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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Written over 100 years ago and narrated by the solid A Square, Flatland is a brilliant fantasy about a life in a two-dimensional world at the same time as a witty satire on the Victorian view of an ordered society and a call for a wider view of life. As well as a tour of Flatland, complete with its perfect and revered circles, noble polygons and criminal isosceles...
Published on 29 April 2008 by Melmoth

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible edition
This edition is printed to order and is quite frankly not worth the paper it is printed on. The text is in the public domain, and a free PDF that you print off at work is likely to be of better quality than this. The cover image is a horribly stretched and pixelated low resolution image. There is no printing on the spine. You will not want this cheap and nasty item...
Published 19 months ago by Mr James Thomson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 29 April 2008
By 
Melmoth (London, England) - See all my reviews
Written over 100 years ago and narrated by the solid A Square, Flatland is a brilliant fantasy about a life in a two-dimensional world at the same time as a witty satire on the Victorian view of an ordered society and a call for a wider view of life. As well as a tour of Flatland, complete with its perfect and revered circles, noble polygons and criminal isosceles triangles (not to mention the foolishly linear women) , Mr Square also guides us on his excursions into lineland and pointland before admitting the revelation vouchsafed to him on his journey into the world of three dimensions. As Mr Square himself puts it "I exist in hope that these memoirs ... may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality"
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible edition, 8 May 2013
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This review is from: Flatland (Paperback)
This edition is printed to order and is quite frankly not worth the paper it is printed on. The text is in the public domain, and a free PDF that you print off at work is likely to be of better quality than this. The cover image is a horribly stretched and pixelated low resolution image. There is no printing on the spine. You will not want this cheap and nasty item messing up your bookshelf! Straight in the bin. Amazon need to make clear which items are professionally published, and which are amateurishly laser printed garbage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extra-dimensional, 2 Aug 2010
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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I came to this odd little gem via Carl Sagan's Cosmos (Cosmos [DVD] [1980). Sagan uses an apple - gleefully slicing and printing, rather poorly, circular sections with it - to illustrate Abbot's ideas on how one might begin to think extra-dimensionally.

A clergyman and teacher, Abbot's work is a both a gentle satire on the society of the time, and a philosophical/religious parable. Not being religious I was worried I might be subjected to some kind of intellectual contortionist act akin to that of Philip Gosse's Omphalos. But Abbot's ideas tap far deeper roots than would either a mere allegory of Christian religion (cf. C. S. Lewis' Narnia series), or even a pithy social critique. For my money it's as a philosophical nugget that this tiny but beguiling book punches well above its apparent weight, reminding us - like Hume's 'Dialogue & History of Natural Religion' (Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, and The Natural History of Religion (Oxford World's Classics)) that - if we take ourselves as the measure of everything, we're likely to severely miscalculate in many important areas. I'm not sure what Abbott would make of my reading of his work, but I find it stimulates my mind rather towards scientific paradigm shifts, like the cosmological re-orderings of Copernicus and Galileo, or Darwin's fundamental rewriting of the history of life on earth, than religious ones.

It's tricky territory, and, rather like the pervasive fogs that fill Flatland, it can be hard to keep the bigger philosophical ideas that lurk here in focus. On one level (which of Abbot's levels this might correspond to I can't be sure) this can be read as a Victorian appeal to retain a religious sense of 'our place' in 'creation', alongside a simultaneous appeal to our potential faith in the unseen 'spiritual' dimension. But on another, and to my mind deeper (or more 'dimensional') level, it's also a thought experiment concerning how humans are stuck in the matrix of their own physical/mental modes of perception, and that's an exciting area for thought. Some may read this in the modern parlance of 'n-dimensional' terminology, and think of quantum worlds, whilst others may be draw more towards the cognitive/conceptual aspects of these ideas.

There's a point in the book (the pun's unavoidable), where the Sphere shows the Square a view of Pointland, where there are no dimensions, in which a single consciousness buzzes continuously to itself: able only to perceive itself, all else is merely an aspect of it's self. The square and the sphere are horrified by the introspective solipsism of the point, the Sphere sternly declaiming, somewhat contradictorily: "Behold yon miserable creature... mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson... to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant... to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy". This passage puts aspirations to contentment, which most if not all of us no doubt pursue much of our lives, however ineffectually, in an interesting light.

A very short but stimulating and pleasurable read, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flatland, 22 Feb 2012
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Wow, what an interesting concept. Whilst the book is clearly one giant metaphor for Victorian society and the associated scientific, moral, and religious undertones at the time (as well as the predisposition of the author) it's about as subtle as the proverbial sledgehammer. Women as lines, intolerance of 'irregular' shapes, the suppression of artistic individuality (represented by colour): it hardly requires a degree in English literature to peel away the layers here. It's probably more like a long allegorical essay as opposed to what would have, quite frankly, been a fairly dull short social commentary.

That said, it does work on a number of levels (no pun intended) and can be read as a piece of escapist literature. The introduction in the Oxford World's Classics version provides support for those who want a little more, but the joy of a book that lives (predominately) in two dimensions is the simplicity with which things must naturally exist. For me personally it was the way in which this book makes you think. I enjoy popular science books, I enjoy reading about String Theory, I enjoy the possibility of other universes or dimensions. I don't think it's giving a lot away to say that the manner in which the third dimension is introduced to a world in which the occupants know no more than two dimensions (and cannot comprehend of moving "upward, and yet not northward") does make one think about how easy it would be for there to be a fourth spatial dimension that we know nothing about. Think about it... Superstring Theory mathematically postulates ten dimensions... could they exist? Where are they? This book asks a question that could have been centuries ahead of its time; and makes you think as much as you are prepared to think.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mentioned as a favourite of Isaac Asimov, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: Flatland (Kindle Edition)
Renowned for its clear definition of dimensions. Yackety yackety yack! Zzzzzzzzzzz. Now where was I before I fell asleep? Should have remembered how badly Asimov could write before I bought this reference book that he used.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flatland as Analogy, 20 Feb 2007
By 
Marc D. Anderson (Boston, MA, USA) - See all my reviews
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I read Flatland (which, I believe, in the US was published without post colon) when I was a teenager in the 1970s studying geometry and many other things (girls, art, girls, movies, girls...) without understanding much of any of it. The book fascinated me, and I went on (probably not because of it, but certainly in appreciation of it) to study Mathematics at University. I even sometimes bring it up in my consulting engagements as a way to explain how different types think of their world and learn. While there are different dimensions represented in the book, there are different learning styles, different socioeconomic exposures, different interests, different *people* we all have to deal with. I'd recommend Flatland to anyone who wants to take a different slant on why we are all different.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All the illustrations are missing, 4 July 2008
By 
A. J. Ball "Andy" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I can't comment on the actual content myself as it was bought for my son.
However all the illustrations are missing from this edition and there are 30 odd blank pages at the end. So when the text says refer to Fig 1, Fig 1 is not there. Could be in the 5th dimension perhaps
That's physics for you.

I shall be returning the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Aug 2014
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Ns Brophy - See all my reviews
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Good clean product speedily delivered. Thanks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, 16 Dec 2011
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K. Rayment (Welwyn, Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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I read this after my interest was triggered by it being mentioned in an episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'. It was not the best book that I have read but had some interesting ideas and clearly has some deeper underlying meanings.
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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Tantor Unabridged Classics)
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