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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Deluxe Illustrated E-Reader Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Edwin A. Abbott
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $4.95
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $3.96 (80%)

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Book Description

First published in 1884, Edwin A. Abbott's classic novella is many things: a biting social satire on Victorian society, an exhortation to literally think outside the box (or, if you're a privileged Spacelander, outside the cube), and above all a testament to the universal quest for knowledge and the inherent beauty and purity of mathematical truth. Flatland tells the story of "A SQUARE," a mathematician living in the Second dimension, known as Flatland, whose perceptions of his Universe are turned upside down when he is visited by a Sphere from the Third dimension, known as Spaceland. "A SQUARE" also muses on life in Lineland and Pointland.

The "Deluxe Illustrated E-Reader Edition" of Flatland is the edition you've been waiting for; a beautifully formatted e-reader edition of the classic novella Flatland, including all original illustrations, a table of contents, original footnotes, and bonus footnotes.

"The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." -- Isaac Asimov.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Flatland is one of the very few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to almost any layperson. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England.

Review

This pre-Einstein geometrical fantasy is one of the best things of its kind that has ever been written, for it is more than an ingeniously sustained fantasy: it is a social satire, with wit as sharp as the sub-lutrous end of a Flatland woman; it is aneasy philosophical introduction to the Fourth Dimension; and it is a rebuke to everyone who holds that there is no reality beyond what is perceptible by human senses.>>> (Saturday Review )

This pre-Einstein geometrical fantasy is one of the best things of its kind that has ever been written, for it is more than an ingeniously sustained fantasy: it is a social satire, with wit as sharp as the sub-lutrous end of a Flatland woman; it is an easy philosophical introduction to the Fourth Dimension; and it is a rebuke to everyone who holds that there is no reality beyond what is perceptible by human senses. (Saturday Review )

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind bender anyone? May 30, 2001
Format:Paperback
Although it isn't very long, Flatland does take a long time to read. This isn't because it is boring, or because it is hard to read, but because of the large amount of digestion one need's to fully comprehend (and to fully enjoy) this book. Even this book contains only 82 pages, it is by no means light reading. The book was originally released in 1884 under Abbott's pseudonym A Square. In the story we follow the journey of a square who lives in a land of two dimensions--a flat land. In it class, and ultimately intelligence, is determined by the amount of sides that a shape has. As the amount of sides a shape has decreases, we find that it also is more emotional and apt to cause destruction through their pointed corners. Women are depicted as straight lines, but one has to take into account the time that this book was published. One can also disregard the story as having any relations to anything in our society and enjoy it for what it is, a mind bending social criticism. In this tale we follow the aforementioned square through his everyday life. we learn what it is like to exist in only two dimensions. We learn of how rain falls form the north and disappears to the south and how gravity is a minute force that pulls to the south ever so slightly. We follow him through the government and through social classes, and the discrimination that comes with them. When his son talks of geometric impossibilities such as 23 (cubed) he has a dream of a lesser land than his, a land called line land. IN it there is not two but only one dimension of being. Through discussion with the kind of lineland, we are offered insight into why our hero the square cannot conceive of the third dimension. Later our hero is visited by a great being, a sphere that appears to him seemingly out of nowhere. Read more ›
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unimaginable Dimensions July 7, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Flatland is a unique and brilliant treatise on a trifurcated level. It is a sociological statement, a mathematical statement and a religious statement all rolled into an incredibly astute 82 pages. The book centers mostly on the differences between a two dimensional world and a three dimensional world; but comments on society, law, prejudice, religion, and proselytizing.

The book especially points out the difficulty in envisioning a greater reality and a greater vision than is commonly observed by any individual in any dimension or society. The author's premise relates to things existing in a "plane geometry" world as opposed to a "Euclidian Geometric" three dimensional figure universe. The book carefully illustrates to one denizen of Flatland how the three dimensional world of space works and/or exists. Upon finally understanding the "Gospel of Three Dimensions" our protagonist goes on to try and apply the same arithmetic logic and geometric analogs to a fourth dimensional universe. Shouldn't there exist a fourth dimensional universe that allows an entity to look down upon the three dimensional universe with as much transparency as one can from three dimensions to two?

Alas, things become different in dimensions other than the first, a world of lines, the second, a world of shapes and the third, a world of objects. In the zero dimension, all things are a point. Mathematically we know that any number raised to the "0" power equals 1 and therefore, all things in the zero dimension resolve into one single omnipotent point. This condition would also exist in the fourth dimension; as those of us in the third dimension have no model to compare it to.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Edition September 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
This edition is essentially unreadable and not representative of traditional printings. It's printed directly from the digitized (and free) copy from Google Books and has clearly had NO editing work done. The book is filled with references to figures that were not included, mangled words, and seemingly random breaks and markings in some spots. This would be fine for a free digitized text online, but is entirely unacceptable for a paid-for product, especially a short book that would be similarly priced in a physical store.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Flatland is THE must-read for anyone interested in getting a feel for higher dimensions. The book is extraordinarily readable and succeeds even with people that are afraid of mathematics. Abbott's charm lies in his ability to write simply and clearly about a topic that has its share of very unreachable, esoteric books. You fall into the story (whose plot is by no means secondary to the mathematical ideas), and before you know it you find yourself in contemplation of things like the fourth and fifth dimensions. The visual image that this book provides is a necessary step to envisioning and then understanding the idea of higher dimensions, even for those already versed in the mathematics of it. You never know, after you read this, you might even be willing to try your hand at things like Einstein's relativity. A little on the social aspects of the book: keep in mind that it was written in the very late 1800's. Hidden within the philosophical and mathematical ideas is a satire of the social climate of the times: how women, the military, the upper echelons of society, and just about everyone else were viewed. Flatland makes you think, and think deeply, on many different and sometimes unexpected levels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read.
Published 1 day ago by WILLILAM J. MATISA
5.0 out of 5 stars Mathematics classic
This is one of the great books of mathematics. In a highly entertaining way, the author introduces the mysteries of other dimensions. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A+
Excellent book used in a college geography class. Still very relevant today.
Published 7 days ago by DW
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mathematical Curiousity
considering that the book was written in 1889, it does hold up. it's fun because of the bizarre descriptions of living in one or two dimensions, but it never makes a good case for... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Grey Wolffe
3.0 out of 5 stars The book is highly imaginative but somewhat tedious to read
I have known about this book for years because it has been mentioned in other books or articles that I read. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Bob Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought experiement wrapped in a metaphor
Imagine beings living out their existences in a two-dimensional world, unable to conceive of a third dimension. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Dan Gilles
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy for the introduction.
The book itself is excellent, but the introduction is what really makes this copy special. I would have missed some of the book's nuances and satire without Jann's intro.
Published 21 days ago by MCW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wowzers!
Published 22 days ago by Mike Tingen
4.0 out of 5 stars Flatland
I first read this during my college years, and when i saw it available as a free offering I wanted to revisit this extraordinary land: Flatland. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Jerriann Law
2.0 out of 5 stars Falkland - unusual
A challenge to read, not exciting nor romantic nor educational by any means ..... simply weird too much for a relaxing
read
Published 1 month ago by KAREN
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