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Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain Paperback – June 5, 2001
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After Thomas Harvey performed Einstein's autopsy in 1955, he made off with the key body part. His claims that he was studying the specimen and would publish his findings never bore fruit, and the doctor fell from grace. The brain, though, became the subject of many an urban legend, and Harvey was transformed into a modern Robin Hood, having snatched neurological riches from the establishment and distributed them piecemeal to the curious and the faithful around the world.
The brain itself has seen better days, its chicken-colored chunks floating in a smelly, yellow, formaldehyde broth, yet its beatific presence in the book, riding serenely in the trunk of a Buick Skylark, encased in Tupperware, reflects the uncertainty of Einstein's life. Was he a sinner or a saint, a genius or just lucky? Harvey guards the brain as if it were his own. From time to time, he has given favored specialists a slice or two to analyze, but the results have been mixed. Physiologically, Einstein's brain may have been no different from anyone else's, but plenty of people would like the brain to be more than it is, including Paterniti:
I want to touch the brain. Yes, I've admitted it. I want to hold it, coddle it, measure its weight in my palm, handle some of its fifteen billion now-dormant neurons. Does it feel like tofu, sea urchin, bologna? What, exactly? And what does such a desire make me? One of a legion of relic freaks? Or something worse?
Traversing America with Harvey and his sacred specimen, Paterniti seems to be awaiting enlightenment, much as Einstein did in his last days. But just as the great scientist failed to come up with a unifying theory, Paterniti's chronicle dissolves at times into overly sincere efforts to find importance where there may be none, and it walks a fine line between postmodern detachment and wide-eyed wonderment. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the book offers an engrossing portrait of postatomic America from what may be the ultimate late-20th-century road trip. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
We are introduced to the main character, Davy Rice, as a young boy, escaping an abusive father. This is where the story starts because it is also the first time he experiences a Jump. Not that he believes it at first but this young lad has the ability to teleport.
OK, I know what you are thinking. That this is a tired old theme, already used to death in Sci-Fi. Well you are wrong. Steven Gould, has taken a refreshing look at this subject and deals with it in a realistic way. Davy, as a character, is very easy to understand and empathize with and for this reason we truly believe what is happening to him.
Before he can safely live a life away from his Father, Davy must get some cash, establish an identity, rent an apartment and all the things which you and I take for granted. This is made fascinating because he is a minor and has that special skill that no one is aware of. To complicate his life, Davy starts to fall for an older woman. A college girl who Davy impresses with his knowledge of the city and obvious wealth. Add to this the fact that his long lost Mother reenters the picture and Davy has a pretty full life.
This is just where the adventure begins. His mother becomes embroiled in a plane highjacking but Davy's efforts to involve himself are threatened by a police officer who is curious about his wealthy life style and questionable ID. The pace moves up to a higher level as Davy falls into international intrigue and ruthless terrorism.
This novel is a terrific first outing from Gould and I would recommend it to anyone who still has a little adventure left in their soul.
Jumper was his first, and it was given to me by a friend who knew I was hard to please in my reading preferences. I have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. As you can read in the synopsis, the main character, Davey, gains the ability to teleport. But unlike many writers who would focus the story on how and why he developed this ability, Gould instead writes about how an intelligent but not-quite-mature teenager might react to having this new ability. The actual science of it is never explained, but that doesn't detract from the story. The story is not about the ability. It's about the young man who has the ability.
Davey's reactions to suddenly finding himself with this ability are far more human than the urge to find out why. Unable to figure out why, he instead focuses on what to do with it. The early part is filled with self-serving trips to acquire stuff, and through the course of the story, Davey realizes that even these seemingly harmless actions have consequences. Some of the complications that arise later in the story are a direct result of his early endeavors with teleportation.
But Gould does not center the entire story on Davey's power. Life goes on, and the world around Davey proceeds apace even as he experiments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bubblegum SF but a fun read. Some exploration of the physics, but mostly cat and mouse games -- give it a try!Published 13 days ago by Rick Wilson
I was extremely surprised by how good this book was so much so I continued reading the next book right after finishing jumper I highly recommend it.Published 26 days ago by Trey keller
Love the book! It's good and sad how Davy's life has to be such a difficult one in order to discover such a unique gift. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Scott Austin
Saw the movie first and found the book to be a vastly different story. This book spent a lot of time on character development but in the end there were lots of unanswered... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scifirdr
I liked it, but it was a little simple for my tastes. It is good YA.Published 2 months ago by reader guy
Although there are a few editing mistakes throughout the book, like spelling mistakes or missing letters, it does little to take the reader's attention off the story - it just is... Read morePublished 3 months ago
Doesn't resemble the movie, at least in this book. I enjoyed the book and it was a fast read. I probably will read the remaining books in the trilogy.Published 3 months ago by Bobs