Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Narrated by: Alan Munro
Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (432 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    198
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    22

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    21

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    195
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    67
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    18

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Terrible Narrator

What made the experience of listening to Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions the most enjoyable?

The story is fantastic! I love stories which expand the imagination and encourage the reader to consider the world from different perspectives.

What other book might you compare Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions to and why?

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.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Munro’s performances?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Great story, but I'd try a different narrator.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Upward, not Northward

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.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

32 and omniscience

This story is good. Problem is, the narrator doesn't know how to pronounce a lot of the words, and it gets distracting. surprising to say the least for an audible production. for example, omniscience was said as "omni-science" and "3 squared" was read as 32. Find a different version if you can.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

awful narrater and recording - great story

narrater has a very deep voice and reads at very uneven speed, constant pauses.
that plus the old outdated vocabulary make it hard to follow and enjoy the story.
i wished there was a more modern adaptation of this almost 200 year old masterpiece...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

or, How Geometry Works for the Clinically Stupid

In a totally reasonable amount of allegory, for the day, I learned more about the substance of Geometry in 4 hours than in my primary, secondary and tertiary education combined. It's like the difference between driving from Chicago to Indianapolis with Google maps v. bicycling the same trip. A much more textured understanding of the terrain results. I'm going to listen to this book twice more then I'll tackle Anathem again. I clearly need cartoons to explain math to me. It's hard being stupid.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply an extraordinary Genius ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Given this was written sometime before 1884, before modern physics revelations, and based only on mathematics and an insightful imagination; I find myself shattered between giving a standing ovation, and watching my ego rolling and crying in agony, after he realized the extent our ignorance.. the drama.. the richness in perception, and depth in describing the variance yielded from different perspectives.. absolutely amazing! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

excellent read

An excellent read the book captures your attention from beginning to end take moment and escape to this different space

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A canonical book read tediously

This book is a must read for people who are wrestling with concepts that are outside of their world... and will likely remain outside of their possible experiences. Physicalist atheists come to mind... but limited field thinking can happen to anyone about anything that has a metaphysical or presently unknown component. The material in the book is enjoyable, but it is by its nature tedious. Unfortunately, it was narrated tediously and acted poorly. It was like Munro didn't bother to read ahead. He frequently ended sentences before they actually ended. That being said, it's a short book, and I enjoyed going through it again. The ideas are worth the pain.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story From a Different Time

I've noticed some older stories just don't translate well into audible form for me. More often than not they are just too heavy on description. They are noy bad books. Sometimes they are even great books, but for me at least, they need to be read, not listened to. This is one of those books. It sounded like a dry report describing a strange world, and I need something a little more engaging on my work commute.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

One of the most interesting thought experiments I’ve seen. I really feel like I understand the 4th dimension a little better because of the prospective it offers. A good read for anyone who likes to learn and think and also doesn’t mind not completely understanding.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ben
  • Ben
  • 10-01-13

Very thought provoking!

If you could sum up Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions in three words, what would they be?

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.

What did you like best about this 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.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Munro’s performances?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nope, the voice made it hard to concentrate on the technical bits, especially when tired! :P

Any additional comments?

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr r c worthington
  • mr r c worthington
  • 03-25-17

creativity and thought provoking

but difficult to follow at times plus narrator mate not best for this book. overall intersting considering it age.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cathy and Fiona Glanville
  • Cathy and Fiona Glanville
  • 11-26-15

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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FilmNutzAdam
  • FilmNutzAdam
  • 07-02-16

Interesting but dated

boring narration.
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.