After the book, the Nasar interviews on NPR, the audiobook and the movie,
I believe most non-math majors will get more out
of the biography if they read (or listen to) the
book after seeing the movie, even if they had
already read the book first.
The story is important, it would be fun to share a condensed version with all the young people I know.
One thing we don't grasp about the new publication... why is What's-his-name's photo on the cover, rather than John Nash's?
I liked the movie and I like reading biographies, so this should have been a really good book for me. Unfortunately, I felt the need for a higher math education than I have to understand the first third of the book. Most of what's left is a detailed, play-by-play account of Nash's madness. The movie was very accessable, but the book is much more cerebral. The author used letters, diaries, and interviews to put together the facts, which are presented in a somewhat choppy method that does not draw one into the telling.
That said, I did read the entire book (minus the difficult parts that I skimmed) and did find his overall life interesting. I do not recommend this book to the casual reader.
I thought this was a very difficult book to read, especially in the first 100 pages or so. The parts I had the most trouble with were the passages almost all about these theorem's and describing them, and how so and so got to them, how they work, what they do, ect... I know this is a book about a mathematical genius and obviously is going to have text about math, but since I am not a genius and I like to read into every paragraph, it was difficult for me to get try to grasp what she was saying. Maybe I just read into everything too much and should focus on the bigger picture, move on and leave it as that, but I don't. After you get past these rough passages though the book really is wonderful. I would read it again. I have never seen the movie but it can't possibly beat the book. Sylvia Nasar has done a fine job of letting us glimpse into the extraordinary life of John Nash.