Other Books

Einstein's Dreams

Lightman, Alan - Finished Jul 10, 2016

Run-on Sentence Summary

While working on his theory of relativity, Einstein dreams of a series of worlds in which the altered physics of time lead to contrived and overly romanticized scenarios.


I didn’t get this book. Maybe I’m just way too much of a nerd, but the book seemed to lack courage when trying to imagine worlds with drastically different physics. The author would paint beautiful pictures of scenarios where mothers are separated from children due to the tragic nature of time, or people living up in high castles where, at high altitude, time moves more slowly, causing them to miss the beauty of the life below.

In each case, I kept finding myself thinking that none of it made sense and he didn’t carry the ideas out to their fullest extent. In half the scenarios, Hamburg, in which all of the stories are set, wouldn’t plausibly exist in the first place. Even accepting artistic license, I still felt like most of the stories didn’t contain any wisdom beyond the superficial.

Final Thoughts

Interesting concept and scenarios, but I’d hoped it would have been executed much better.

Favorite Quote

“Such is the cost of immortality. No person is whole. No person is free. Over time, some have determined that the only way to live is to die. In death, a man or a woman is free of the weight of the past.”