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Einstein's Dreams

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Einstein's Dreams Cover

ISBN13: 9780679416463
ISBN10: 0679416463
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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An imaginary re-creation of Einstein's discovery of the nature of time, this novel takes us through the young patent clerk's many dreams depicting compelling conceptions of time.

Synopsis:

It is ten minutes past six by the invisible clock on the wall. Minute by minute new objects gain form. In the dim light of morning the young patent clerk sprawls in his chair, head down on his desk. For the past several months, he has dreamed many dreams about time. His dreams have taken hold of his research. But the dreaming is finished. Out of many possible natures of time, imagined in as many nights, one seems compelling. Not that the others are impossible. The others might exist in other worlds. The patent clerk is Albert Einstein. In his dreams he imagines new worlds, in which time can be circular, or flow backwards, or slow down at higher altitudes, or take the form of a nightingale. Einstein's Dreams is an enchantment and a literary adventure, one which Salman Rushdie has compared to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities: "And I really can't think of higher praise. It is at once intellectually provocative and touching and comic and so very beautifully written. Quite frankly I haven't been so excited by a novel, let alone a first novel, for a very long time".

About the Author

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and the California Institute of Technology. His books include the novels Good Benito, The Diagnosis, and Reunion; a collection of essays and fables, Dance for Two; and several books on science. His latest, a collection of essays, A Sense of the Mysterious, will be published by Pantheon books in January 2005. He lives in Massachusetts.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

JLH3179, July 6, 2010 (view all comments by JLH3179)
Who knew that reading about Einstein's theory of relativity could be so enjoyable? It is a very whimsical and thoughtful book about different concepts of time and how life goes on.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
S.Elliott, May 4, 2010 (view all comments by S.Elliott)
What if I told you there was a way to make Einstein’s theory of relativity accessible? I know, right? But this book provides the non-physicist a way to conceptualize those theories of time that have long eluded people like me who have taken their notions of time and the space-time continuum from “Back to the Future” and LOST.

Lightman is a physicist and an instructor of Humanities at MIT. And he has written a book that operates on the premise that while Einstein was working on his theory of relativity in Switzerland, he would dream up a new concept of time every night. Those “dreams” are then recorded into these poetic vignettes — and woven between the dreams are small interludes into Einstein’s life.

The book reads quickly — if you have a few hours (on a plane, sitting in a coffee shop) you could devour the whole book in one sitting. I think the book then begs to be read again — it is so ridiculously quotable. I found myself itching to grab a pencil and mark the whole thing up…but it wasn’t my book — and post-its weren’t going to cut it this time. I’ll buy my own copy. It’s worth keeping around on a shelf — to flip through, to ponder. I was fully drawn into the dreams; I was pondering time in new ways. And since I carried this book around with me all during conferences on Thursday and through staff-development on Friday, I had half-a-dozen people say, “I LOVE that book. It’s fantastic!”

Yes, it really is fantastic. Not in a plot-driven way. Not in a development of character way. But in a way that has staying power. In a way that will effect the way you view time forever. Read it. It’s worth it.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Jose Narbona, January 6, 2010 (view all comments by Jose Narbona)
Reading this book was like dreaming with stars. A powerful imaginative collection of tales where time is a toy, and physics the rules of the game. A perfect gift for people who like science, and also for people who like sophisticated literature. Very well written, a truly 21st century fairy tale.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679416463
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Lightman, Alan
Author:
Lightman, Alan P.
Publisher:
Pantheon
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Dreams
Subject:
Physicists
Subject:
Scientists
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Time
Subject:
Time -- Fiction.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
1337
Publication Date:
19930104
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
6.68x4.56x.80 in. .49 lbs.

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Einstein's Dreams Used Hardcover
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Product details 192 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780679416463 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , It is ten minutes past six by the invisible clock on the wall. Minute by minute new objects gain form. In the dim light of morning the young patent clerk sprawls in his chair, head down on his desk. For the past several months, he has dreamed many dreams about time. His dreams have taken hold of his research. But the dreaming is finished. Out of many possible natures of time, imagined in as many nights, one seems compelling. Not that the others are impossible. The others might exist in other worlds. The patent clerk is Albert Einstein. In his dreams he imagines new worlds, in which time can be circular, or flow backwards, or slow down at higher altitudes, or take the form of a nightingale. Einstein's Dreams is an enchantment and a literary adventure, one which Salman Rushdie has compared to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities: "And I really can't think of higher praise. It is at once intellectually provocative and touching and comic and so very beautifully written. Quite frankly I haven't been so excited by a novel, let alone a first novel, for a very long time".
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