Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Inventions and Other Writings” as Want to Read:
My Inventions and Other Writings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Inventions and Other Writings

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The fascinating autobiography of the legendary inventor behind the radio, wireless energy, robotics, and much more.

Famous for his pioneering contributions to the electronic age, his lifelong feud with Thomas Edison, and his erratic behavior, Nikola Tesla was one of the most brilliant and daring inventors and visionaries of his time. My Inventions is Tesla's autobiography
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Penguin Classics (first published 1919)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Inventions and Other Writings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Inventions and Other Writings

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
A Note on the Text

--My Inventions

--Tesla Would Pour Lightning from Airships to Consume Foe
--The Action of the Eye
--The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun's Energy
Jim George
May 24, 2015 Jim George rated it it was ok
The author compiled a lot of Tesla's essays from The Electrical Experimenter magazine to piece meal together a short autobiography. I found it fascinating that Tesla experienced flashing lights in his brain that caused him to be able to look at things in 3D, he could see them not just imagine them - he could both construct and operate them in his mind. Not just ideas, but words triggered his brain to enable him to see the objects as 3 dimensional pictures. Tesla holds the patent for and is credi ...more
Matt Jarvis
Oct 08, 2012 Matt Jarvis rated it really liked it
A fascinating read. I found it best not to try and understand every detail, and he certainly makes some giant leaps of imagination but you can feel Tesla's passion in the colour of his anecdotes and explanations. His curiousity is infectious! I read this in a single sitting I was so engaged and I will visit it again.
Alex Sarll
Nowadays, we're mostly familiar with the Tesla basics - archetypal mad scientist, ripped off by the charlatans Edison and Marconi, and A Bit Odd. But reading his own writings is still a revelation, in that however smart and however odd you think he is, you're barely halfway there. You know in a film or comic, where someone supersmart is shown accomplishing astonishing physical feats through lightning-quick calculation of the physics of a situation? Tesla could do that, and turn in mid-air like a ...more
Paul Korir
Aug 24, 2013 Paul Korir rated it it was ok
This is the first book I've read that is incomplete-by-design: it refers to figures that are not present in the text. I wonder what the publisher had in mind.

While I deeply admire Tesla, this book is eminently unreadable. I think it's a collector's item to be used more as a reference work than a book to be read from cover to cover. I say this because it reads like a personal diary; there's no continuity, no story.

Nevertheless, it offers a wonderful insight into Tesla's mind, how he regarded his
Jun 12, 2012 Brook rated it really liked it
If you haven't heard of him before, you will never forget him after reading this collection of his writings, inventions, thoughts and process. A humanitarian, creator and persona of immense presence and prescience this work gives you a view of history and the world seldom seen. Peppered with names and inventions that changed life for mankind in the early 20th Century, Nikola Tesla imagined life in the 21st. Read it.
Abdulrahman Kauther
Aug 12, 2016 Abdulrahman Kauther rated it it was ok
The book is very difficult to follow, and the "Other Writings" is extremely boring.
Lily Calder
Jun 25, 2014 Lily Calder rated it really liked it
Fascinating, bewildering, and brilliant all at once. Full review here:
Aug 15, 2014 Ruze rated it really liked it
Known as an inventor, Tesla was truly an astonishing thinker, so far ahead of his time as to be almost too advanced in his own mind frame. Great read.
Sep 28, 2014 Jaime rated it really liked it
A solid 4 stars.
It'd be a 5 stars if the diagrams mentioned in Tesla's other writings were included. I found myself zoning out a bit with the chem and physics talk. I love the math behind it, but the science confuses me, and the diagrams would have been very beneficial.

Tesla had great visions of inventions and peace. He had OCD and a photographic memory. There had to be something else going on though. He understood his personal psyche and physicality well...and the limitations of current science
May 12, 2016 Mikael rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life.

I must emphasize this. It gave me a completely new perspective on how to live my life. I don't think this is primarily due to reading about Nikola Tesla himself and how he lived his life, but rather what he did.

He was gifted, but a recurring theme in his life is his perseverance, his tendency to continue and keep going forward. His openness to new ideas, while never rejecting or accepting a thought before having critically analyzed it.

The writing is technical at times,
Rene Velocirapt0r
Jul 13, 2012 Rene Velocirapt0r rated it really liked it
While by no means was this book as thorough as it could have been, both in terms of details about his life and experiments, its not often you get to read such a beautifully written retelling from behind the scenes of genius, especially by the person himself. Diagrams and further explanations might have completed this book if a proper understanding of who he was or what incredible leaps of thought and invention he bounded through and how they affected the world is what you were expecting. But per ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Summer rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
Tesla is a fascinating guy and were it not for some mental instability, he probably would have done even greater things than he did (which is saying a lot because we basically owe all of our modern day electronics to him) - admittedly, I feel bad that he writes beautifully and knows his stuff but every now and then, I just have no idea what he's talking about anymore. I think if I had a little lesson in electronics and electrical engineering, I would appreciate this biography a lot more than I d ...more
Rui Silveira
Jan 23, 2014 Rui Silveira rated it liked it
Great autobiography about one of the greatest genius of all time, a very noble man. He lived a very turbulent life which ended in misery, quite unfairly, and even with his death it seems that he his doomed to be forgotten as his name is quite lost in younger generations. In my opinion his role in technology discoveries was more prominent than it arch-rival Thomas Edison.
Talking about the scientific writings, I really enjoyed reading his wireless communications explanation. He was really keen abo
Feb 26, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This collection of six autobiographical essays and three adorably misguided scientific papers offers a good deal of insight into the mad scientist who invented the twentieth century, but it can be rather difficult to get through. As it progresses, Tesla spends less time discussing his thrilling early exploits (the young prodigy was constantly in mortal peril) and more expounding upon his scientific discoveries and supposed breakthroughs. Not only are the technical details terribly dry (and frust ...more
Wayne Craske
Sep 04, 2015 Wayne Craske rated it really liked it
This is a quirky book from a quirky inventor.
Tesla is the very avatar of the mad scientist: flinging lighting from a giant tower; coming up with plans for terrible machines that could sweep land clear of life; pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible, such that even now we are not fully caught up.
He is also a loveable figure who's genuine desire to improve the life of humankind is evident in all of his writing, and in his life. He had no malice.
This is an amusing book split into tw
Jul 26, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it
The man was quite simply brilliant. He was certainly very odd, a bit mad, but undoubtedly a genius. Some of the text is meandering, but I found it utterly fascinating to be reading the words as he wrote them. I didn't understand some of the science, I didn't try to understand it, as it didn't seem to matter. I enjoyed his infectious energy in discussing his passion. It seems strange to me that two of the most influential people of the 20th C (although for contrasting reasons to say the least) ar ...more
Michael Tildsley
Aug 14, 2015 Michael Tildsley rated it really liked it
As many have said, the first half is far better and more interesting than the second. Hearing about Tesla's early life, how he came to invent things and craft an inventive mind is worth reading some sciency, over-my-head jargon later on. I found particularly interesting the philosophies which Tesla arrived at by logic and experience. He has also proved to be an amazing predictor of the future. Some of the ideas he discusses as future possibilities include atomic bombs, GPS devices, cell phone to ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Julia rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
In all honesty, I read this after reading a certain Oatmeal comic ( Here, Samantha Hunt gives Tesla a beautiful introduction, and Tesla himself turns out to be as kooky as one would hope such a prolific scientist and inventor would be, with just enough narcissism to warrant the occasional eyeroll. I can't say I understand the Tesla coil any better now than I did before, or anything useful like that, but Tesla was funny in addition to being a genius, and I'm gl ...more
Faizan Ali
Apr 24, 2016 Faizan Ali rated it liked it
This book offers a fantastic glimpse into the mind of the genius that was Nikola Tesla. But overall it is a difficult read as this is a compilation of essays Tesla wrote for a magazine; the essays are often not related or explained well enough for a non-technical reader such as myself. But the book intrigued me enough to want to read another biography on him written by perhaps a more recent biographer.
Alexander Anderson
Sep 02, 2015 Alexander Anderson rated it liked it
My feeling about this book is this, it's a lot like trying to peer into the depths of a lake from it's banks.

Trying to fathom the depth of the genius of this man from this collection of writings is a little enlightening, but not very and leaves one with an uncomfortable disquiet about mechanisms of the human heart that is hard to shake.
Oct 27, 2016 Ben added it
The words from the man himself prove that Tesla was a man well ahead of his time (in science, war & peace, human behavior, etc.), but they also show he was a man who blurred the line between genius and insanity.
Jul 02, 2012 Lawrence rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading it.He had an interesting perspective of human civilization,looking at it as kind of a physics formula. Mass= population. Energy= human potential and so on. He was definitely cursed,like other great thinkers,with uncommon sanity.
Cassandra Kay Silva
Mar 27, 2013 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, biography
Interesting man with a lot of contributions to modern technology and thought. I wish the book was more comprehensive, it was difficult to get into some of his discoveries when frankly I couldn't have enough of an explanation to really grasp all of them.
Mar 31, 2016 DimitraDmr rated it it was amazing
How could I not give this book 5 stars?
How could I not give less than 5 stars to the inventions and life of one of the most important inventors of all time? I am not worthy of reviewing this book, or Teslas' life.

He's someone to admire, both for his mind and willpower.
Oct 07, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
The first few chapters of this book were wonderful. I enjoyed the introduction and Tesla's voice and stories. Unfortunately, I was only a few chapters into it when I needed to return it to the library. So I'm putting this back on the to-read list.
Hildegunn Hodne
Oct 11, 2016 Hildegunn Hodne rated it did not like it
I had high expectations to this book (mostly because of the words on the back of the cover, saying that my life would never be the same after this read). Unfortunately it has minimal literary value. Big thinkers are not always great writers.
Jan 07, 2013 Doug rated it it was ok
Starts out great but becomes boring after a while. If the author had spent more time explaining the writings, published the diagrams, expanded the history of would have made for a much better book. There are really good books on Tesla out there - pick one of those.
David Collins
Mar 31, 2013 David Collins rated it it was amazing
An amazing man, well ahead of his time wish we had him in this time.
Steven Magee
This is a good collection of Nicola Tesla's original writings. It does not contain any pictures nor photographs. I enjoyed it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
My review :D 1 1 Jan 21, 2017 03:02PM  
My Review :D 1 1 Jan 20, 2017 10:48AM  
  • Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics
  • The Value of Science: Essential Writings of Henri Poincare
  • Disturbing the Universe
  • Adventures of a Mathematician
  • The Insect Societies
  • The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason, and Byron's Daughter
  • Indiscrete Thoughts
  • The Essence of Chaos
  • The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine
  • Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information
  • Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought There
  • Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915
  • The ABC of Relativity
  • The Principles of Quantum Mechanics
  • The New Ambidextrous Universe
  • Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One
  • Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees--W: Western Region
Nikola Tesla was a genius polymath, inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He is frequently cited as one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, a man who "shed light over the face of Earth," and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla's patents an ...more
More about Nikola Tesla...

Share This Book

“we should effect a radical reform in the character of the food.” 0 likes
More quotes…