This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!:…

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character (1985)

by Richard Feynman

Other authors: Edward Hutchings (Editor), Ralph Leighton (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,563117715 (4.25)143
Recently added byprivate library, hosehead51, aecath, xiaomarlo, lthomson, Ganzam, Verbatim, DannyKeep, pomorev, tweedyisland
Legacy LibrariesEdward St. John Gorey
  1. 60
    What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman (qball56k)
    qball56k: If you liked Surely You're Joking, you'll probably like the sequel as well. It's in many ways a more personal look at one of the most famous physicists of the 20th century.
  2. 10
    Absolute Zero Gravity: Science Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes by Betsy Devine (Musecologist)
  3. 00
    Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick (SandraArdnas)
  4. 22
    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (noise)
    noise: Both Tony Bourdain and Richard Feynman have (had) an incredible knack for writing highly informative and page turning memoirs. If you've read one but not the other, you're in for a treat.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 143 mentions

English (109)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
One of those books that, had it not been hyped so much, I might have enjoyed a lot more. It definitely has its weak points and strong points, and unfortunately the weak points were more glaring because of people's heaps of praise. Suffice it to say that Feynman is not so great on "The Woman Question", as old-school European Marxists would call it, and sometimes he's kind of a trollish jerk. I guess it's easy to have a swelled head when you're a Nobel-prize-winning genius.

The women thing grated on me extra, I think, because most of the people who recommended this book to me were geeky science-y men (and Redditors, which is approximately the same thing), and their demographic can be particularly blind to misogyny, and sometimes even outright misogynist itself.

But as I said, there is plenty of good also. Lots of funny anecdotes and some good insight. I think the last segment, that speech to Caltech about being an honest scientist, was my fave. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
Fun collection of stories about Feynman's life. I didn't really like the narrator's voice. ( )
  nx74defiant | Nov 12, 2018 |
Mr. Feynman was a curious character. Besides being a great physicist and lecturer, he was also a practical jokester, a ladies man, a musician, a polyglot, and mist of all, he possessed a childlike excitement for learning, a thirst for all knowledge.

The stories give insight into his way of thinking, his honesty, his curiosity, intolerance for stupidity and nonsense. Some of my favorite stories: the ingenious study of ants in his own apartment; the sad and hilarious story of how he got declared mentally unfit by an army psychologist; his adventures in biology; and the story of him becoming the member of a Brazilian samba band.

The writing is straightforward and easy, but my audiobook narrator, Ralph Leighton, had a very distracting habit of ending his sentences with an upward tone, thus making it sound sing-song-like, which I imagine is very much the opposite of what the no-nonsense Feynman intended. I perhaps would have enjoyed more reading it, but right now audio was what I could build into my schedule. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
I read it in 1984 or '85, so it isn't fresh in my mind. However, I remember looking up to him as a role model but being aware that his lockpicking and topless bar hopping wouldn't be the best habits for me to emulate.

Still, good memories of this as well as the sequel published in the late 80s. ( )
  TheMagnificentKevin | Oct 12, 2018 |
Although there was a reasonable amount of overlap with the audiobook of some of Feynman's best short works that I listened to a few years ago, I really enjoyed it and it reminded me why I enjoyed the other audiobook so much. It was succinct, witty, and interesting, and certainly showed why he was such an interesting (and unusual) person. ( )
  TravbudJ | Sep 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Feynman, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hutchings, EdwardEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, RalphAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balibar, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bou, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cox, BrianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hibbs, Albert R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klíma, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Ryn, AudeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
When I was about eleven or twelve I set up a lab in my house.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Richard P. Feynman, premio Nobel per la fisica nel 1965, è stato uno dei maggiori fisici teorici del XX secolo. La sua vita, lungi dal rimanere confinata entro i limiti dell’impegno strettamente scientifico, ci si presenta in questo libro come un’esplosiva miscela di eventi incredibili resi possibili da quell’impasto del tutto unico di acuta intelligenza, curiosità irrefrenabile, costante scetticismo e radicato umorismo che è stato l’uomo Feynman. È davvero straordinario poter ritrovare nella stessa persona un tal numero di esperienze diverse e talora contraddittorie. 
Egli ha, di volta in volta, scassinato le più sicure casseforti di Los Alamos, dove si custodivano i segreti della bomba atomica, suonato la frigideira in una scuola di samba brasiliana, illustrato la fisica a “menti mostruose” come Einstein, von Neumann e Pauli, e lavorato come suonatore di bongo con una coreografa di successo, per tacere poi della sua attività di pittore, o di biologo, o di frequentatore di case da gioco. Per dare un’idea dell’unicità del personaggio, basta pensare che il futuro premio Nobel venne scartato dall’esercito americano perché “psichicamente deficiente”. Per anni le conversazione di Richard “Dick” Feynman con l’amico musicista Ralph Leighton sono state registrate e poi trascritte senza alterarne il tono confidenziale: un tributo a un grandissimo scienziato ma prima di tutto a un uomo per il quale la vita è davvero stata un instancabile susseguirsi di ricerca e scoperta.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393316041, Paperback)

A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (read the chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant of stupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (check out "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You Just Ask Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible to enjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch of hilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. At some point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all the merriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authentic knowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give up on seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideas that have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had all these qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and verve in his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around the world--adored him. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this phenomenal bestseller, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums--and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature. Photos.… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.25)
1 5
1.5 5
2 39
2.5 9
3 214
3.5 74
4 661
4.5 92
5 796

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,128,154 books! | Top bar: Always visible