Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mini Book Review: "Feynman"

written by Jim Ottaviani
art by Leland Myrick
coloring by Hilary Sycamore

When I was pregnant I remember reading Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman (along with other books about physicists or mathematicians) with the hope that the baby would eventually become a physicist or mathematician. Oddly, it didn't work, but I've had a fondness for Feynman ever since, for his humor, his wild and crazy nature, his charisma, his genius.

So imagine - a book length comic book (or, if you prefer, graphic non fiction book) about one of the most fascinating physicists ever. Perfect for budding scientists ages 14 or 15 and up (due to strip club interludes and iffy hotels which might give some parents pause) because it provides a window into the childhood of a brilliant scientist and gives an historical overview of the 20th century physics community in which Feynman was one of the shining lights. It also offers provocative questions about physics, though you don't need to understand theoretical physics to enjoy the book.

An important subplot of the book is the relationship between Feynman and his younger sister Joan. Without his support, back in the day, her ambitions to be an astrophysicist probably would have been quashed.

The comic strip format is not particularly innovative considering its outrageous subject, but the writing is good, the format works well in telling the story of Feynman's personal life and

I suspect Feynman would have been pleased to be the star of a book length comic book.

--Liz N.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really interesting -- and I love how you weave your personal story into the review.