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4.2 out of 5 stars128
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on 14 November 2012
I had a copy of Flatland long ago but cannot find it now. So I bought this - OK, with a blue cover not a black and while one like the one I had.

So far so good. It arrives and I start reading. The text is still as good as before BUT the diagrams, which I recall as being line drawimgs, are now rendered in ASCII characters! It is possible to make out what is going on but really.... And then I come to the bit about colours - and find it to be about 'colors'. For me, these two points, and especially the second, spoil the enjoyment substantially. Why on earth degrade the original, written a long time ago, in this way. OK, I guess the answer is money; but whereas I can understand the use of ASCII drawings I do NOT follow the different spelling. Presumably the publisher is American but this is a revered English book for heavens sake.

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on 4 August 2014
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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on 16 May 2012
I must admit I had thought M Theory and String Theory proponents were a bit "daft" with their talk of 10 or 11 hidden dimensions. Until I read Flatland. The book is nothing to do with current QD theories I may add!

Written in 1884 and reads like it was written in more modern times with humour and charm. The beauty of the book is that it makes you think, initially, you are living in 2D Flatland. Once you get immersed you find it preposterous to imagine 3 or 4 dimensions. Then you come back to reality and realise "hang on that is where I currently exist!"

This along with the efforts of Pointland (1D) and Space land (3D) inhabitants to convince you of their world's existence lays you open to the suggestion, or possibility of, other multi dimensional worlds existing. 10 or 11 dimensions, for sure (maybe)!
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on 19 January 1999
You won't believe this book was written in the late 1800s----nor that the author was a mathematician. A copy of Flatland was in my mailbox awaiting my return to the "real world" (i.e. Flatland San Jose) after a P.A.C.E. Seminar I attended in Carmel in 1972. It caused me to do a lot of thinking, visualizing and reading over the following years. However, one of the unanticipated benefits for some readers is the fact that Flatland can help one easily visual some aspects of math. [BUT, I do think you have to be in the right mood, space and timeframe when you read it. It would be easy to put this book down for some of the reasons already discussed in other reviews.]
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on 10 January 2013
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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on 30 January 2007
Written over one hundred years ago, but amazingly prescient for its time, Flatland is a Victorian satire that manages to both expand the mind and be a plausibly risible piece of entertainment. At its heart is our narrator, Square, inhabitant of a two dimensional plane known as Flatland, and his enlightenment as to the multiple dimensional realities beyond his own. It's a lesson in mathematics and geometry, and an evisceration of human vanity at the same time, and its suggestion of the existence a fourth dimension is being explored by scientists today. It's a time capsule of brilliance that can teach us today more than we would care to allow that we need teaching.
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on 12 December 2012
I came to this book from a recommendation on a podcast.

WOW! Although the language is a little "of its time", and quite dense at times, and the plot seems... a bit slow, when the Big Move (capital B, capital M) comes it is VERY thought provoking. This story can, and I'd suggest should, be read at so many levels - either as a simple story, or as a political treatise, or an ethical one, or even an epistemological one.

So many levels, the scope of this book is staggering.

If you haven't read it, you really should. And then you should tell everyone you know to read it, too.
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on 17 March 2016
The writer, Mr Abbott, as well as being a distinguished head teacher, also possessed a biting wit and sense of humour. Chapter Four "Concerning The Women" is absolutely hilarious. Only a died-in-the-wool rabid feminist could not help but laugh. Some other very dry observations on the social hierarchy as well as being a mathematics lecture. Much of the bit about Fourth Dimension is so obvious now, but you have to remember when this was written that Relativity Theory hadn't been espoused. Quite a short read at 80 odd pages but very unusual left field piece of fiction.
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on 17 June 2011
This is (as you would have read already!) a thought-provoking read. Taking you from 0 to any number of dimensions in a logical way. You have to want to read it I think, you can't just pick it up on the off chance.

In a nut shell it is the story told in the first-person by a man in a two-dimensional world that is taken on a journey into our three-dimensional world, experiences 1 and even 0 dimensions, and muses on 4 and more.

Logically sound, it makes you think about dimensions carefully and conceptualises ideas and concepts you may not have given time or thought to before.
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on 20 June 2015
A great book, I was sceptical at first of the writing quality - but it's top notch. Very fun to read, I genuinely couldn't put this down until I had read it entirely.

It's a tad sexist, with woman being "simple" shapes in any dimension, but you can look past that because it's from a different time.

More importantly, it really gets you thinking about how closed your own mind is to seeing a fourth, fifth or sixth dimension and the problems that a being/person able to experience those would have trying to explain such abstract concepts to you.
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