8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
More than yet another biography,
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This review is from: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries) (Paperback)
This is an evaluation of a great scientist and of his contributions to physics, written by someone who knew him and understood the insights and unique approach he brought to every field of enquiry. Remarkably, the science is brought alive here in a way that mirrors Feynman's own forte.
It is, of course, also biographical - personal and anecdotal - but makes no attempt to duplicate other accounts such as James Gleick's "Genius" or Michelle Feynman's "Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the beaten track". By no means a hagiography, it nevertheless displays a personal admiration which accords well with those of other authors, notably Freeman Dyson: "this side idolatry" characterised his regard for Feynman.
The writing is exceptionally good. I have read only the paperback edition which comes with "corrections" by novelist Cormac McCarthy, by which is apparently meant stylistic amendments to the hardback version, including excision of all semi-colons and exclamation marks (one alone survived ... on page 290 it appears, just like this!). Some of the most beautiful passages, though, have a simple elegance which surely could never have survived rewriting. The single paragraph description on p77 of Richard's wedding to Arline is one such masterpiece.
An excellent work in many different ways, it is highly recommended to scientist and lay reader alike.