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A Beautiful Mind

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  89,090 Ratings  ·  1,003 Reviews
In this powerful and dramatic biography Sylvia Nasar vividly recreates the life of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize.

“How could you, a mathematician, believe that extraterrestrials were sending you messages?” the visitor from
ebook, 464 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 12th 1998)
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Walter Hi! Let me suggest you "La scomparsa di Majorana" by the Italian writer Leonardo Sciascia, but I don't know if an English translation exists. However…moreHi! Let me suggest you "La scomparsa di Majorana" by the Italian writer Leonardo Sciascia, but I don't know if an English translation exists. However while I was looking for other books on Ettore Majorana, the Italian physicist I found this one: "A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age" by Joao Magueijo.(less)
DBV Subbarao Yes, please do read. The movie lays exceptional focus on the delusions and imaginary characters while the book covers much longer canvas from child…moreYes, please do read. The movie lays exceptional focus on the delusions and imaginary characters while the book covers much longer canvas from child through the nobel prize moment. A very good read.(less)
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Huda Yahya

ولأن المصري معروف بجبروته
بتكون نهاية واحد من أعظم علماء الأرض بسبب
سواق تاكسي مصري
قرر ياخد غرزة و يعدي العربية اللي قدامه
فلبس في حاجز
وراحت العبقرية فدا للفهلوة المصرية

ما يهون هذه الفاجعة أنهما رحلا سويا
لتكتمل واحدة من أجمل قصص الحب الواقعية

My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional -- and back.

جون ناش هو واحد من أنبغ علماء الرياضيات
ولكن ذلك ليس كل شيء
فناش لم يكن من البداية طبيعيا

كان ناش يحمل في داخله وحشا يهدد بالتهام أجزاء عقله الجميل
وحشا قاسيا اسمه الف
Jan 31, 2009 Terran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read very few biographies, so I have trouble evaluating this within its field. That said, I found it fascinating, but a bit drier than I typically like my (recreational) nonfiction.

But it is a fascinating and disturbing story. Nash lived (still is living, I guess) a really complicated life, even aside from his illness. Like many geniuses, he was a "difficult" personality. (He apparently used to stand on the table in the middle of Princeton's math department grad student meetings and put down a
Chad Sayban
Jan 21, 2015 Chad Sayban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More reviews at The Story Within The Story

At first glance, a biography of a mathematician would seem to make for a read dryer than the Sahara. However, John Nash is no ordinary mathematician and Sylvia Nasar is no ordinary biographer. In her capable hands, the life of John Nash comes to life…in all of its brilliant, dark, pessimistic, extraordinary, callous wonder.

John Forbes Nash, Jr. is a mathematical genius whose extraordinary mind developed the structure for what became known as Game Theory
Aug 14, 2016 April rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book conveys a convincing portrayal of mental illness; but, it is unpleasant to read. I found that I didn't enjoy spending so much time with a person who, in addition to being a genius, and mentally ill, was basically a creep.

The movie was better - mainly because the screenplay converted Nash into a more likeable guy (helped to be played by Russell Crow). If you haven't read the book or seen the movie - I recommend the latter. But keep in mind it's not a terribly truthful portrayal.
Jun 26, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems to be a commonly held belief that genius often goes hand-in-hand with mental illness. I've often wondered if this is actually the case or whether it's just that most people have never heard of most genius level intellects that aren't afflicted in this way. How many of us could honestly say we'd ever have heard of John Nash if it weren't for his prolonged battle with schizophrenia (if 'battle' is even the right word)?

I admit that I'd not heard of him until my wife recommended the movie t
Steven Dzwonczyk
Apr 02, 2011 Steven Dzwonczyk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would have never gotten through this book if it wasn't an audiobook. Author Sylvia Nasar presented a comprehensive narrative of John Forbes Nash's life. Unfortunately, she was absent from school the days they taught about engaging your audience, limiting your topic, and just about every other skill related to literature. She is no doubt a wonderful researcher, but includes details so small as to call into question her own sanity, let alone the sanity of her subject.

This book was a lot like wat
A Beautiful Mind is one of those books that I loved so much, and learned so much from reading that I've yet to actually review it. However, in light of the news that the man behind the eponymous mind, John Forbes Nash Jr., is no longer with us I thought I'd at least take the time to recommend the book, if not to explain why. John Forbes Nash Jr 1928 - 2015
Apr 13, 2009 Eric_W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
"'How could you,' Mackey asked, 'how could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical proof. . . how could you believe that extra terrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world? How could you . . .?' "Nash looked up at last and fixed Mackey with an unblinking stare as cool and dispassionate as that of any bird or snake. 'Because,' Nash said slowly in his soft, reasonable southern drawl, as if t ...more
This biography was the basis for the popular film "A Beautiful Mind" a few years ago. It's the fascinating story of an arrogant young mathematician who began his career with genius-level work in mathetmatics, succumbed to paranoid schizophrenia in his thirties, and ultimately experienced a remission in the late 80s and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his early work in game theory.

Reading about Nash's early life and the beginning of his career, I couldn't help but notice that he was always rather
Jan Rice
May 25, 2015 Jan Rice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I was thinking of this book again because of the deaths of John and Alicia Nash. At this remove, I cannot remember any details. We had this book on audio during a car trip. In 2002 the medium may have been tape. We either had the book as well, or, if not, I was picking my husband's brain on the story's mathematical aspects. The story was well told, very moving; the aspects relating to his schizophrenia passed muster with me. Later we saw the film, and I was appalled; thought the schizophrenia ha
Kali Srikanth
Update: 24/05/15

Noble Laureate, Genius Mathematician John Nash is no longer with us. He is killed in a car accident along with his wife.


This is the story of John Forbes Nash, Jr. It is a story about the mystery of the human mind, in three acts:

1. GENIUS: Perhaps John Nash was the greatest mathematical genius ever born in his times. He grew up as a child who lacked social skills (which his parents feared the most), days he locked himself up in dark room
ماهرعبد الرحمن
كانت "أوفيليا" تقول على عقل هاملت : يا لهذا العقل الجميل المضيع!. لكن اليشيا لارد فى هذه الحكاية ساعدت ناش على أن يفلت من الضياع، لتكون تلك قصة "عقل جميل". تخرج جون فوربس ناش من جامعة "برينستون". ثم تم تعينه فى معهد "ماساتشوستس للتكنولوجيا" هذا المعهد الموجود بمدينة كامبريدج بولاية ماساتشوستس . كان ناش يدرس فصل "التفاضل والتكامل"، وكتب فى أحد الأيام مسألة حسابية لطلابه متحديا إياهم أن يقوموا بحلها. وكان أن حضرت تلميذته "اليشيا" لمناقشته حول تلك المسألة. أثناء المناقشة نظر إلى عينيها ووجد الإصرار ...more
Sep 02, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to geniuses, a few archetypes generally come to mind. They're often characterized as under appreciated geeks with hearts of gold (think the entire cast of Revenge of the Nerds) or as slightly spaced out but cuddly old men (think Einstein). Or they're quixotic coyotes forever trying to nab that pesky road runner. In any case, the word "noble" probably applies, at some level, to most conceptions of the intellectually gifted.

This is not true of John Nash, the subject of the biography
Jun 21, 2012 rivka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books where writing a review was so daunting that I didn't get to it right away . . . and so never got to it at all.

But even though it has now been almost 3 years since I read it, I will try to come up with something. Because I see several friends who had it as "to-read" 3 years ago still have not read it, and they should!

I enjoyed the movie that is loosely based on this book. But it takes a lot of liberties with the facts -- skipping Nash's early life altogether, ignoring/o
Jan 31, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where I got the book: audiobook downloaded from Audible.

I haven't had an Audible subscription for ages but I knew there were some books on there I hadn't listened to. I was surprised to find this one among them. Why, I wondered, had I picked a book about a mathematician I'd personally never heard of? By the time my youngest was in freshman year at high school I could no longer follow what she was doing in math. Actually, that was probably true in 8th grade. Ok, 7th grade. You get the picture? I'
One of my every now and then favorites,John Nash is a role model & a distinguished spring of inspiration to those who believe in their own worlds,other than moving unconsciously on the roads of the others' ones,

RIP JOHN with your beloved,dedicated wife Alicia Lopez-Harrison de Lardé
who he said about,in his Nobel Prize acceptance Speech:-

"I'm only here tonight because of you,you are the reason I'm,you are all my reasons"
George Mazurek
Nov 09, 2015 George Mazurek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book (and movie).
Pierre Menard
Nov 11, 2015 Pierre Menard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Who liked insanity-genius binomial
A seguito dell’assegnazione nel 1994 del premio in memoria di Alfred Nobel (istituito dalla Banca di Svezia) a John Forbes Nash Jr, la giornalista del New York Times Sylvia Nasar fu incaricata di redigere alcuni articoli dedicati al matematico: le singolari e drammatiche vicende della vita di Nash colpirono profondamente Nasar e la indussero a passare i successivi tre anni a raccogliere informazioni e documenti per scrivere la prima biografia dell’ormai illustre matematico, uscita nel 1998 e div ...more
Syahira Sharif
Mar 19, 2014 Syahira Sharif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I never would have thought a book on a real life person to be more interesting than the fictitious movie the book had inspired. It was amazing and so painfully cited that although it was an unofficial rendition of the life John Forbes Nash, Jr, it was in fact, more real than ever. Made you really wonder that it wasn't even for someone with a brilliant mind, it was a difficult life and a difficult time.
It wasn't always that the truth can be as more puzzling as the reality. "A Beautiful Mind" is j
David Boyce
Well Well, if you want to see a nice film about a nice man conquering a nice mental illness then watch the film. If you want to find out about an awful guy getting an awful disease and ruining the lives of everybody that got close to him, then read the book. Sylvia Nasar paints a painful picture of loss. She describes the mystery world of schizophrenia as seen through the eyes of those people most hurt by it, the family and friends of John Nash. As a reader I couldn’t help but sympathise with Al ...more
Dec 10, 2010 Danamarie1993 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In A beautiful mind it tells a story about Mr. Nash. He is like all of the other kids when he was younger. The book is a time line of his life. As the story proceeds, you will get pulled into his world. There are some of problems in his life that he will have to face or go through. He also, triumphs his old fears of his school and his friends.

Towards the middle of the story; Like everyone in the story, Mr.Nash goes through some changes. He also,meets some new people that shares his interest in
Brit Cheung
Dec 17, 2015 Brit Cheung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
The antechapel where the statue stood
Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind forever
Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.--Wordsworth

The book is not a biography of Nash ,in a sense, so much as a eulogium to Alicia,his lifelong companion,a sweet lighthouse that guides his voyage and a beautiful tree for him to perch on when he was lost.

Without Alicia, he was voyaging alone;but with Alicia, no.

There were rare biographies that I would thought the movies adapte
Tezar Yulianto
Nice book.
Sesudah terpukau dengan filmnya, saya berkeinginan untuk membaca bukunya, dan baru berapa tahun kemudian, terealisasi.
John F Nash, genius matematikawan, yang kelak akan meraih nobel ekonomi karena teori Nash-equilibrium, yang mempengaruhi Game Theory (saya sedikit mendapatkannya di mata kuliah Riset Operasional dan Analisa Pengambilan Keputusan), tapi mengalami hidup yang menyedihkan, hidup bersama skizofrenia.
Orang bilang, genius tidak beda jauh dengan gila. Tapi bukan berarti jenius
Rebecca Huston
One of the best books on a Nobel laureate that I have ever read. John Nash is one of those men that managed to transcend a very difficult life and reach the apex of succeeding in the scientific world -- winning a Nobel prize. His Game Theory changed the twentieth century, both good and bad, and his struggle with schizophrenia is one that anyone who is coping with mental illness themselves, or in someone that they care for, is one that inspires and educates. I heartily recommend this one. Five st ...more
Aug 31, 2016 Andreea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O carte comprehensivă despre viața unei minți sclipitoare, John Nash, laureat al premiului Nobel pentru economie pentru descoperirile făcute în teoria jocurilor.

Într-o ordine nefirească, am văzut filmul făcut după viața lui acum 15 ani, la vârsta la care ești influențat profund de lucruri pe care le descoperi pe cont propriu. De la acest personaj incredibil am preluat ideea de a nu renunța niciodată. John Nash a dus una dintre cele mai anevoioase lupte, lupta cu sine însuși, însă perseverența, d
Aug 10, 2013 Asha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The movie made me read it. I loved Crowe and always have. He is super-stupendous. Sadly, I couldn't concentrate on the book much since all the scenes from the movie kept swimming before my eyes.

Its a great read nonetheless. I felt, it was much easier to picture what the genius professor was going through since I had already watched the movie.

I sobbed, then cried and then cried harder.
Then grinned, and smiled and smiled some more!!
That what this book does to you.

I wish to read it again. Soon.
Ahmad Sharabiani
A beautiful maind: a biography of Johan Forbes Nash,
Sylvia Nasar
عنوان: یک ذهن زیبا؛ نوشته: سیلویا ناسار؛ مترجم: مهگونه قهرمان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، عطایی، 1383، ، در 500 ص، شابک: 9643236256؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه جان ناش، ریاضیدانان ایالات متحده امریکا، برندگان جایزه نوبل
Wesam Karam
الكتاب رائع
والفيلم اكتر من رائع
بجد رواية تستحق القراءة
اكثر من مرة :)
Hana Gashi
Jan 02, 2016 Hana Gashi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2015
*cries* *adds this book to top favorites* *sobs*
John Nash was a prominent mathematician in the prime of his career – best known for his work on game theory (and its applications in economics) – when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Already somewhat eccentric and socially awkward, his illness pushed him over into paranoid and delusional. He was unable to function in the real world and had to be institutionalized. He received treatments, some of which were more successful than others, and like other schizophrenics he relapsed many times. It ...more
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horror 6 103 Aug 27, 2015 05:04AM  
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Sylvia Nasar was born to a German mother and Uzbek father. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951, then moved to Ankara, Turkey in 1960. She graduated from Antioch College in 1970, and earned a masters' degree in economics at New York University in 1976. For four years, she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief. She is currently the Knight Chair in Business Journalism at Co ...more
More about Sylvia Nasar...

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“I've made the most important discovery of my life. It's only in the mysterious equation of love that any logic or reasons can be found.” 77 likes
“You are all my reasons.” 24 likes
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