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Publisher's Summary

"Your world has not just four dimensions, but five, fifty, a million, or even an infinity of them!" - A. Square

For more than 100 years, Edwin Abbott's mathematical adventure has charmed and fascinated. Set in a world on one plane, Flatland takes listeners on a strange and wonderful journey. This timeless fantasy tells the story of A. Square, a character who lives in a completely flat world where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes and think their world of length and width is the only world that exists. When Square is whisked away to the Land of Three Dimensions, he shakes up his fellow two-dimensional beings with his notion of a dimension beyond their own.

One of the rare novels about math and philosophy with almost universal appeal, Flatland is simultaneously a brilliant parody of Victorian society and a fictional guide to the concepts of relativity and the multiple dimensions of space.

Executive Producer: Jacob Bronstein
Producer: Garet Scott
©1884 Edwin A. Abbott
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." (Isaac Asimov)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Camp Morton, MB, Canada
  • 01-20-03

Loved all the concepts of this book

After hearing dozens of recommendations for this book I sought it out.
I was not dissapointed.

The books concepts and mathematical principles are interesting, educating and suprisingly entertaining. I loved the descriptions of the character's worlds and had no trouble turing my mind around the concepts existing in worlds with different numbers of dimensions.

The story is well told through a character that is easy to believe and ,if not have empathy towards, understand their plight.

The story was over well before I wanted it to but I suppose that only so many concetps may be put forth in a book like this before the author believes he may be overindulging or submitting their readers to a deluge of too many principles.

Highly recommended for those who wish to understand when physicists sometimes claim the existance of other dimensions which we cannot perceive and who wish to know how this can be.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing

I was amazed that anyone could write a story about a square that would have the same level of suspense as the greatest dramas.

I was more amazed at all of the implicit social and religious commentary that could be crammed into a story without diverting attention from the plot.

Finally, I was supremely amazed that all of this was written over a century ago, while it reads like it was written yesterday... or tomorrow.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

From math to philosophy

The mathematical and physical concepts of this book carry an extraordinarily deep philosophical meaning: just as a Flatlander could never imagine what it's like to be 3-dimensional, we too may be unable to perceive a different dimension that is there - like perhaps the dimension spiritual beings live in. This gives me hope that there's much more to it than what we have on Earth, which is wonderful but mortal. I've enjoyed this story enormously, both as a nice funny tale and as an inspiration to cling to when I feel discouraged wondering if life has a meaning...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeremy
  • Bay Port, MI, USA
  • 06-01-08

Great Book for Fantasy Writers

This book offers one of the best explanations I have ever heard on dimensions. If you are a fantasy writer and want to know the difference between dimensions and universes, get this book. The story itself isn't all that compelling, but it is entertaining enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • Pitman, NJ, USA
  • 02-28-04

Excellent social perspective

This isn't a science book, this is a work of fiction. It is an excellent work of fiction, too. It provides the reader with a different perspective -- in fact, training the reader how to look at things from a completely different perspective. It also contains very relevant social commentary that can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves. If you're expecting a "science lesson", skip this. It is a work of fiction written in a refreshing style providing a glimpse into things that "may be" or "could be". Keep an open mind!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Geoff
  • Brisbane, CA, USA
  • 07-17-04

good, but Sphereland is better

I wish there was an audiobook version of Sphereland. Flatland is the classic book on this subject and is quite enjoyable to listen to. But, in my opinion, Sphereland has less discussion of the social structure of flatland and spends more time enlightening the reader about how we can think of four dimensions in our three dimensional world.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Cheerful moments in a thought-provoking book

The narrator seemed to hold his tone as fittingly proud for the words and temperament of our friend, the square.

The section about the IT-speaking 0 dimension seemed, to me, to be an apt critique on the complete omniscience of a God that is all, and knows all, and is only itself seeing itself, so I got a nice chuckle.

All in all, I enjoy the challenge of trying to conceive of dimensions higher than the third, which has been brought to Space by our friend from Flatland.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting...

Flatland is certainly interesting. I love the idea of creatures in multiple dimensions, even if the story is a bit flat. It's really more of an exercise in 2 to 4 dimensional thinking. The story itself is humorous, at least it tries to be, but the narration is not particularly inspiring. If I wasn't interested in geometry, I wouldn't have gotten past the first hour. (I want to try out Flatterland, but no Audible currently exists.)

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • South Pasadena, CA, United States
  • 02-27-10

Revolutionary Thought About Dimensions

Skip the first part of it, which is a thinly veiled discussion of the Victorian era. However, the book gets exponentially more interesting once the various dimensional worlds collide. This is a revoluationary view of the dimensions. It also serves as a basic framework for beginning to think about what the fourth dimension is like, and how we can recognize its characteristics before we actually figure it out.

  • Overall

Dated but so fun.

Set yourself in a mood to be amused by old-fashioned sensibilities and smile as you listen to a fun description of social norms in the 2D world.

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  • Story
  • David
  • 06-24-13

One of the best books I've listened to...

I read about this some years ago, though I can't remember where. As a religious studies teacher I thought I'd better read it for discussing epistemology in class. I was more than pleasantly surprised. A genuinely compelling story where you can begin to relate to two dimensional characters (a bit like Jackie Collins, then!) and begin to care about them. Hilarious from start to finish. I'm chosing to believe the sexism is sarcastic, rather than simply a product of its age, but it's funny all the same. Really well read, with great feeling. Listen to this. It'll cheer you up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful