Ninety percent of the book talks about mathematics and physics but that is what Mr. Feynman, the top-notch scientist was famous for. The li’l tit-bits of his life are beautifully crafted along with his sense of humor. His love and attitude towards life was quite contagious especially to those who crossed the paths all through his life. The book will make anybody laugh and would have wished, like me, to meet such persona once a lifetime.
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman acknowledges the fact that Richard Feynman was known to be fooling around people only by telling them the truth. His idea of repairing radio by thinking, sniffing his own footprints like his dog to experience if he can follow his tracks, unthinkingly accepting both lemon and cream in tea during his first evening at Princeton, mimicking his philosophy professor, creating his own symbols in math, his project on what happens to consciousness while one sleeps are some of the episodes that depict the insatiable curiosity and humorous nature of the most amazing intellect in twentieth century physics.
It was his sheer inquisitiveness, which led him to reach the highest point in the areas of his interests. His father, Melville Arthur Feynman, was the one who ignited the fire of questioning than accepting everything in servitude. He encouraged him while he was young to question the religious dogmas and orthodox thinking.
Vey deftly, this book weaves threads from the beginning of his schooldays to MIT, then to Princeton moving next to atomic bomb project at Los Alamos and finally to the Nobel Prize. Mr. Feynman has laid bare his most intriguing journeys and the memorable circumstances in a very simple and straightforward fashion. In the same basic tone, he has been able to convey what exactly science is all about.
This book has surfaced that for Mr. Feynman science was never a career, it was more a hobby and so he was passionate towards the same. His curiosity added fuel to the already present hobby and thus he was able to reach the greatest position in his field and indeed an inspiration to many.
Overall, the work is an attention grabbing insightful perspective for those who enjoy physics, share some level of curiosity and of course some practical jokes 🙂