After a second spin of my improvised “random colleagues finder” – the next few people were selected to recommend their favourite books, songs and films to me.
I saw “romance” on the tag-line and thought “what on earth!” it seemed unlikely that Tom would suggest such a genre to me, I quickly flicked to the back page to read the synopsis.
Classic of science (and mathematical) fiction — charmingly illustrated by author — describes the journeys of A. Square and his adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions). A. Square also entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions — a revolutionary idea for which he is banished from Spaceland.
So I was intrigued.
The book flew by, I loved reading it. A fantastic concept
Wikipedia describes an overview quite well:
Writing pseudonymously as “A Square”, Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.
After reading the novel I wanted to know more.
A little interesting fact, again from Wikipedia
Although Flatland was not ignored when it was published, it did not obtain a great success. Proof of that can be considered the fact that in the entry on Edwin Abbott Abbott in the Dictionary of National Biography, Flatland is not even mentioned.
The book was discovered again after Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity was published, which introduced the concept of a fourth dimension. Flatland was mentioned in a letter entitled “Euclid, Newton and Einstein” published in Nature on February 12, 1920. In this letter Abbott is depicted, in a sense, as a prophet due to his intuition of the importance of time to explain certain phenomena:
Some thirty or more years ago a little jeu d’esprit was written by Dr. Edwin Abbott entitled Flatland. At the time of its publication it did not attract as much attention as it deserved… If there is motion of our three-dimensional space relative to the fourth dimension, all the changes we experience and assign to the flow of time will be due simply to this movement, the whole of the future as well as the past always existing in the fourth dimension. —from a “Letter to the Editor” by William Garnett. in Nature on February 12, 1920.
My colleague Mike pointed out that rating a book on a flat score is pretty silly/useless, summed up by this wonderful XKCD comic:
So instead of rating this book, I’ll just say that I loved reading it and I’ll pass on TomG’s recommendation and state that you should too.