- Series: Pantheon Graphic Library
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; 1st Edition edition (April 21, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780307908278
- ISBN-13: 978-0307908278
- ASIN: 0307908275
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer (Pantheon Graphic Library) Hardcover – April 21, 2015
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
James Gleick, author of The Information
“Don’t be fooled by the word ‘comic.’ Sydney Padua tells a story that is tender, passionate, and true.”
Charles Petzold, author of Code and The Annotated Turing
"So there. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is learned, clever, funny, and above all very silly in the best sense of the word."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The immensity of Padua’s research and the wit and allusions of her prose are striking, saying as much about what drove her to explore the possibilities of her protagonists’ relationship as about the protagonists themselves. Permeated by delightful illustrations, obsessive foot- and endnotes, and a spirit of genuine inventiveness, it’s an early candidate for the year’s best.”
Martha Cornog, Library Journal
“Padua’s extravaganza is very much for the whimsical intelligentsia and will speak to those interested in computers or math who will delight in the abundant background materials.”
“Sydney Padua’s impeccably researched, yet playfully imagined graphic biography is a treat for history buffs and graphic novel lovers alike…With fantastically detailed art, footnotes and diagrams…, this is a whimsical graphic account like no other.”
Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
“Reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is like auditing a dozen high-level, inventively taught college classes simultaneously: more than a little overwhelming yet fascinating.”
Etelka Lehoczky, NPR.org
“Sydney Padua’s new book is definitely ‘Yowza!’ material.”
“An outlandish, enlightening tale.”
Nancy Szokan, Washington Post
“Informative and entertaining . . . . It’s a book that makes you a lot smarter as it makes you laugh.”
“Novelist Sydney Padua has found quite a pair: the girl with the unstoppable brain; the male inventor 24 years her senior, part-poet, part-genius; this Victorian odd couple, dedicated to crime foiling and cleverness, is easily worthy of Holmes and Watson with a title to match.”
Maria Popova, BrainPickings.org
“Immensely delightful and illuminating …a masterwork of combinatorial genius and a poetic analog to its subject matter.”
About the Author
SYDNEY PADUA is an animator and visual effects artist, usually employed in making giant monsters appear to be attacking people for the movies. She started drawing comics by accident and is still trying to figure out how to stop. Originally from the Canadian prairie, she now lives in London with her husband and far too many books. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is her first book.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
99 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First off, and what I tend to lean very heavily on with my graphic reading, the art is gorgeous. Padua's lines and movement and layouts and character design and cats and and and... Everything in this book is worth noting when it comes to the artwork. Unless you simply hate her style outright, you will love the artwork.
As for the story itself, I really thought this was more of a graphic novel / complete arc story when I bought it. Yes, it has a sense of movement, but it doesn't act as one story. Instead, it's a compilation of different adventures. While I didn't mind this format, honestly, none of the tales ever fully took off for me. Again, I loved the art, but what story it told... I found it hard to care about.
This brings me to the best-worst part of the novel: the historical footnotes. I LOVED that her research informed every line and scene in this. Her research astounded me. The footnotes were quite interesting and added to the story in an awesome way. However, they were equally distracting, some taking so long to read that the flow of the original tale was not only up-ended but tossed out the window, too.
I tried reading the story without the footnotes, but it fell flat, not seeming as rich as before. When I read the footnotes first, then went back to the story, I couldn't always remember what fact went with what, and it lost the richness, too. And--for me--reading both jumbled both fact and fiction to where it was hard to follow the story.
In the end, this works as a much better non-fiction book about these two historical figures--even if the majority of it takes place in a fictional, pocket universe. And maybe it was simply me that had problems with this flip-flopping in the story. Regardless, the art is gorgeous and, for me, totally worth the price of admission.
Some years ago a read a standard biography of Babbage. If you're really interested in a complete picture of Babbage, I would not say that "The Thrilling Adventures...." is a substitute for that, but it is a very useful adjunct to it. It does give a better feel for who these people actually were, and a much better emphasis on Ada Lovelace.
There is actual history behind this book, so it might be a graphic history or bio. Except that most of the graphic content is made up or unattested to as portrayed. So maybe it is a fictionalized history, so Graphic Novel. The barrage of overly long footnotes are intended to document the basic events so maybe a history. But there is also a din of science and such so maybe a science book. Well actually the footnotes become such a drag that even Ms. Padua not only admits that they are too many and too long ,she even posts dialogue and illustrations over a few as a way of admitting she needed to be edited.
Critical to the purpose of this book is to honor the real mathematical contributions of Lady Lovelace. Except that she never seems to be much more than a side kick to the nerdy, classic Victorian English enthusiast and inventor Charles Babbage. We get pages of detailed explanations of how Babage's proto computer, whichever machine none where finished, was supposed to work and almost no examples of Lovelace's math or programing. So who is the star of this book? Does Lady Lovelace get her proper recognition?
Did I mention that the Thrilling Adventures all take place in an alternative time line pocket universe? Most of the stories are stories of things that never could have happened and the rest do not appear in the record of this universe.
Let’s try this another way:
If you can filter past the incredibly long and convoluted footnotes (Suggestion: if you footnote a letter you do not need to included entire letter just to prove you did your research.) there are some fun little made up stories about math and economics and stuff. None of it having much to do with the Babbage Analytical Engine, or was it the Difference engine? lt;, hardly matters, neither was ever finished.
Or if you can filter out the events that never happened there are some intelligent discussions of economics and various other technical or mechanical things, including a layout of how the Babbage engine, which ever one it was might have worked if it had been finished.
Lady Lovelace does appear and we do get her biography. Not much on her math or programming, but the general opinion was that she was good at both and never esp respected for it, er them.
If you have read this far and are unsure what he Amazing Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is about or what it is relating or basically: is it worth muddling through. My work here is done.