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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 24 September 2012
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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on 16 July 2013
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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on 9 August 2013
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 July 2013
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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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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on 7 July 2013
Although enjoying the subject, it's not always easy to get one's mind around the BIG ideas within physics. Lightman has produced a beautifully written piece of work, almost poetic in parts. Explained in easy to understand language, without resorting to dumbing down information. A version of events I can't help thinking would be acceptable to both Creationists as well as Darwinists.
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on 3 August 2013
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. Really, this is a book about physics explained from the POV of God. Great for science geeks.
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on 11 July 2013
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 existance a meaningful journey to the growth of our real self, our spirit.
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on 6 July 2013
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....it ended quite abruptly
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on 7 August 2013
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.
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