• Half-Life

  • The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy
  • By: Frank Close
  • Narrated by: Nigel Anthony
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-05-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (15 ratings)

Regular price: $19.62

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Publisher's Summary

The memo landed on Kim Philby's desk in Washington, DC, in July 1950. Three months later, Bruno Pontecorvo, a physicist at Harwell, Britain's atomic energy lab, disappeared without a trace. When he re-surfaced six years later, he was on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
©2015 Frank Close (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
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Critic Reviews

“There is much about this tale that has the flavour of a Le Carre novel, with the additional advantage that it is all true.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Frank Close brings a fresh perspective to the story… impressively researched” (Guardian)
“Could have formed the basis of a Dick Francis-type action thriller, or a John le Carre spy story with added science… gives fascinating insight into the science behind the Iron Curtain… Close gives clear insight into the physics, without going into the kind of depth which might frighten non-scientists” (Literary Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Chris Reich on 07-24-15

Half Interesting

I get the physics. In fact, I liked that better than the biography. The book moves between confusing, technical, dull and disjointed.

To launch a biography, the first chapter needs to make the guy larger than life so the reader wants to know about his life. Take Einstein. We might start with asking the question, "How did a guy working in a patent office develop some of the most important concepts of physics? What was it that made him a celebrity? And, here's the punchline, why did he dispute the basis of modern physics right to his death? Einstein, the greatest mind in science since Newton disputed Quantum Mechanics, a theory proven correct over and over. He was wrong about something very big. He was in the minority in opposing the foundation of Quantum Mechanics. Why?"

I saw that our hero played a role but wasn't impressed with his work owing to the rather dull writing explaining it.

I hoped for more and didn't get it. Maybe some day I'll revisit this book and find it better than the first time I read it. Maybe not.

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