"A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash" by Sylvia Nasar

Posted on Sat 14 February 2009 in ClubReading

The biography of a brilliant mathematician, A Beautiful Mind is not only fascinating but extremely well written. John Nash is a mathematician whose brilliance is matched by illness, specifically schizophrenia. When his illness takes over, his life changes dramatically. And in turn, he is changed by his illness.

Although the book is nothing like the movie (with very few exceptions), it does a much better job of conveying the extremes involved in Nash's life. A brilliant, and arrogant, man who becomes ill but is still brilliant. On the other hand, a life full of promise becomes a living hell, which Nash eventually overcomes.

The writing is wonderful, and the author pulled me in from the prologue. I was amazed by the math (although I didn't understand all of it) and awed by the power of Nash's illness. This is far and away the best biography I've ever read. Highly recommended!