Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Strangest Man: The Life of Paul Dirac by Dr Graham Farmelo

The title says a lot. He was pretty odd, in a distant but ultimately very human way.

You may feel sympathy, frustration, even despair for him while reading this. Although in the end he raised a family and led a successful life by anyone's standards.

The science is put very simply and there wasn't enough of it for my tastes, but you probably know by know that I have more appetite for it than most.

Well written, with a sense of humanity that the subject would perhaps only be puzzled by. I would like to hear what Dirac thought of the book but of course we will never know. Doesn't shy away from areas of family dispute and seems to present all sides without judging.

Once again this narrative speaks to the contingent nature of our lives, change a little something here or there and what would Dirac have made of his life?

Overall satisfying and well worth a read.

Three and a half out of five stars.

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