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Measuring the World recreates the parallel but contrasting lives of two geniuses of the German Enlightenment - the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. Towards the end of the 18th century, these two brilliant young Germans set out to measure the world.
Humboldt, a Prussian aristocrat schooled for greatness, negotiates savannah and jungle, climbs the highest mountain then known to man, counts head lice on the heads of the natives, and explores every hole in the ground.
Gauss, a man born in poverty who will be recognised as the greatest mathematician since Newton, does not even need to leave his home in Göttingen to know that space is curved. He can run prime numbers in his head, cannot imagine a life without women and yet jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula.
Measuring the World is a novel of rare charm and readability, distinguished by its sly humour and unforgettable characterization. It brings the two eccentric geniuses to life, their longings and their weaknesses, their balancing act between loneliness and love, absurdity and greatness, failure and success.
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...a dazzling success ... fantastically imagined...there's an energy and enthusiasm about this book that is so refreshing and true to the spirit of the time in which Humboldt and Gauss lived (Daily Telegraph)
Measuring the World has proved nothing less than a literary sensation... the novel has sold more than 600,000 copies in Germany, knocking J K Rowling and Dan Brown off the bestseller lists... it is the most successful German novel since Patrick Suskind's Perfume... 31-year-old Daniel Kehlmann is a literary wunderkind already being compared to Nabokov and Proust'
Reviews for Measuring the World:
Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World announces the arrival of a new generation...Kehlmann is a master of irony ... already a figure of European stature...(he) has it in him to be the great German novelist that the world had given up waiting for - Sunday Telegraph
...a dazzling success ... fantastically imagined...there's an energy and enthusiasm about this book that is so refreshing and true to the spirit of the time in which Humboldt and Gauss lived - Daily Telegraph
The novel belies the German reputation for humourlessness and the author very much plays it for laughs without demeaning his protagonists. What he conveys so well is the presence of two extraordinary personalities...It is a delightful read - Literary Review
A historical novel that handles facts with the delight of a wide-eyed child handling exaggerated fictions. With a boundless sense of fun and an impressive command of his subject, he explores scientific and metaphorical ideas of opposites, parallels and distances, and wonders - against the backdrop of the universe - what their ultimate significance could be .... A deceptively clever novel - understated and boldly ambitious in its scope - The Observer
Kehlmann brings to life the intellectual world both men inhabit with a dazzling combination of wry humour and humane observation... Kehlmann doesn't just illuminate the lives of these two men, he captures the wondrous nature of the universe through the prism of uncompromising intellectual ideas - Metro
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Book Description Quercus London, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Perfect collectable copy of this wonderful book, the most successful German novel since Perfume. This is the first printing of the translated version by Carol Janeway. Unread perfect book inside a perfect protected jacket. Language: eng Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # ABE-2586787947
Book Description Quercus, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 276 pages. 8.74x5.67x1.10 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk1847240453