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

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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061719242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061719240
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 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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8 of 8 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 James Tepper VINE VOICE on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I originally reviewed "The Einstein Enigma" in August 2010, writing my review after giving up after only 77 pages due to my inability to read any more of the awesomely incorrect science. I gave it 1 star and titled the review "Absolutely unreadable", referring to the egregious scientific errors I found in those 77 pages. This week (Mid-December, 2010), finding myself with nothing to read, I tried again and this time made it all the way through.

I am an avid reader of SF, fantasy and historical fiction and happen to be a professor of Neuroscience with a layman's interest in quantum physics and cosmology. Thus, the plot summary in the advertising blurb - Einstein, physics, God, the nature of the universe, starring a University professor no less) was dead center on stuff that I like and know something about, so I tried to read it again, despite my initial experience. And... Big mistake.

The further into the novel I got, the worse the scientific errors, misstatements and faulty logic got, all the way right to the bitter end. As various characters, including his father, a CIA agent and a Tibetan monk (!) keep explaining science (mostly physics and cosmology) to Thomas, we learn, for example, that computers are "alive", molecules consist of "millions of atoms", that quantum uncertainty exists only because the observer interferes with the process and that space, matter and time are continuous. All of these statements are utterly, unambiguously, inarguably false. Late in the book, a crucial description of the fate the universe (by a physicist, no less) depends on the "impossibility" of the universe expanding faster than the speed of light.
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