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The Periodic Table (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – 21 Sep 1995
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Writer Primo Levi (1919-1987), an Italian Jew, did not come to the wide attention of the English-reading audience until the last years of his life. A survivor of the Holocaust and imprisonment in Auschwitz, Levi is considered to be one of the century's most compelling voices, and The Periodic Table is his most famous book. Taking the knowledge he gained from his training as a chemist, Levi uses the elements as metaphors to create a cycle of linked, somewhat autobiographical tales, including stories of the Piedmontese Jewish community he came from, and of his response to the Holocaust. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"I immersed myself in "The Periodic Table" gladly and gratefully. There is nothing superfluous here, everything this book contains is essential. It is wonderful pure, and beautifully translated...I was deeply impressed." -Saul Bellow "The best introduction to the psychological world of one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."-Italo Calvino "A work of healing, of tranquil, even buoyant imagination." -"The New York Times Book Review" "Brilliant, grave and oddly sunny; certainly a masterpiece." -"Los Angeles Times" "Every chapter is full of surprises, insights, high humor, and language that often rises to poetry." -"The New Yorker" "One of the most important Italian writers." -Umberto Eco With a new Introduction by Neal AschersonSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Voted as the best science book ever written in I believe 2006 by the Royal Institution, it may seem slightly weird that this could be classified as such, although when you think about it without chemical reactions there would be no us, and the planet would be just another dead rock orbiting the sun. So what we end up with here is a series of pieces that do have direct bearings on the headings, or sometimes in a more allegorical or prosaic way.
We thus follow Levi through this as he gives us a piece about his family history and name changes, to growing up, living under Fascist rule and working, onto his partisan activities and incarceration, and then life after the war as Europe started to rebuild itself.
There is some wry humour here and at times it pays to look at the translator’s footnotes as some items here are wordplays on names which obviously you will miss reading this in English. Making for an enjoyable and thoughtful read this is something that can give you a lot to ponder upon and shows up life as it is, rather than something seen through rose tinted glasses.
Most recent customer reviews
An autobiographical work written by a scientist whose gift for precision and detachment hones the writing like a diamond. There isn't one superfluous word here or any word lacking. Read morePublished 1 month ago by wiseprotector
Some readers have complained about the quality of the printing in the paperback edition; I found the hard copy to be to be very good quality and the print quite clear. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Johnny Cyprus
An unusual true story of a life before during and after the Second World War. A strange book, but well worth reading. (I skipped the couple of fictinoal stories.)Published 5 months ago by Ransen Owen