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The Einstein Enigma: A Novel Hardcover – September 7, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061719242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061719240
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[A] love-and-treason-filled thriller” (New York Post)

From the Back Cover

Princeton, New Jersey-1951. Just off a small street, an unidentified man stands hidden, carefully monitoring an unfolding scene. A police-escorted motorcade stops at a small, unremarkable house while an old man with a shock of white hair jumps out of the lead car. As he ambles up the walkway, another man around the same age, also sporting wild white hair, descends from the porch and warmly greets him. The observer lurking in the shadows is from the CIA; fellow operatives are also close by, recording the conversation taking place inside the house between newly arrived Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion and his host, the world-renowned scientist Albert Einstein. The subject of their conversation: nuclear weapons and the existence of God.

Cairo, Egypt—today. World-famous cryptanalyst Thomas Noronha is waiting on the front steps of the Egyptian Museum when an attractive, dark-haired woman approaches and invites him to lunch in the Muslim quarter. Her name is Ariana Pakravan. Over the course of their lunch she hires Thomas to decipher a cryptogram hidden in a secret document that has recently been discovered and is under heavy security in Tehran. Penned by Albert Einstein, the manuscript's title is, simply, Die Gottesformel: The God Formula.

Thus begins a story of love and treason, a fast-paced adventure that takes Thomas and Ariana on a breathtaking pursuit from Cairo to Lhasa, from Princeton to Tehran, from Coimbra to Shigatse. Along the way, The Einstein Enigma offers up a mystic fusion of science and religion, a meeting of Einstein and God in an unforgettable spiritual search, and a mind-bending trip to the source of time, the essence of the universe, and the meaning of life.

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Customer Reviews

The plot, the characters are well done.
Dr. R.P. Forsberg
I wouldn't give up on the book just because of the action issue because it is interesting in theories and discussions, if not a bit too complex in these areas.
Jamie Ratliff
NO, the book is sold as a thiller but that is a cover to discuss different theories about if God exists.
Wayne Crenwelge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to say that my opinion about José Rodrigues dos Santos' "The Einstein Enigma" rose and fell like a demented roller coaster as I made my way through its 485 pages. At first, I thought, "Well, this is okay, but nothing special." Further on, when the characters talk about fractal mathematics, quantum mechanics, relativity, chaos theory, Schrödinger's Cat, cosmology, etc., I thought, "Wow, this is great stuff!" My opinion waxed and waned as Portuguese cryptanalyst Thomás Noronha travels to Iran to decipher a mysterious document written by Albert Einstein shortly before the great physicists' death in 1955. Noronha gets thrown into an Iranian prison, escapes, travels to Tibet and then back to his home in Portugal, all the while desperately trying to break the code of what Einstein called "Die Gottesformel" ("The God Formula"). About two-thirds of the way through, I got bogged down in seemingly endless discussions of Buddhist, Hindu and Tao philosophies--interesting in a way, but not really my thing. Then, with more cosmology discussions, my opinion soared again. But unfortunately, near the end, it took a nosedive when I found myself thinking, "You MUST be kidding me!"

So what to say about this hard-to-characterize novel? Well, it's definitely filled with far more talk than action. I didn't really mind that, since I found the talk, at least when it involved science and not religion, very interesting. I personally enjoyed the many long dialogues about matter, energy and cosmology, although these parts may be tough going for readers not interested in those subjects. The characters are pretty well-developed, except for a few American CIA agents, who come across as flinty, profane, two-dimensional, lone-wolf, shoot-'em-up, hyper-patriot types.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patrick McCormack VINE VOICE on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A code that might prove the existence of God. Einstein. Mystery, international intrigue, spies. Cosmology, quantum physics, and proofs for the existence and reality of God.


Except, drag that wow out a bit. W---o----w, slowly, because that is the pace at which this book proceeds.

There is also a certain amount of chutzpah. Einstein's initial conversation with Ben Gurion contains a simplistic refutation of God, said by Einstein, and barely passable in a Philosophy 101 class. Later in the book, our lead character suffers a painful meeting with his parents, in order to learn his father has cancer. Three pages, to introduce a few key plot details.

A meeting with the CIA yields a painfully 7th grade level discussion of nuclear fission and fusion, with our PHD interpreter expressing ignorance of each basic fact. This is the pattern of the book, with one person after another lecturing in a condescending fashion, to other characters and to the reader.

The author also has a tick... when one of his characters makes an argument about the existence of God, he has the listender say "Incredible!" in a complimentary fashion. Well. This is a clever little writing trick, where the author presents the argument, and presents the correct response to the argument. Guess what? The reader gets to decide if an argument is awesome, incredible, earth-shattering. And, on the so-called proof for the existence of God, I say, ho-hum, a bit vague, stated in an unclear fashion, many veils and little substantial presentation.

I think that a plot with Einstein, God, and quantum physics... and a lead character very aware of feminine wiles -- should be a Wow. This one is at best mildly cool, in a slow, slow, slow way. Drop 90 pages and add some oomph to the dialogue and this would be a winner.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Burgmicester VINE VOICE on August 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to say, that this book is an enigma. The writing is poor and the dialogue is pathetic. The characterizations are awful. However, there is an interesting gem of a plotline running through the book. Additionally, the author is excellent at providing concise overviews of physical theories and quantum mechanics. I am not sure if the dialogue and the surrounding story telling are the fault of the author or the translator (translated from Portuguese), but this book just does not fulfill this reader's expectations of what could have been.

Jose Rodrigues Dos Santos is on the popular quest of discovering God and the Meaning of Life through Physics and Quantum Mechanics. This is the newest of the philosophical issues to be addressed through science over the last several decades and it makes for some interesting reading. However, this author and the translator have written the story using amateurish, unemotional and ridiculous characters, interchangeable, flat and utterly non-colloquial dialogue and then exhibited no reserve to their artistic license:

- Picking a lock to gain entrance into the Ministry of Science in Tehran?
- Secret Iranian agents spilling their complete stories to the captive to show how smart they were.
- Spanish document found and then not translated to the reader
- CIA using a history professor to enter Iran, steal a document, and escape again
- CIA director not using a secure a line to talk to his agent in the Iranian break-in.
- Absolutely no ability to write the spy agent part of the novel - no tails, losing people at will, etc.
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