman as a scientist was simply incredible but Feynman the man, with his unbelievably tragic love story, was simply captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sascha | 2/28/2010

    " richard feynman (god rest his soul) sounds like he was the biggest douche of his time. "

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About the Author
Author James Gleick

James Gleick is a leading chronicler of science and technology, the bestselling author of Chaos, Genius, and The Information. His books have been translated into thirty languages. Gleick, a former reporter and editor of the New York Times, lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Dick Estell was instrumental in the formation of National Public Radio and served as board chairman from 1972–74.  During this period he syndicated The Radio Reader to other public radio stations in the US.  He retired from WKAR in 1986 but continues to produce The Radio Reader from his home studio.