- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Gardners Books; Reprint edition (September 30, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140279431
- ISBN-13: 978-0140279436
- Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,296,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nothing That Is : A Natural History of Zero Paperback – September 30, 2000
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While the work is not as good as some of the earlier efforts of Green, it is vastly entertaining and well crafted. A reader would be well advised to bear down in the first twenty pages and get the names and relationships straight. Everyone has ties to everyone else except for poor Arthur Morris. Once you have the family trees worked out, and have absorbed what there is of the sketchy history, it is clear sailing.
This work is great fun, but with a bit of a jaundiced view of life to at least one reader. But as my mother always used to say, "It's only a story." --Isn't it?
The world that the author creates for the reader is a very British one. The dialogue is precise but filled with hidden meanings, as what is unsaid is often even more important than what is said. There's a wonderful symmetrical balance in each of the conversations as well as in the structure of the book. The characters speak for themselves, with very little description, and, through their words alone, the twists and turns of the story emerge, the sounds of their voices echoing on the pages. The question of what really happened and is happening is always just beyond our reach, and the even though the characters might be moved around like chess pieces at the author's whim, they never do change or gain insight into their behavior. Surprisingly, this is still an amazingly satisfying read, as if is the reader himself or herself who gets to experience their world and gain insight into the inevitability of the conclusion. This book is a delightful read and a real treat. I highly recommend it.