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Einstein's Dreams Paperback – November 9, 2004
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“Endlessly fascinating. A beguiling inquiry into the not-at-all theoretical, utterly time-tangled, tragic and sublime nature of human life.” --The Boston Globe
“Lightman is an artist who paints with the notion of time.” --Los Angeles Times
From the Inside Flap
Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein's Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.
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Oh, and if you're wondering about the book, it lives up to every encomium ever delivered to it.
As you already know from reading the description, these short fables (the longest one is 4 pages) are alternatives to the way time might function in this universe as imagined by Einstein's dreams as he comes up with the Theory of Relativity. Each universe is unique, and Lightman describes them with such fragrant imagery that the reader cannot help but step into the weird worlds where houses whiz around on wheels or are built on stilts topping the mountains, all in order to gain more time. But at the end of each description, Lightman questions our superficial view of time and the power we allow it to have over us. There was not a single chapter that after reading I did not have to put the book down and collect my thoughts.
This is the sort of book you can read in one sitting or place by your bed in order to ensure fantastic dreams every night for a month--and beyond. Because in the end, time is something we cannot avoid, so why not take some time to think about it?
Top international reviews
First of all delivery of book was really quick and all the books I ordered came in a great state and giving 5 stars for seller.
Book review:- (★★ 2 stars )
Collection of dreams (all of them written as diary entries) Einstein had seen while his stay in Berne, Switzerland. Each dream represents a world in reference of time and how it affects lives and emotions of people. Style of writing is very well mannered and clever but after a while this metaphorical references feel pretentious. May be an article of such a kind would have been better than entire book.
So why have I deducted one star? Because it is more like poetry than a novel. It is beautiful and it is clever, but it doesn't really have a story as such. Reading it was like spending an afternoon daydreaming.
Nevertheless, Einstein's Dreams has been awarded a place on my "read again" shelf, a rare honour. I may edit this review at a later date, when I have read it again, if I find more in it.
Don't be misled by the name in the title, but the 'dreams' are ideas and different ways of looking at the subject of time. Some you will have come across before, and many will be thought provoking. I suppose you would say that the writer is showing us different perspectives on how we should be using the allocated time we have been given.
This book contains a series of dreams of imaginary worlds with a very different conception of time. Each chapter then is a thought experiment - but what I would have liked to see is some theme or character or reason why I should be carried through the thought experiments. There was no binding theme, and thus the book could better have been reduced to a list: Imagine a world where time is like X, Imagine a world where time is like Y and so on.
Maybe a poem on time would have been better than a whole book here.
It was not totally uninteresting, but neither did I feel it greatly profound. reading about Einstein in depth makes you more aware of the profound nature of time. reading popular physics books like "The Elegant Universe" likewise.