Review of 'Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!'

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

surely_youre_joking_mr_feynman.jpg This book is a collection of conversations the physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman had with his friend Ralph Leighton. The short chapters mostly talk of his personal life as opposed to his professional, which, when discussed, loses the average reader within a matter of sentences. For the most part the incidents related are quite amusing but for the most part they show the brilliance of Feynman though it is grating how he often relates as much to us in what he says! His analytic manner simply states the fact of his own intelligence which comes across as more than a bit arrogant. Indeed, his frankness here is astounding as he relates fairly mundane stories but always with a bit of a twist…

The book is quite easy to read as it is proports to be exactly what was said in the course of conversation. Feynman demonstrates an amazing talent of recall as the details of his life and work are relayed here including his work on the bomb in the second world war.

Often I found this book tedious to read and more than a bit meandering but it is reasonably entertaining enough though it is difficult to see who other than physics historians might be interested as it is likely boring for an average reader and not technical enough for students of Physics. The brightly coloured and fun cover is a bit deceptive…interesting, yes, but, frankly, a bit boring.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2023-07-16

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: 1992

ISBN: 9780099173311