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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suitable swansong, 2 Jan 2004
By 
Andrew Kerr "Alabony" (Dunfermline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman's Last Journey (Paperback)
Ralph Leighton was a friend of Richard Feynman for years. They were already good friends when Ralph recorded conversations with Richard - these led to 'Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!' and 'What do YOU care what other people think?' (Incidentally, two of the best books I've ever read)
In this book, Ralph Leighton tells the story of how he and Richard got hooked on a little country called Tannu Tuva, a Soviet republic nestled neatly between Mongolia and Siberia (for those who know Dick Feynman from other books, the reason is suitably surreal!). This was in the mid-80s, when Americans showing a keen interest in Soviet culture were not encouraged!
It's a light read - very little science is mentioned - but it's also quite fascinating in the extra dimension it adds to Feynman's irrepressible character, and in the ingenious ways Ralph and Dick find to circumvent the incredibly bureaucratic travel policies (both of America and Russia!). Ralph comes up with a foolproof plan to get them to Tuva (which IS ingenious), but unfortunately, this only serves to demonstrate how some people who are capable of incredibly complex reasoning processes are totally flummoxed when it comes to things like bureaucracy and politics - which patently don't respond to reasoning!
The book is very much 'In the spirit of Feynman', rather than 'About Feynman' - he only crops up in a few places himself - but that pretty much sums it up. It's a fitting final chapter in the life story of Richard Feynman, typified by a desire to discover new things - whether that be a new law governing subatomic particles, a new way of cracking safes, or a new country he'd known nothing about previously!
If you're a fan of Feynman (and if you read my other reviews, you'll know I am), then this is a fitting and poignant final tale.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read for the Feynman freak!, 28 Jun 2013
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Richard Feynman was a genius with limitless curiosity about the world. This is a well-written account of his last adventure.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuva or Bust!, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman's Last Journey (Paperback)
A phantastic and very funny and elegantly written story. Another illustration of Richard Feynman's creative mind also in other areas than science
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Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman's Last Journey
Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman's Last Journey by Ralph Leighton (Paperback - 14 Jun 2000)
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