Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! is an autobiographical set of anecdotes about larger-than-life physicist Richard P. Feynman. It is split into five sections, covering different periods of his life from childhood on, with six to 13 stories in each section.
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Feynman, aside from being a great physicist, was a well-known prankster and iconoclast, with an insatiable curiosity that led to all sorts of interests unrelated to his field. Many of the stories deal with these non-scientific aspects, and even the science stories don't require much knowledge of the subject. Among other things (all recounted in this book), he worked on the super-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, gave a lecture attended by Albert Einstein, played in a Brazilian samba band, drew nudes, discovered a new law of physics (for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize), and basically had a whole lot of fun.

Best part of story, including ending: Feynman effectively conveys his outlook, enthusiasm and humor in print.

Best scene in story: In "You Just Ask Them?", he is taught how to get women to sleep with him.

Opinion about the main character: He led a full, multi-faceted, fascinating life.

The review of this Book prepared by J. Lee a Level 10 Peregrine Falcon scholar

Chapter Analysis of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   scientist/inventor Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American Unusual characteristics:    -   Genius


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   like laughing Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Richard P. Feynman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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