cover image Einstein: His Life and Universe

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Walter Isaacson, , read by Edward Herrmann. . Simon & Schuster Audio, $49.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7435-6138-9

Herrmann's reading offers solid, enjoyable and informative listening. Herrmann knows when his material is strong and does not try to compete with it. Instead, he delivers a straightforward yet endearing portrait of arguably the best mind of the last century. Herrmann keeps the text purely narrative, refraining from affecting a German accent when quoting Einstein and others, with the occasional accent appropriately slipping in only when pronouncing foreign words. In this, the first full biography based on Einstein's newly released personal letters, Isaacson takes care to keep the great mind's discoveries and theories comprehensible. Einstein, whose internally visualized “thought experiments” often led to his groundbreaking observations (at 16 he imagined chasing a light beam until he caught up to it), expressed these images with simplicity and elegance. Einstein's rebellious personality as well as the internal workings of his brilliant mind are brought vividly to life thanks to Herrmann's perfect reading, which is filled with warmth and accuracy. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 12). (May)