Towards the end of the 18th century, two brilliant young Germans set out to measure the world. The naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt travels down the Orinoco, climbs the highest mountain then known to man, counts head lice on the heads of the natives, and explores every hole in the ground. The mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss does not even need to leave his home in Göttingen to know that space is curved. He can run prime numbers in his head, cannot imagine a life without women, and yet jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula.Measuring the World is a novel of rare charm and readability, distinguished by its sly humour and unforgettable characterization. It brings the two eccentric geniuses to life - their longings and their weaknesses, and their balancing acts between loneliness and love, absurdity and greatness, failure and success.
"The narrative is 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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