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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman Paperback – April 1 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,926 ratings

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Paperback, April 1 1997
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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

Review

“A storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain. He proves once again that it is possible to laugh out loud and scratch your head at the same time.” (New York Times Book Review)^“Quintessential Feynman―funny, brilliant, bawdy . . . enormously entertaining.” (The New Yorker)^“Buzzes with energy, anecdote and life. It almost makes you want to become a physicist.” (Science Digest)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,926 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Canada on May 24, 2017
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Top international reviews

Aaradhya Dixit
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books i have ever read..Comic+Scientific+Inspiring.. A must have..
Reviewed in India on October 7, 2017
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A. Callado
5.0 out of 5 stars The incredible life of Feynman might teach you how to build self-esteem and to think out of the box
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2017
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Dr Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, insightful, and a great read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2017
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Miss Philippa Crick
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading of genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 25, 2016
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MARUKURTHI SAI
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to live your life completely then you should read this.
Reviewed in India on August 5, 2018
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Steve Wild
5.0 out of 5 stars He's a fine man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2015
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Mr Chops
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2018
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Margaret and Charlotte Gosling
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly funny and eye opening
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2020
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Luke Warren Wills
5.0 out of 5 stars Really entertaining and enjoyable read. I couldnt put it down!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2017
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Kaneting
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough, but seems quite self censored and a one sided perspective. Obviously so for a self-dictated book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2018
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Richie H
5.0 out of 5 stars The beautiful truth will set you free brothers and sisters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2017
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Alastair
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Feynman's Mischievous Mind
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 16, 2019
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Mrs A Ney
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended on Radio 4
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2016
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CoagKev
3.0 out of 5 stars An amazing character with an open honest mid
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2019
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Mole
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2011
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