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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions [Illustrated]
 
 

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions [Illustrated] [Kindle Edition]

Edwin A. Abbott
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £3.49
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Product Description

Review

"One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world."--The Washington Post Book World

"Flatland has remained of interest for over a century precisely because of its ability to engage its readers on so many different planes in so many different dimensions."--Victorian Studies

"This reprint of Abbott's Flatland adventures contains an Introduction by Thomas Banchoff which is worth reading on its own. So if you don't have yet this book at home, go ahead and buy this edition."--Zentralblatt MATH

Review

One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world. (The Washington Post Book World )

Flatland has remained of interest for over a century precisely because of its ability to engage its readers on so many different planes in so many different dimensions. (Victorian Studies )

This reprint of Abbott's Flatland adventures contains an Introduction by Thomas Banchoff which is worth reading on its own. So if you don't have yet this book at home, go ahead and buy this edition. (Zentralblatt MATH )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 18 April 2011
By Andrew
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a compact, insightful and thought-provoking gem which can be appreciated from scientific, mathematical, historical and cultural standpoints. With string theory popularising the concept of higher dimensions today, it's an ideal starting point for those wanting to be able to consider some of the big questions that science is asking. Furthermore, this edition is everything you could want from an ebook. It's formatted perfectly, doesn't forgo the illustrations which are important in a book like this, and is at a fantastic price.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Satire 14 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
Please don't be deterred by those reviewers who imagine that the author shared the Flatlanders' disparaging view of women and blue-collar men. Not so. E. A. Abbott was an energetic teacher and writer as well as an Anglican priest, and he devoted a great deal of his energy to the cause of women's education, working with the leading female educators of the day in their campaign for access to universities and better opportunities for secondary education. As well as a parable and an introduction to n-dimensional geometry, Flatland is a satire on social prejudice-- on two-dimensional attitudes, in other words. The clues can be found in the book itself, but the record of Abbott's life confirms the satirical agenda. Victorian clergymen weren't all misogynists and snobs, and to assume that Victorians in general were stuffy, biased, and repressed is both patronizing and unfair. There are bigots in every time and place, our own included, but there are always also those who are working for a better, juster world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Formatting, No Images 5 Feb 2011
By Welford
Format:Kindle Edition
Not a review of the book as a piece of literature, but the Kindle edition of this version of the novel is abysmal. Avoid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas within this short story 27 Mar 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Delightful and thought-provoking little book. Clear and easy to read on the Kindle and it is great to have the illustrations within the text.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary tour de force 14 Sep 2008
By hbw VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an extraordinary book! I approached it expecting a period piece and found a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong - it's no surprise that the author was a Victorian clergyman-schoolmaster - who else would think of writing an entertaining best-seller about geometry and the fourth dimension?

Told from the perspective a respectable middle class citizen of the two-dimensional world of Flatland, this is a 120-page tour-de force. Whilst taking the reader through the imaginative steps which lead, logically, to the idea of four (or more) dimensions, the narrative reflects many of the social absurdities and dangerous ideas of Victorian Britain. On the lighter side, the narrator pokes gentle fun at the class system and social ambition; on the darker side he discusses eugenics, egalitarianism and the threat of unorthodox ideas.

Science fiction? Geometry? Philosophy? Satire? It's been compared to Gulliver, Erehwon, The Time Machine and Alice in Wonderland. Alice is probably the closest - but only in the sense that it's one of those rare books that demands a category of its own.

As well as the text, the Oxford World's Classics edition has a useful introduction, a good bibliography and a chronology of the life of Edwin Abbott. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in Satire, Fantastic in Maths 9 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought flatland expecting it to be mostly about the perception of things in different dimensions and it certainly covers that, but it also points out the flaws in the victorian class system, the equality of genders, the stigma attatched to derformity and the main protagonist is more relatable to than most because of the indepth description of how he sees things. This book now ranks in my top 10 and possibly in my top 5. I'm in two minds if the author is extremly smart and imaginitive or ever so slightly mad, all I can be sure if is that he wrote a really good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, totally quirky 4 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've seen this boook referred to in articles in scientific magazones as a curiosity - and what a curious book it is. It purports to be written by an inhabitant of a two-dimensional world. All the inhabitants are geometrical shapes (triangles are the lowest orders, near-circles the highest). The weird consequences of living in this world are vividly discussed (Foe example, how do you recognise someone's shape and hence their status if you can only see their edge?)

At the same time, it is a veiled critique of late Victorian society, with iits rigid hierarchies and pretentions. It's written in the rather starchy English of a Victorian schoolmaster, but tongue in cheek all the time. In this version the diagrams which the speaker uses to illustrate his points are excellently reproduced.

Funny, totally quirky.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flimsy 10 Jan 2013
By Jack
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I chose to buy this edition as it was relatively cheaper than other copies available.

The content is fine, it is after all Abbott's work. However it is printed in a rather ghoulishly large font on similarly large pages. Furthermore chapters are treated as sub-headings, and 'illustrated' means a shoddy photocopying of the original diagrams.

The book is large, This is because I stupidly did not read the dimensions before purchase. This is my fault, but do check yourself.

In a nutshell, I will be buying another edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a classic text
Published 24 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting/weird
Got it after Sheldon referenced it in big bang theory! it ain't bad! Probably funnier/relevant in Victorian times but still interesting.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It bored me
Published 1 month ago by j m mchugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
A little piece of genius that I will be recommending to others! The cleverly constructed religious allegory resonates whether one has a faith or not and in this new age of quantum... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Miss J. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
had already read it, had to have a copy
Published 3 months ago by Manuel M. D. E. A. Rodrigues
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic text but this edition is awful
Diagrams are photo-copied in
Text is misaligned,
Paper is cheap.
Binding is going to fall off soon.
It is cheap I suppose.
Published 4 months ago by Dr G
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and amusing
This is a short late 19th century concept novel, based on the imaginary thoughts of an inhabitant (a Square) of a land of two dimensions and the conversations he has with the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by John Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars unusual
This book takes you into a mind experiment in two dimensional space.Where there is no concept of up and down. A real world with its own rules and government. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stewart Conway
5.0 out of 5 stars Opens your mind!
This short book truly opened my mind to other dimensions!

The way 1, 2 and 3 dimensional worlds are described from the inside and when viewed from each other is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by smssms
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A mindbending book that stretches the boundaries of reality, and really makes you think. The intricate details of this 2D universe are very carefully thought out.
Published 11 months ago by Alan Riley
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