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Publisher's Summary

Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years the careers of mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist and biologist. He is widely regarded as a war hero grossly mistreated by his unappreciative country, and it has become hard to disentangle the real man from the story. It is easy to cast him as a misfit, the stereotypical professor.

But actually Alan Turing was never a professor, and his nickname, 'Prof', was given by his codebreaking friends at Bletchley Park. Now Alan Turing's nephew, Dermot Turing, has taken a fresh look at the influences on Alan Turing's life and creativity and the later creation of a legend.

For the first time it is possible to disclose the real character behind the cipher-text: how did Alan’s childhood experiences influence the man? Who were the influential figures in Alan's formative years? How did his creative ideas evolve? Was he really a solitary, asocial genius? What was his wartime work after 1942, and why was it kept even more secret than the Enigma story? What is the truth about Alan Turing's conviction for gross indecency, and did he commit suicide? What is the significance of the Royal Pardon granted in 2013?

In Dermot's own style he takes a vibrant and entertaining approach to the life and work of a true genius.

©2015 Dermot Turing (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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Alan Turing Bio

Turing certainly was treated barbarously, especially taking into account what he accomplished for the benefit of the country that prosecuted him.

This book did a good job of describing his earlier life, and one gets a good sense of his extreme brain power. He was also an accomplished long distance runner, a fact I did know before.

I recommend this book, particularly for anyone using a computer, since Turing was one of the first pioneers of programmable computers. This is only one of his amazing accomplishments.

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  • Mary Carnegie
  • 09-08-16

Accessible Turing biography.

Written by Alan Turing's nephew, this is more accessible than Hodges' comprehensive biography, and more up to date, as more documents as now available, and he was able to speak to some of those who knew his uncle. Even though Dermot Turing tells us Alan was little spoken of at home, the family connection does bring something extra to the narrative - and he is following in the footsteps of his father John and grandmother Sara in writing about this unusual genius.
Attitudes have evolved, too, so the occasional lapses of Hodges's account into outmoded terms aren't there to give the reader/listener an involuntary shiver from time to time.
The narrator is much better than Gordon Griffin, who tends to send me to sleep!

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  • J.P. Bebbington
  • 07-15-22

A fascinating life story, but too technical.

The narrator was excellent, managing to convey the different voices of various figures throughout Turing's life with impressive clarity
The book itself was well-researched and even looked into areas I didn't expect - like famous ancestors - which was certainly a pleasant surprise.
A word of warning to the unprepared reader, however; the book focused quite heavily on the more technical aspects of Turing's work. I would have preferred more interviews with those who knew him than on pages of droll explanations of computational mathematics, the specific mechanical workings of Enigma and the "bombes", and even the more esoteric work about the mathematics behind the formation of seashells and sunflowers. Fascinating to someone with that kind of expertise, I'm sure, but rather overwhelming to the likes of me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-22-18

Thorough insightful biography

Having recently visited the Alan Turing memorial at Manchester I decided that I would like to find out more about him than the facts I knew from the film and short biographies I had read. I am so pleased that I opted for this biography written by a family member. It gives a through, thoughtful and tender insight into an individual of soaring genius but there is no reason to be a maths or computer specialist to appreciate how far ahead of his time Alan Turing was. The listener gets a very full account of his life from birth to his much too early death. Beautifully narrated I recommend it to anyone wishing to get a better understanding of a remarkable man.