Book Reviews of A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind
Author: Sylvia Nasar
ISBN-13: 9780743226370
ISBN-10: 0743226372
Pages: 619
Rating:
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3

3 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: simon and schuster
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

56 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Outstanding book! A little slow starting because of the background detail Nasar includes, but worth the perseverance. An incredible story about Nobel prize-winner John Nash and his struggle and eventual victory over the incurable disease of schizophrenia.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
It was a difficult read for me and I never made it through to the end. I know it was made into a movie and that might be a better choice for me.
It was too detailed in a way that was technical. I thought it would be more story-like but it was more textbook-like.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Dense, rich biography of a fascinating person. Reveals much more than the great movie did.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 127 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A good book.Good character developement. Gets tedious towards the end.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Engrossing, tragic and ultimately uplifiting -- particularly for one who parented a child that shares much with subject John Nash. The movie does not touch the depth of his story. This is a compelling book.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reading this award-winning biography was a can't-put-it-down experience for me, and I generally don't like biographies. A very interesting portrait of a brilliant, complex person. It's much better than the movie.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Beware, lots of technical background in science and math. However this information is essential in order to gain a real understanding of this man. Includes contemporary and up to date information on mental illness. I very much enjoyed this book.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 124 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Love this one!!! I believe it is one of my absolute favorites of all time. Great for all you Psych majors out there!
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I became interested in this book after having seen the movie. I was not disappointed. John Nash was an unconventional Nobel Laureate, suffering from mental illness while still making significant contributions to science. A moving read.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Much better than the movie.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Moving and inspiring story of John Nash. It helps you understand the struggles of a schizophrenic.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great book! More true and more tough that the movie made of it.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 367 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Stories of famously eccentric Princetonians abound--such as that of chemist Hubert Alyea, the model for The Absent-Minded Professor, or Ralph Nader, said to have had his own key to the library as an undergraduate. Or the "Phantom of Fine Hall," a figure many students had seen shuffling around the corridors of the math and physics building wearing purple sneakers and writing numerology treatises on the blackboards. The Phantom was John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of his generation, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in the 1950s. His most important work had been in game theory, which by the 1980s was underpinning a large part of economics. When the Nobel Prize committee began debating a prize for game theory, Nash's name inevitably came up--only to be dismissed, since the prize clearly could not go to a madman. But in 1994 Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for work done some 45 years previously.

Economist and journalist Sylvia Nasar has written a biography of Nash that looks at all sides of his life. She gives an intelligent, understandable exposition of his mathematical ideas and a picture of schizophrenia that is evocative but decidedly unromantic. Her story of the machinations behind Nash's Nobel is fascinating and one of very few such accounts available in print (the CIA could learn a thing or two from the Nobel committees). This highly recommended book is indeed "a story about the mystery of the human mind, in three acts: genius, madness, reawakening
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Spectacular and well-documented account of Nash's life. It is scholarly in approach but adds so much more to an understanding of Nash than the movie did. Difficult reading when explaining economic theory, but SO worth the effort. I keep buying copies to give away!
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little bit of a hard read if you're not into mathematics but his story is fascinating a well-told.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic!
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a really fascinating biography well read by Edward Herrmann
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Since I can't read them all, CD's and tapes are my thing. Although a serious book, it was eye opening and enjoyable. Highly recommend.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The motion picture on the life of mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash was based on this book. The book is read by Edward Herrmann.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 4 more book reviews
amazing snapshot of one man's attempt to fix the broken part of his powerful mind
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 14 more book reviews
I wanted to see this film when it came out but I have a personal rule to read "the book" first, even if I know the movie doesn't exactly follow the story. In this case I did enjoy both, though the movie left out some very important facts about the brilliant Nash's life. Read the book, don't assume you know it all after the film. I believe these were important facts involving the realities behind his mathematical genius. He changed the way we look at fields such as sociology, international negotiations, business...A truly human story with all the beautiful blemishes.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 8 more book reviews
Nothing like listening to it.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 20 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 6 more book reviews
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?
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 4 more book reviews
When I saw the movie recently and discovered that Nash's life had been sanitized, I felt compelled to read the book. Though I dislike mathematics, I was overcome at times with emotion to read of the horrors this intellectual giant experienced. My profound sympathies to Mr. Nash, his wife, his children and his many friends and colleagues- but I am so glad he experienced a remission. Family members of mine have also gone through terrible mental health issues. We have drawn similar conclusions about "fair weather friends" who treat sufferers of mental illness very differently from those experiencing physical illness. In a perfect world this should not happen- but this is not a perfect world. This is truly one of the greatest stories of suffering, loyalty and resilience that you will ever read!!!!!!
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 81 more book reviews
A good book but needs lots of concentration to read. Lots of math descriptions as are appropriate for a story about a math genius.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 1020 more book reviews
Wow! Amazing true story and it really reads like a novel.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 43 more book reviews
Much more in depth than the movie. It does spend more time on his childhood, how he influenced the field of mathematics, and his decent into schizophrenia. Well researched, but a bit dry. It may be a great book to read if you are interested in a good biography or mathematics and/or economics.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 49 more book reviews
a book about John Nash, Nobel Prize winner for math, and his struggle with madness
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 50 more book reviews
Fascinateing book that reads like a novel. True story of Mathematical genius John Nash who came to believe he was communicateing with extraterestrials. An amazing saga of genius and maddness.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 7 more book reviews
It started very slowly; I like novels.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 21 more book reviews
The life of mathematical genius and nobel laureate John Nash. A drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over incredible adversity, and the healing power of love.
Winner of the national book critics award for biography. Now a major motion picture.
Is a long read, but worth it.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 20 more book reviews
Very interesting read.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 526 more book reviews
This is the book that the movie of the same name is based upon. This is a moving biography about John Nash, nobel prize winner for mathmatics, and the schizophrenia he was plagued with all of his life.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 7 more book reviews
The story was interesting, but it was a very slow read for me, as it went into a lot of details and tangents that were not that relevant to the story. To be fair, I read more fiction than nonfiction, and I've had this same complaint about other nonfiction books. I guess it just especially stuck out to me here, because before reading this, I had seen a review that it "reads like a novel," and I strongly disagree with that.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 12 more book reviews
As an RN I found this book to be right on. Could be very enlightening. It gives an accurate insight into this mental illness Read it.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 386 more book reviews
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.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 44 more book reviews
a interesting psycho-biography of the brilliant yet complicated young man
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 114 more book reviews
outstanding bio of john nash
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 10 more book reviews
The book delivers many relevant facts about the famous mathematician John Nash. Some examples of his mathematical ability, unusual even by genius standards, were given. The mathematical atmosphere of the time was explained briefly, certain universities highlighted.

The problem was for me that the book flowed about as excitingly as my first paragraph. Everything is there, to a small extent, but mostly without engaging me directly. I must admit I expected a little bit more.

On the other hand I might be biased, as one who does advanced calculus for fun, her game theory approach was not precise for me, as one who was fascinated by the causes of schizophrenia, the author did not add anything new to my understanding.

The biography did contribute to my continuing appreciation of the Sheldon Cooper character from Big Bang Theory, since Nash appeared to share many characteristics with the brilliant physicist of Chuck Laurie and I think the book helped me decide which mathematician Leonard was based on.

Unfortunately, aside from these tantalizing trivia bits, I did not feel the prose flowed at the hands of an experienced journalist. The book had many pages, but I felt needed more cutting, so much material was distracting me from what I really wanted to understand about John Nash.

I am not giving the book a lesser amount of stars because, being objective, other readers might enjoy the book more if they have less understanding of Nash's condition, or his math. But for me, this book pales in comparison with descriptions of other brilliant mathematicians I enjoyed reading: Hardy, Hilbert, Poincare, Weiner and Ulam.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 5 more book reviews
A great book, great movie.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 136 more book reviews
The life of mathematical genius and nobel laureate John Nash. His story was made into a movie.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 6 more book reviews
FYI.....This audio CD is labled NOT FOR RESALE
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 14 more book reviews
"..... the true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius who was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness, and who - thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community - emerged after decades of ghost like existence to win a Nobel Prize and world acclaim. The inspiration for a major motion picture, Sylvia nasar's award-winning biography is a drama about th mystery of the human mind, triumph ovr incredible adversity, and the healing power of love"
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 87 more book reviews
John Nash was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness but, thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman, he emerged after decades to win the Nobel prize and world acclaim. this is a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over incredible adversity and the healing power of love.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 26 more book reviews
The Award-Winning Bestseller is the true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius who was a legend age thirty when he slipped into madness, and who - thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community - emerged after decades of ghost-like existence to win a Nobel Prize and world acclaim. The inspiration for a major motion picture, Sylvia Nasar's award-winning biography is a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over incredible adversity, and the healing power of love.

I saw the movie and loved it-however I did not choose to read the book having already seen the movie of his story.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 230 more book reviews
The true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius who was a legend by age 30 when he slipped into madness, and who--thanks to the selflessness of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community--emerged after decades of ghostlike existence to win a Nobel Prize and world acclaim. The inspiration for a major motion picture, a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over incredible adversity, and the healing power of love.
reviewed A Beautiful Mind on + 181 more book reviews
Once again, ended up with two copies of this book~