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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, September 21, 1992
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About the Author
Fifty Years in the Flatland
2012 will mark the 50th anniversary in print with Dover of one of the most significant and influential books of the past century and a half. The mathematical, satirical, and religious allegory Flatland by a little-known but immensely prolific Victorian English schoolmaster and theologian Edwin Abbott Abbott, was first published anonymously in England in 1884 — Abbott wrote it under the name "A Square." The unique geometrical romance which is Flatland posited a world and its inhabitants that exist in only two dimensions and forces the reader captivated by the originality of this central idea to think deeply about the meaning of such a world. Generations of readers and students swept into the romance and fascination of geometry and other branches of mathematics and philosophy owe their introduction to this world to Flatland, which continues to entertain and stimulate new readers today, still going strong 126 years after the first edition was launched. Abbott revised the text somewhat for a second edition published just a few months after the first. Dover's 1952 edition was the first American reprinting of the amended second English edition and was published with a new Introduction by physicist Banesh Hoffmann.
From the Book:
"I CALL our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said 'my universe': but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things."
Top customer reviews
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It's a fascinating and quite original book for its time.
Note that the illustrations are very simple drawings that look okay in a Kindle e-ink reader as well as in a Fire tablet.
But that's not Flatland's fault. Like me, it doesn't really have any idea what four dimensions are like.
What I did find was a delightful and quick read offering some fine insight into the nature of how pedantic and cruel rigid class systems are and how difficult it is to show someone they're missing fundamental knowledge about reality.
I feel you there, Square.
In short: Pick it up. It's an easy read and won't take long. You'll enjoy it for the writing, the social commentary, and the mind expansion.
Flatland, ultimately, is a particularly good retelling of Plato's Cave about a subject our own best and brightest are still wrestling with and don't expect resolution to any time soon.
Who could ask for more from a victorian novel?
The only thing stopping me from rating this a perfect '5' was the beginning chapters that seemed to drag on monotonously, for me. Also, as far as this Kindle edition goes, the ASCII illustrations didn't appear on my Kindle 2. I didn't really mind at all, though, and for the price, I'd be mad to complain. That's why I love the Kindle freebies, life changing novels -or novellas, in this case- for $0.00.
Flatland is a book I am not likely to ever forget.
Even if you don't like math and geometry you'll greatly appreciate Flatland. However, if you are a math geek you'll be able to take the Flatland universe further (think K3,3 and the utility distribution problem in Flatland).
It was a great book tip.