This extraordinary travel book tells the true story of how in 1997 writer Michael Paterniti agreed to take a road trip from New Jersey to California, reuniting the preserved brain of the great scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) with his granddaughter Evelyn. Paterniti's improbable travelling companion is 84-year-old Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who not only removed Einstein's brain from his head during the autopsy but purloined it from Princeton Hospital also! Storing the great scientist's brain in Tupperware zipped inside a grey duffel-bag, they rent a Buick Skylark, and drive from New Jersey to Ohio, Kansas City to Dodge City, Los Alamos to Las Vegas, finally achieving their bizarre reunion in Berkeley, California. A singular journey - and a unique book.
©2000 Michael Paterniti (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The imagery created by Paterniti is so refreshing. It nice to see writing that reflects the art that writing can be when done with thought and purpose and not just a vomit of words.
There are several nice turns of phrase--the author is something of a wordsmith. However, the author seems to want the story to hinge on the person of a pathologist who, after performing a perfunctory autopsy upon Einstein's death, took the great man's brain as a sort of talisman or trophy--we never get much of a hint about why he did what he did or much of why the decision was made to take the brain to Einstein's granddaughter in California. There was insufficient character development of any of the main characters, and barely a story line.
Even the title became annoying because there is no place in the story where Einstein is referred to as "Mr. Albert," so "Driving Mr. Albert" appears to be an unoriginal allusion to the film (and book?) "Driving Ms. Daisy," but of course there is no real connection there either.
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