But at the height of his fame, Nash suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown and began a harrowing descent into insanity, resigning his post at MIT, slipping into a series of bizarre delusions, and eventually becoming a dreamy, ghostlike figure at Princeton, scrawling numerological messages on blackboards. He was all but forgotten by the outside world -- until, remarkably, he emerged from his madness to win world acclaim. A feat of biographical writing, "A Beautiful Mind" is also a fascinating look at the extraordinary and fragile nature of genius.
"The New York Times"
[Sylvia Nasar] has written a biography of John Nash that reads like a fine novel.
This dense, carefully researched work is also, unexpectedly, a poetical love and coming-of-age story.
"The Boston Globe"
"[A Beautiful Mind]" might be compared to a Rembrandt portrait, filled with somber shadows and radiant light effects...superbly written and eminently fascinating...simply a beautiful book.
"The New England Journal of Medicine"
Nasar has written an intriguing account of a fascinating man, of a "beautiful" mind, and of terrible madness. She has also written a deeply moving love story, an account of the centrality of human relationships in a world of nightmare and genius.
"The Wall Street Journal"
After suffering with Mr. Nash's family through his madness, the reader greets his recovery -- and his ability to reforge a bond with his wife -- as a triumph..."A Beautiful Mind" is one of the few scholarly biographies I have encountered that could plausibly be described as a three-handkerchief read.
Nash's life has been a remarkable mental journey. Nasar's first-rate biography describes that journey for us.
"The Washington Post Book World"
A fascinating overview of [Nash's] life and the intellectual history of his times...a wonderfully absorbing puzzle.
"The New York Times Book Review"
"A Beautiful Mind" tells a moving story and offers a remarkable look into the arcane world of mathematics and the tragedy of madness.
A fascinating account of creativity barely under control, of a mathematical genius who was driven by -- and eventually overwhelmed by -- his own inner demons. A staggering feat of writing and reporting.