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Ottaviani, Jim.
Adult Fiction OTTAVIA

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Avatar for Emily Lloyd Emily Lloyd said:
Feynman’s an interesting guy; the book is well-written and drawn; these together made for a good read. Concentrates less on Feynman’s physics (although there a few 2-3-page illustrated "lectures"), and more on his life: working at Los Alamos on the bomb a mere month before it was dropped on Hiroshima (during this time, his first wife passed away; he mourned but came back to work immediately and made it clear he didn’t want anyone’s sympathy to interfere with the work), finding out at the last minute before presenting as a grad student that his prof had invited Einstein, Fermi, and other big names to sit in (and they came), finding a topless bar more conducive to getting work done than an office (and defending, in court, as a world-famous physicist, the topless bar’s right to exist when none of the other customers would dare show their faces to testify), pretty much figuring out what went wrong with the Challenger and having no one be too pleased with that, etc. This book is being reviewed as a good one for young adults as well as adults, and I’s neat and eye-opening seeing some key 20th-century history through the lens of Feynman’s life, as well some different things physicists might do (in topless bars or out). Before reading it, I already regretted never having taken physics; now, I do a little more so, and plan to read some of Feynman’s own books. I should say that the portrayal of Feynman doesn’t exactly make you want to throw hero-worshiping arms around him...he comes off as self-centered and arrogant (not having read much, but knowing much of the content was drawn from Feynman’s own books, I can only assume that, well, he was these things) as well as brilliant and strange. From what I’d heard of Feynman, I’d expected to come out of this book admiring him. I didn’t. But I did come out still interested.
posted Apr 8, 2013 at 4:40PM
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