Measuring the World and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£0.71
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Measuring the World Hardcover – Import, 7 Nov 2006


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Import, 7 Nov 2006
£0.71

Special Offers and Product Promotions


  • Watch the author talk about this book in Windows Media Player format: dial-up | broadband.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books; Tra edition (7 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375424466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375424465
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,991,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Measuring the World has proved nothing less than a literary sensation... the novel has sold more than 600,000 copies in Germany, knocking J K Rowling and Dan Brown off the bestseller lists... it is the most successful German novel since Patrick Suskind's Perfume... 31-year-old Daniel Kehlmann is a literary wunderkind already being compared to Nabokov and Proust' Guardian



Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World announces the arrival of a new generation...Kehlmann is a master of irony … already a figure of European stature...(he) has it in him to be the great German novelist that the world had given up waiting for - Sunday Telegraph



...a dazzling success … fantastically imagined...there's an energy and enthusiasm about this book that is so refreshing and true to the spirit of the time in which Humboldt and Gauss lived - Daily Telegraph



The novel belies the German reputation for humourlessness and the author very much plays it for laughs without demeaning his protagonists. What he conveys so well is the presence of two extraordinary personalities...It is a delightful read - Literary Review



A historical novel that handles facts with the delight of a wide-eyed child handling exaggerated fictions. With a boundless sense of fun and an impressive command of his subject, he explores scientific and metaphorical ideas of opposites, parallels and distances, and wonders - against the backdrop of the universe - what their ultimate significance could be …. A deceptively clever novel - understated and boldly ambitious in its scope - The Observer



Kehlmann brings to life the intellectual world both men inhabit with a dazzling combination of wry humour and humane observation… Kehlmann doesn't just illuminate the lives of these two men, he captures the wondrous nature of the universe through the prism of uncompromising intellectual ideas - Metro

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Reviews for Measuring the World:

Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World announces the arrival of a new generation...Kehlmann is a master of irony ... already a figure of European stature...(he) has it in him to be the great German novelist that the world had given up waiting for - Sunday Telegraph

...a dazzling success ... fantastically imagined...there's an energy and enthusiasm about this book that is so refreshing and true to the spirit of the time in which Humboldt and Gauss lived - Daily Telegraph

The novel belies the German reputation for humourlessness and the author very much plays it for laughs without demeaning his protagonists. What he conveys so well is the presence of two extraordinary personalities...It is a delightful read - Literary Review

A historical novel that handles facts with the delight of a wide-eyed child handling exaggerated fictions. With a boundless sense of fun and an impressive command of his subject, he explores scientific and metaphorical ideas of opposites, parallels and distances, and wonders - against the backdrop of the universe - what their ultimate significance could be .... A deceptively clever novel - understated and boldly ambitious in its scope - The Observer

Kehlmann brings to life the intellectual world both men inhabit with a dazzling combination of wry humour and humane observation... Kehlmann doesn't just illuminate the lives of these two men, he captures the wondrous nature of the universe through the prism of uncompromising intellectual ideas - Metro --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 May 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What is there still left to measure in the world today? Precious little, one might argue, except for things of infinitisemal size. How different the world must have seemed in the early 18th century, when the principles of Enlightenment were at their peak, and large parts of the map of the world were still black. European scientist had an almost unbound belief in the possibilities of scientific research, and there was plenty to research!

'Measuring the world' captures this era in a beautiful manner, by contrasting two of its giants: the explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859) and the mathematician Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). In many ways, two people couldn't be further apart: Gauss was a child prodigy of humble birth (his father wanted him to become a mason as he himself was), Humboldt the younger of two sons in a prominent Pomeranian family (his father was a major in the Prussian army). Gauss was by all accounts a difficult man to live with: a perfectionist, having difficulties establishing relations with other people (including his own children), impatient and restless. By contrast, Humboldt was ever sociable and friendly, the epitome of the gentleman-explorer, used to moving in the highest circles. Humboldt traversed the globe, Gauss explored the world (the universe rather) sitting behind his desk...

And yet, in a bizarre way, as Kehlmann demonstrates in this splendid book, both men (or rather: his fictionalized versions of them) are as different sides of the same coin, and are ultimately 'mere men', as we all are.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By tillyschneider on 9 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
A book about marvels that is marvellous in the telling. Out of a seemingly unpromising scenario - two great scientists working in Germany in the early 19th century - Daniel Kehlmann weaves a hugely entertaining story that is also deeply thought-provoking. He writes with a witty, deadpan sort of style that reminded me a bit of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days; there is also a degree of sadness at the end - the book has a melancholic undercurrent. Humboldt and Gauss, the two heroes of the novel, are very different characters involved in very different types of scientific exploration (all of which is perfectly readable to a layman like me with little understanding of mathematics!), yet through these differences Kehlmann explores a time when scientific discoveries we take for granted today were still new, and makes us think about things that are still highly relevant today - not least the issue of fame and celebrity. The writing is wonderful, the characterisation superb, and the fusion of good story, thought-provoking ideas and human experience makes it a winner. A novel that shows you can be literary and intelligent while still being very readable and fun!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By manosque on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find that with many books in which their are separate plot lines running in parallel I tend to find one more interesting than the other so that I am disappointed when at chapter end the author switches back to the less engaging one and I am left impatient to get back to the first. For the majority of this novel that is the structure but the excellence of Mr.Kehlmann's work is such that I became totally involved in both character's stories and there was a pang of regret whenever he chose to switch themes. When the principals are intereacting there is an edgy, almost surreal, 'odd couple' relationship between them which is equally fascinating. Added to all this is a fair smattering of layman's level mathematics and natural history to keep you thinking and it all adds up to a totally absorbing portrait of two scientists during the Enlightenment.Highly recommended.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather Tee on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent idea to compare the lives of Humboldt and Gauss but, in this case, despite a reasonable translation from the German, it just doesn't come off. Both characters emerge as unsympathetic, chronology of the factual events is distorted for no apparent reason, the style is plodding and there are factual errors ; for example the Humboldt current is described as flowing from north to south, when it flows in the opposite direction. I've read worse books but I definitely would not recommend it, either as a story or as background 'information'.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gross on 4 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Measuring the World is a somewhat fictionalised double biography of Carl Friedrich Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt. In their parallel lives, both did indeed measure parts of the world, one as a mathematician and surveyor on home ground, the other as an explorer and naturalist.

The book is very readable and follows in the tradition of books like "Longitude". This "mid-brow" terrain is still relatively new to German literature; until recently there was a wide canyon separating the U and the E literature, i.e. the popular and the literary fiction. Novels bridging this gap, possibly starting with Patrick Suesskind's "Perfume" have been rewarded with successful translation deals, and now Kehlmann's book as well.

While it was very entertaining to read, and useful in terms of organising a number of household names of the 19th century into a network of who knew whom (they didn't have facebook back then!), I felt slightly unsure about the fine line between biography and fiction, I mean did Gauss really make that promise to learn Russian as a favour to a Russian prostitute? I'll have to read a proper biography at some point to clarify this important point.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback