Review: Surely, You Are Joking, Mr Feynman, Richard P. Feynman

Rating: 5 out of 5

It is a wonderful moment when one reads the words of another person, and in these finds that they enjoyed life to the utmost — and that the way they enjoyed it is similar to how the reader would choose to do so. 

That, in brief, describes what I saw in Mr Feynman’s work. Although the name is famous and should be well-known, I was only acquainted with it last year. This took place in an essay where the man was accorded a passing mention only, but something stayed with me, and when the chance came up for me to read more about the man — and especially in his own words — I knew I had to take it. I am incredibly glad for having done so for not only is it a thoroughly funny story but in many cases the ways how the scientist saw fit to spend his time and effort mirrors what I might have done in that situation.

Beyond that, however, it is clear that Mr Feynman was a genius of an unique kind. While his perseverance and ability to understand complexities were clearly of the highest level, the desire throughout to ensure that science would be broadcast in simple, comprehensible terms is one of the most commendable qualities possible. Regrettably, even today, a lot of academia stands against this and prefers a complex method of communication which avoids clarity as much as possible.

What is also clear from the book is how much Mr Feynman was able to avoid boredom. It is incredibly important that one maintains a sense of curiosity in order to constantly enjoy both the new and the old from life. This book was a demonstration of how that is possible.

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