Alan Lightman’s novel Einstein’s Dreams actually came to my attention by way of a recommendation from another literary talent who has appeared in my BookBin series before (Loba has Internet PersonalitiesTM with very cool friends). As I hold Ms. Solow’s opinions in high regard, I made sure to secure my own copy of Einstein’s Dreams as soon as I could. I also made sure to shift it somewhere near the top of my piles of “books that need reading.”
It only took me slightly more than a year to get to this one. I do believe that might be a record for me.
Lightman’s novel is stunning in its beauty, striking in the simplicity and elegance of its prose. He captures the complexities of time with an enviable and engaging textual sparseness—and in so doing, proves unequivocally that science is an art unto itself.
This book is fewer than 200 pages, yet took me longer to read than many significantly longer books. I would finish a chapter and then immediately read it again. This became my standard operating procedure for almost every chapter. Lightman’s prose is such that you get only a glimpse into the various worlds he chooses to show you, but each time you take a peak, you see something different, something new.
I’d actually rather not say any more about this novel. It’s best experienced on your own rather than through my description of it. I have to say, though, I imagine it must spark some interesting conversations whenever it appears on a course syllabus. This is just the kind of text I would have loved to have discussed during my studies.
Final Verdict: Yet another one to remain in my library.