Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius - William H. Terbo, Marc J. Seifer Tesla is one of the most awesomest coolio scientists evah. Totally. Check out what The Oatmeal has to say: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla.

And if you're writing your dissertation on Tesla and need to know whether he was in New Jersey or New York on April 19th so that you can confirm that a conversation really took place, this is the book for you. It's great at that level of documentation. On the other hand, if you want to read about how awesomely coolio Tesla was, this book may make you want to gouge your eyes out.

I do not need to know which of his instructors at university was mustachioed and which had a full head of hair. Really, really do not. Do not care. Yet I really care about Tesla - I'd love to learn more about him. This book is not the means to that end for me. The minutia killed it for me.

I'd give it three stars because it obviously gives historical information that people want, but I'm mad about the way it made me feel. Admittedly I'm not an engineer and don't know a whole lot about electricity. But I'm not stupid - I read a lot of books about various branches of science. But this book was so overwhelmingly tedious that it made me want to read a picture book about Tesla. Or a pop-up book! That would be fun! I just wanted to get to the good stuff, and I felt superficial in the face of this dense collection of minutia. The emphasis on tiny unimportant (to my mind) details lessened the impact of Tesla's discoveries and inventions. The elevation of the unimportant made the important seem flat. I wasn't able to maintain my attention, and also was wearied by the effort required to sift through to find the interesting stuff.

So only two stars. Tesla, though: 17 stars.