Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions, for which the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics, and computer science students. Several films have been made from the story, including a feature film in 2007 called Flatland. Other efforts have been short or experimental films, including one narrated by Dudley Moore and a short film with Martin Sheen titled Flatland: The Movie.
Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
I give Abbott props for prophetically working out some of the fundamentals of the fourth dimension and dimensional progression 30 years prior to Einstein's general theory of relativity. As a satire, however, while it loosely follows a very Swiftian formulation (Flatland = England; Lineland = Lilliput; Spaceland = Brobdingnag), it isn't as well developed as Gulliver's Travels.
Still, Abbott plays a very significant role in the development of science fiction as a reasonable way to address and criticize current social problems. Abbott wrote the novella Flatland during a period of women's suffrage and a rigid class-based hierarchy. In someways, that makes Flatland as relevant, revolutionary and prophetic a piece today as it was when published in 1884.
My biggest critique of the narration is that Alan Munro would occasionally stumble when presented with mathematical expressions like 3² (three to the second power) 3³ (three to the third power). He would simply read these as thirty-two or thirty-three. Since I was reading along with the book, I saw the error, but if I was only listening, it would have been a little confusing.
The story is fantastic! I love stories which expand the imagination and encourage the reader to consider the world from different perspectives.
It may seem strange, but I couldn't help thinking of Lewis' "The Great Divorce" because both books encourage on to stretch the imagination and consider possibilities from perspectives not usually presented. It's as if the authors have found new scenic overlooks which offer the viewer a new and greater perspective.
His voice is pleasant, but I found it frustrating to hear him say "thirty-two" or "thirty-three" when he should have said, "three squared" and "three cubed". He didn't know how to read mathematical notation.
Great story, but I'd try a different narrator.
It's the kind of book you have to hear multiple times. There are a lot of mind-bending physics concepts that are unfortunately intertwined with a lot of mind bending social concepts. It's a challenge keeping in the right state of mind. One moment you're considering the state of a quantum singularity, and the next moment you're wondering what all the women might be up to.
This was just an OK book. I had been waiting to read this for quite some time, and finally got around to it only to find that out was just... Alright. Unique concept, but challenging to comprehend in audio format.
This book definitely makes you think. The content is high level thinking to the point of religiousness. It is simple, yet complex. I hope you enjoy it at much as I did. Many thanks to my friend Cody for recommending it to me.
This book was difficult to stick through. I tried on multiple occasions but really had to be in the perfect mood and have some curiosity to get to the end. Thankfully, it was well worth the struggle and I'd recommend it for others who enjoy such thoughtful comments on late 19th century society and mathematics.
Yes. The characters in this book are geometric figures, and you have to bend your mind to a one- and two-dimensional world to get the most out of the story. It's told from the viewpoint of the narrator (a square), and I believe subtly mocks distinctions we make among ourselves based on traits outside our control, such as race, gender and class.
Learning that wives in Flatland must make the "peace cry" whenever they move to indicate their presence.
I loved the narrator. He was perfectly suited to this book.
Learning that wives in Flatland are considered pretty unintelligent.
This book awoke in me an understanding of the dimensions yet it also awoke in my mind the possibility that there could be more or less dimensions than the the number of dimensions in which we live in (the 3 dimensions).
"Very thought provoking!"
Incredible, was quite entertaining. Very different take on a story, using math, shapes and dimensions to explore reality and society.
The first few chapters were rather complicated and required some concentration, but once you get your head around the basics it's an easy going and very enjoyable story.
Loved the new approach to highlighting issues and features of society and reality. Really gets you thinking about our existence in physical dimensions and the possibilities of the unknown.
Although I enjoyed the book, it's not the best reading. Very deep and monotone voice. I wouldn't specifically avoid another but I wouldn't hunt one down either.
Nope, the voice made it hard to concentrate on the technical bits, especially when tired! :P
I'm not a mathematician or physicist, however I think the fundamental principles of the main characters' reality are wrong? If they are two-dimensional beings - they should exist only in two-dimensions... The main character describes how he can only see the two dimensions of length (X) and distance (Z) but then goes onto describe objects having a thickness, a height (Y) of some sort. He sees objects as "lines", but if he were in a true 2D space he would not be able to perceive the side of objects and therefore no edge or slice to be see. It seems they actually live in a three-dimensional space where one dimension (height, [Y]) is fixed at a slither, although this dimension is small and uniform for all objects, it is by no means a two-dimensional existence.
"Interesting but dated"
theories and ideas after a while become suffocating.
some very old fashioned and backwards ideas.
the author clearly is struggling with his own perception of his life.
"Note from an oddly shaped (possibly sharp) triangle"
This is just nuts. I hung about thinking about my odd shape and quickly realised this gentleman is possibly scared of women, or triangles or both. It's fascinating but I'm not sure I totally get it. I will try again next time I feel crazy.
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