HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
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.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

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

by Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton (Contributor)

Other authors: Edward Hutchings (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Feynman Memoirs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,908173762 (4.22)157
Biography & Autobiography. Science. Nonfiction. HTML:

Richard Feynman, one of the world's greatest theoretical physicists, thrived on adventure. His outrageous exploits once shocked a Princeton dean's wife to exclaim: "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!"

In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize??winning physicist recounts in his inimitable voice his experiences 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. Woven together with his views on science, Feynman's life story is a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, eternal skepticism, and raging chutzpah.… (more)

  1. 80
    What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard 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. 10
    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.
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 157 mentions

English (163)  Hungarian (2)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
Dick Feynman was a Nobel laureate and professor of theoretical physics at Cornell and Cal Tech. Like many accomplished people, he had a unique reputation and a magnanimous spirit. In the classroom, his students revered him for his interesting stories. This memoir, written towards the end of his life, records his reflections on his life with the same zeal that won his students’ hearts.

To be frank, some of his stories tend towards the anti-feminist side and make women into objects instead of brilliant minds of their own. This is unfortunate. He grew up and lived in an era where women were not as valued for their professional accomplishments. This memoir sadly contains abundant references to women in sensual roles, not as reasoning equals. Of course, he worked in a male-heavy field before the “Me too” era, so his situation was different than mine 30 years later. Nonetheless, I would have liked to have heard more praising of womankind. Had he lived to this date, I suspect he would have, too.

Despite this central shortcoming, his anecdotes and perspective provides much insight. He is fiercely curious, fiercely objective, and fiercely free. He volunteered his time on government boards for schoolbooks, and he delved in many scientific fields that weren’t tightly wed to physics. He is a good storyteller, and his fascination with life comes through clearly in this memoir. I would have liked to have heard him speak had I lived in his era, despite any shortcomings of character. ( )
  scottjpearson | May 7, 2024 |
Huh.

Feynman is clearly an interesting character and a significant influence in modern science. His antics are interesting is this collection, and It was just as interesting to travel back to a different era through this storytelling.

He does come across as a bit pompous at times, perhaps another blast from the past. Overall an interesting read. ( )
  travisriddle | Dec 25, 2023 |
Richard Feynman is definitely an admirable fellow. He's extremely intelligent and has an enviable work ethic. Some of the stories in this book are fascinating illuminations on times and places I know little about. His voice in prose is not very appealing to me, however.

I'm not sure what it is that bothers me about the way he talks or writes (I gather from the preface that these stories are essentially dicatations). Heather felt he was caddish, and it's clear that he had a fascination with women. For me, though, these elements of the stories are not that remarkable giving the age he was living through. Guys just seemed to act that way during the middle of the century. Maybe I felt like his casual tone was a bit forced.

He's obviously brilliant, but he also sees himself as a straight shooter that likes to cut through the usual tangle of academic obfuscation. I guess I still felt an undercurrent of arrogance along with a bit too much bragging. Maybe I just envy his achievements; I don't know.

In any case, the material is good and pretty consistently entertaining. The most valuable element for me was the window on mid-century academic life. ( )
  cmayes | Dec 21, 2023 |
Dnf. No doubt Mr Feynman was incredibly smart and a great teacher, but in this book he mostly comes off as an insufferable know-it-all who delights in being a tiresome asshole. ( )
  Yggie | Oct 12, 2023 |
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

What an interesting personality. Will read more of his works. ( )
  harishwriter | Oct 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Feynman, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, RalphContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hutchings, EdwardEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balibar, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bou, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cox, Brian EdwardIntroductionsecondary 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.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
When I was about eleven or twelve I set up a lab in my house.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
Biography & Autobiography. Science. Nonfiction. HTML:

Richard Feynman, one of the world's greatest theoretical physicists, thrived on adventure. His outrageous exploits once shocked a Princeton dean's wife to exclaim: "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!"

In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize??winning physicist recounts in his inimitable voice his experiences 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. Woven together with his views on science, Feynman's life story is a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, eternal skepticism, and raging chutzpah.

No library descriptions found.

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.
(piopas)
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.22)
0.5 1
1 14
1.5 6
2 60
2.5 12
3 298
3.5 78
4 852
4.5 104
5 1013

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 206,057,855 books! | Top bar: Always visible