The young Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann conjures a brilliant and gently comic novel from the lives of two geniuses of the Enlightenment. Toward the end of the 18th century, two young Germans set out to measure the world. One of them, the Prussian aristocrat Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates savannas and jungle, travels down the Orinoco River, tastes poisons, climbs the highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and explores every hole in the ground. The other, the barely socialized mathematician and astronomer Carl Friedrich Gauss, does not even need to leave his home in Göttingen to prove that space is curved. He can run prime numbers in his head. He cannot imagine a life without women, yet he jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula. Von Humboldt is known to history as the Second Columbus. Gauss is recognized as the greatest mathematical brain since Newton. Terrifyingly famous and more than eccentric in their old age, the two meet in Berlin in 1828. Gauss had hardly climbed out of his carriage before both men were embroiled in the political turmoil sweeping through Germany after Napoleon's fall. Already a huge best seller in Germany, Measuring the World marks the debut of a glorious new talent on the international scene.More
"Measuring the World has proved to be nothing less than a literary sensation." (The Guardian)
"Notable for its brisk pacing, lively prose, and wry humor...which keenly complements Kehlmann's intelligent, if not especially deep, treatment of science, mathematics, and reason at the end of the Enlightenment." (Publishers Weekly)
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Extremely disappointing - please avoid
Interesting but confusing