A Beautiful Mind Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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National Book Critics Circle Award, Biography/Autobiography, 1999
John Forbes Nash, Jr., a prodigy and legend by the age of 30, dazzled the mathematical world by solving a series of deep problems deemed "impossible" by other mathematicians.
But at the height of his fame, Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown and began a harrowing descent into insanity, resigning his post at MIT, slipping into a series of bizarre delusions, and eventually becoming a dreamy, ghostlike figure at Princeton, scrawling numerological messages on blackboards. He was all but forgotten by the outside world - until, remarkably, he emerged from his madness to win the Nobel Prize.
A true drama, A Beautiful Mind is also a fascinating look at the extraordinary and fragile nature of genius.
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|Listening Length||18 hours and 12 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||26 March 2009|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 45,706 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
6 in Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders
36 in Schizophrenia
37 in Mathematics (Audible Books & Originals)
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Top reviews from Australia
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How Nash continued his work, even after years of illness, makes for a fascinating read. The arguments of the Nobel committee over whether to make an award to a person with mental illness; the gradual rapprochement (and re-marriage to) the wife who had divorced him; the gradual building of a relationship with his illegitimate son (and the sadness of having to cope with the fact that his other son had his father's illness.)
Nasar also helps the reader (even the non-mathematical) in having at least a vague idea of what value Nash's 'game theory' has to the man in the street. She looks at the 1994 'greatest auction ever', where the US government sold off airspace to TV companies etc; and how using the strategies of game theory helped maximize profits.
Informative and very well written.
Top reviews from other countries
Nasar does presuppose a limited understanding of mathmatics, and some of the more abstract concepts may have been somewhat lost on me, but that didn't deter me int he slightest. The comprehensive referencing that Naser provides is reassuring that the account will be broadly accurate.
I didn't find the writing unduly flattering to Nash's achievements and indeed, ragarding his personal life it did seem to take a "warts and all" approach, giving the subject the objective respect it undoubtedly deserves. Needless to say, the biography did shed a great deal of light on the enigmatic character that is Nash, and I have re-read the book and have no doubt that I will again in the future.
As for comparisons against the film - I am a big fan of the motion-picture inspired by this biography, but rest assured that it isn't an accurate account of Nash's life and work, merely an entertaining fictionalisation of it.
The author has done a huge amount of research and writes convincingly and well about all aspects of his life, most of which are unknown to the rest of us. I found it a gripping read,