Measuring the World

Measuring the World

3.72 (8,518 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Measuring the World" recreates the parallel but contrasting lives of two geniuses of the German Enlightenment - the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. Towards the end of the 18th century, these two brilliant young Germans set out to measure the world. Humboldt, a Prussian aristocrat schooled for greatness, negotiates savannah and jungle, travels down the Orinoco, climbs the highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and explores every hole in the ground. Gauss, a man born in poverty who will be recognized as the greatest mathematician since Newton, does not even need to leave his home in Gottingen 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. Daniel Kehlmann has produced a novel of rare charm and readability, distinguished by its sly humour and unforgettable characterisation. The author's acute powers of observation and ability to write memorable dialogue shine through its every page."Measuring the World" marks the UK debut of a distinctive and original voice in contemporary fiction.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 30mm | 458.14g
  • Quercus Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1847240453
  • 9781847240453
  • 848,814

Review quote

Measuring the World has proved nothing less than a literary sensation... the novel has sold more than 600,000 copies in Germany, knocking J K Rowling and Dan Brown off the bestseller lists... it is the most successful German novel since Patrick Suskind's Perfume... 31-year-old Daniel Kehlmann is a literary wunderkind already being compared to Nabokov and Proust' Guardian Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World announces the arrival of a new generation...Kehlmann is a master of irony ... already a figure of European stature...(he) has it in him to be the great German novelist that the world had given up waiting for - Sunday TelegraphFilled with wry humour and fascinating anecdotes, this is a warm, witty and ultimately tragic celebration of the many faces of genius - The Good Book GuideIn sparing prose Kehlmann cleverly combines a great enthusiasm for the Enlightenment spirit of enquiry with demystifying depictions of the individuals involved...Moving...Hilarious - Book of the Week - 5 stars out of 6 - Time Outshow more

About Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and moved to Vienna in 1981, where he studied philosophy and literature at university. Measuring the World is his fifth novel.show more

Review Text

...a dazzling success . fantastically imagined...there's an energy and enthusiasm about this book that is so refreshing and true to the spirit of the time in which Humboldt and Gauss lived - Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraphshow more

Rating details

8,518 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 24% (2,064)
4 37% (3,193)
3 27% (2,302)
2 9% (742)
1 3% (217)
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