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Mr g: A Novel About the Creation [Kindle Edition]

Alan Lightman
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, this is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.

'As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.'

So begins Alan Lightman's playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the story of Creation as narrated by God. Bored with living in the shimmering Void with his bickering Uncle Deva and Aunt Penelope, Mr g creates time, space, and matter-then moves on to stars, planets, consciousness, and finally intelligent beings with moral dilemmas.

But even the best-laid plans can go awry, and Mr g discovers that with his creation of space and time come unforeseen consequences - especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to Mr g, Belhor delights in provocation: he demands an explanation for the inexplicable, requests that intelligent creatures not be subject to rational laws, and maintains the necessity of evil. As Mr g watches his favourite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change the Creator himself.

Product Description


The author of this imaginative tour de force is a physicist and he has enormous fun with some of the world's greatest mysteries, Informs, teases, makes the head spin. (The Times)

Here is the creation of the Universe and the young Creator who grapples with what he has made-and ultimately with responsibility and loss...a gem of a novel that is strange witty erudite and alive with Lightman's playful genius. (Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

this is a marvellous counterpoint to all the other nonsense there on creation. Lightman writes exquisitely, so this fable on space, time, matter and life is a wordfest that is securely pinned to the rational - making him a 'magic realist' of a refreshingly different stripe. (Nature)

a smart, droll account of how God, or god, or simply Mr g, came upon the idea of creating the universe. (Prospect)

This delightful novel takes the reader on a light-hearted romp through the development of the universe from the Big Bang to its cold dark end, addressing along the way some of the big questions that inevitably arise from the development of intelligent life. (Jerome Friedman, Nobel Prize Winner for Physics.)

It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force, Einstein's Dreams, but in Mr g he has done so - with wit, imagination, and transcendent beauty. (Anita Desai)

Lightman's witty, charming novel. (The Scotsman)

Just as he did with his incomparable Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman again surprises us with a work that is utterly original in both form and content. Mr g is a philosophical fable which is at turns hilarious and moving, rendered with a literary hand so deft that the weightiest metaphysical topics levitate into pure delight. (Rebecca Newberger Goldstein)

Book Description

A stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 405 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (20 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005RYLU1W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #175,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT TO BE MISSED! 19 Feb. 2012
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
An active research scientist in astronomy and physics, the acclaimed author of "Einstein's Dreams," Alan Lightman now takes on the creation of the universe with "Mr g." This playful yet profound novel takes us on a journey through the creation of the universe narrated, of course, by God who begins by saying, "As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe." He was, you see, weary of living in a void so began work on time, space, matter."

As has been said, "It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force....but he has done so - with wit, imagination,and transcendent beauty." So true!

Splendidly read by Ray Porter Mr g is not to be missed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A highly original, entertaining and enlightening book. A biography of a (non-religion-specific) godlike figure as he creates the universe and lets it grow. The devil-like character is particularly compellingly drawn, and is a wonderfully subtle evocation of evil (and a nice take on traditional explanations for how evil could co-exist with a god who is both caring and all-powerful). Lots of surprisingly beautiful, almost poetical, writing. Quite a few references to physics (as befits the author's primary profession), but not so much or so complicated that it would scare off a non-scientific reader who is otherwise interested in philosophy etc. Well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but ... 16 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written - quite witty, but about halfway through I kind of stopped caring. Good way to explain various aspects of quantum physics, and if the characters hadn't been so well written I would have given up at that point. I soldiered on to then end, but can't say in all honesty I would read it again or pass it on to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice concept 9 Aug. 2013
By Mike N
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this purely on the strength of the concept. Actually I think I'd had it on my "to read" list for a while, then suddenly it was 99p on Kindle, so I jumped at it.

Mr. g is an omnipotent being located somewhere in the void (with his Aunt and Uncle). One day he creates (amongst others) our universe. This book is the story of the events that come out of that - not only how he becomes involved (and tries to resist the temptation to become involved!) but how it affects him and his family.

It's a lovely little book, and a very quick read. Drawing in elements of religion, quantum physics and philosophy I think there's probably something for everybody here, though I can well imagine some people may be turned off by the concept itself. I'd suggest (if you're a Kindle reader) downloading a sample - if you think that looks interesting then the rest is just as good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped 1 July 2013
By Ignite TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story, a novel about the creation of the universe, is written by a scientist. I was fascinated by the idea and seeing how the author took the idea of the creator figure setting rules in motion and being astonished at the evolution of life. It was unusual to see the 'creation' of the elements, the emergence of life and of consciousness. However, I found the style a little ponderous and the author often fell into making lists which resulted in rather tedious reading.

I wanted to love this book but I'm afraid I found my mind wandering more than it should. The writing style simply didn't do it for me. I found the Aunt and Uncle a little twee and the 'devil' figure rather bland, although he fulfilled his role of rationality argument well.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Quantum physics has never been exciting 23 Sept. 2013
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr G is the story of Creation. Mr G is God (Hello God) and is living in the Void with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva. One day when he is bored, he creates matter. This sounds like the pretext for a comic novel and that was the spirit in which I approached it. Alas, what followed was a pretty serious piece about how matter might have evolved into universes; how elements might have been created from energy; how life might have formed, etc.

We have the creation of time, and then the ability to measure it through atomic pulses - always in exact powers of ten. We have much philosophical musing too about how time enables perspective. There is the creation of evil - Belhor - as a counterweight to the creation of good. Belhor and Mr G spend time conversing and discussing more philosophy. Meanwhile, universes are created and squished with gay abandon.

Alan Lightman never seems to know whether he is writing a novel or a philosophy text. The set piece monologues and, even worse, dialogues, are staged and stilted. Their sole purpose seems to be to convey real theory in an anthropomorphic fashion so that people can understand it better. They do not seem to be intended to entertain. There is the occasional light moment - Belhor going to the opera comes to mind - but it's not enough to sustain interest. Most of the narrative is drab and interwoven with lots of numbers and lots of lists of things.

To add to the frustration, the basic questions of what The Void actually is, and how Mr G came to be in it, and why he decided at a particular moment (before moments existed) to create things are not addressed.

If you were a teacher of quantum physics (which I am not) you might want to offer Mr G to your students as a light introduction to the concepts. But for an average reader, this is not going to deliver on mismanaged expectations and is unlikely to do more than take away a few hours that could have been spent doing something more useful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Total rubbish! I gave up the will to live after a few chapters. What a waste of several hours of my life.
Published 20 months ago by Lynda
4.0 out of 5 stars A successful blend of Faith and Science.
What a lovely book and one which can be enjoyed by all age groups from about 10years upwards. A novel idea which is beautifully written.
Published 21 months ago by Snowy Owl
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
I enjoyed the book, but feel it should have gone a lot further. As it is, God is little more than an impartial observer who is mostly absent from the universe. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Raspal Chima
4.0 out of 5 stars Give this a go
I really enjoyed this book. Its an interesting take on the creation story taking into account both science and religion. Give it a go!
Published 21 months ago by Dan Baxter
1.0 out of 5 stars gave up
this is the kind of book which will thrill and enthuse some readers, and annoy others - I'm one of the latter. Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. R. Person
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking read
I enjoyed the concept of this book, it gave me something to think about in terms of our limited view of time and reasons for negative as well as positive to make our human... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Patsy
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
It is the most boring book I have ever read. I didn't read it all. I wish I hadn't spent money on it.
Published 22 months ago by J.A.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Although enjoying the subject, it's not always easy to get one's mind around the BIG ideas within physics. Read more
Published 22 months ago by cheryl
4.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing
This was quite thought provoking but also I feel like I had a science lesson! I would recommend it but am left feeling somehow there was more to the story.... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Janie Robinson
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