'A Beautiful Mind' is Sylvia Nasar's account of the life of the mathemetician John F Nash, in particular his long mental illness and his gradual recovery. The book deals well with getting inside the mind of Nash as his behaviour becomes more and more irrational, showing how from his point of view it might seem to be the rational thing to do. We also see the dilemma of those caring for Nash - how intervention makes them seem hostile to him, but how doing nothing just allows the illness to get worse. In the end allowing him to 'haunt' the maths department without any pressure seemed to lead to his eventual recovery.
I have to say though that I struggled a bit with the first part of this book - it didn't seem to maintain a thread for the story. Many of those who knew Nash during his early career were interviewed, but then the later careers of these people were included, thus breaking up the flow of the book. I would have also liked to have seen more about the work that Nash did. I realise that this is not the place for technicalities, and that more detail is available elsewhere. However, for example, Nash's work on the embedding of manifolds into higher dimensional spaces keeps cropping up and I couldn't tell whether this described one result being developed, or whether he actually proved several theorems in this area.