Reimagining pivotal moments in the history of science with an emphasis on the moral and ethical dilemmas that dominated the twentieth century, Labatut’s searingly intelligent novel of ideas boasts a cast including Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schroedinger.
Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2021
Albert Einstein opens a letter sent to him from the Eastern Front of World War I. Inside, he finds the first exact solution to the equations of general relativity, unaware that it contains a monster that could destroy his life's work.
The great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck tunnels so deeply into abstraction that he tries to cut all ties with the world, terrified of the horror his discoveries might cause.
Erwin Schroedinger and Werner Heisenberg battle over the soul of physics after creating two equivalent yet opposed versions of quantum mechanics. Their fight will tear the very fabric of reality, revealing a world stranger than they could have ever imagined.
Using extraordinary, epoch-defining moments from the history of science, Benjamin Labatut plunges us into exhilarating territory between fact and fiction, progress and destruction, genius and madness.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Ingenious, intricate and deeply disturbing... Labatut has written a dystopian nonfiction novel set not in the future but in the present' - John Banville, The Guardian
'We may be familiar with such things as Schroedinger's cat and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle... but the sheer audacity, the utter insanity of the ideas and the thinkers who discovered these ideas has never, in my experience, been so vividly and terrifyingly conveyed as in this short, monstrous, and brilliant book' - Philip Pullman
'Absolutely brilliant. I was utterly gripped and wolfed it down. It feels as if he had invented an entirely new genre' - Mark Haddon
'Labatut uses fiction to crack open the stories of scientists and mathematicians whose expanded our notions of the possible, while also presenting them as human, all too human' - Dazed
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