Mr. g: A Novel about t...
Alan Lightman
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Mr. g: A Novel about the Creation

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,028 ratings  ·  244 reviews
This is the story of Creation as narrated by God. Bored with living in the Void, Mr. g creates time, space, and matterthen stars, planets, consciousness, and intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. But unforeseen consequences come with his creations.
Audio, 3 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published April 1st 1998)
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god lives in the Void with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva. One day he decides he wants to create a universe. So he does.

It is all very boring.
I'd previously read Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, an elegant little set of thought experiments-cum-vignettes about life in universes with physical constants other than those of our own. It's an intelligent, whimsical, thought-provoking little book.

Mr g attempts to repeat the formula, and fails.

This is a walk through Genesis using the most modern scientific explanations of the origins of the universe. Where it merely describes the origins of galaxies or cells, there's a certain elegance involved...more
สฤณี อาชวานันทกุล
เจ๋งดี แต่น่าเสียดายที่เจ๋งไม่เท่า Einstein's Dream - นิยายของ Alan Lightman ที่ชอบที่สุด

อธิบายบิ๊กแบง กำเนิดพื้นที่ เวลา จักรวาล เนบิวลา เทหวัตถุ ไปจนถึงสสารต่างๆ และสิ่งมีชีวิต ในรูปของนิยาย ผ่านการถ่ายทอดของ "ผู้สร้าง" ชื่อย่อ "g." (God? goodness?) เที่ยงตรงตามหลักวิทยาศาสตร์เป๊ะสมกับที่ผู้เขียนเป็นนักฟิสิกส์ เจือด้วยอารมณ์ขันและจินตนาการถึง "ห้วงแห่งความว่างเปล่า" (the Void) ที่อยู่นอกเหนือจักรวาล เกินขอบเขตความสามารถของสิ่งมีชีวิตทีจะเข้าใจ

In Alan Lightman's latest novel, the reader is once again played for a sucker. A turn of phrase I use completely without rancor - I wouldn't have it any other way.

Einstein's Dreams introduced a voracious scientific mind whose gentle observations on the possibilities of the world are set forth with a disingenuous so delicate that it almost hurts. The narrator of Mr. G, an unnamed tinkering creator who lives in a void with his aunt and uncle, follows in a similarly rich and satisfying vein. There'...more
There are times when a handful of stars seems an imprecise way to judge a work. In many ways it's almost easier to cheat and say simply whether or not one likes something than to determine how much one enjoyed it. This is evidenced in the fact that I have now changed my rating twice since finishing the book last night.

After the last page of Mr g I knew I had enjoyed it but was conflicted. In many ways I felt trapped in the Void that is the setting for the story. The science aspect was fun and se...more
alan lightman's mr g is an imaginative and vivacious work of fiction. lightman, mit professor and theoretical physicist, has authored over a dozen books (including five previous novels). his most well-known work is 1993's einstein's dreams, a fantastic book exploring varying conceptions of time. mr g, lightman's first novel in nearly five years, features no less weighty a subject than the origins of the universe.

the book's title character has existed for eons in the void, with little company sav...more
Jessica Jeffers
This is a novel about the Creation, but it's written by a theoretical physicist so don't expect the creator to be anything like the guy in Genesis. Much of the first half of the book deals with Mr g creating the laws of physics and witnessing the results as those laws play out in the universe. To say that it's not plot-heavy would be overstating it. This is a very intellectual, musing sort of book and it's going to bore a lot of people who aren't interested in reading about how gasses created st...more
Mr. g -God- creates the universe, then watches it. He sees life emerge on various planets, likes it, is bothered by suffering, and keeps watching. Occasionally he talks to a few other immortal beings about it. He walks around a lot doing nothing. He’s just keeps watching universe until it dies. It's an interesting concept, but what is the point of writing a book about the creation and death of the universe from God’s perspective if God merely observes and talks about science and mentions moral o...more
Aug 24, 2012 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: Jennifer D
Shelves: own, fiction, spec-fic
This is a very funny/odd little book.

Put in your shaker:
1 part mythology
1 part cosmology
1 part philosophy
1 part science (other)

Add some pink sparkly ice cubes into the void, shake vigorously while creating the song of your new universe, and pour carefully into your favorite glass.

The thing I loved most was the conversations between Mr g and Bahomet. They reminded me so much of the TV show Lost, and conversations between Jacob and The Man in Black. I could also picture Locke hanging out in this...more
As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I deiced to create the universe. That is the first sentence of Mr g … how it all begins.

The author is a theoretical physicist as well as a novelist of five previous books. He’s served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT. Alan Lightman was the first person ever to receive a dual faculty appointment at MIT in science and in the humanities and he utilized that wisdom and talent in writing his latest work, Mr g.

A young creator living with his aunt...more
“Such little lives,” said Belhor. “Wouldn’t you agree? But there is also something of grandeur in them. Not in the individual lives. The individuals are just tiny specks, nothing. But in the monstrous jellied masses of them, the crowds, the communes, and planets, there is something of grandeur. They have thoughts. And they strive.”

“They strive for what they might attain,” I said. “And they also strive for what they cannot attain. Most of them yearn for immortality. They want to live forever, eve
This book has just become one of my all time favorite books. i really enjoyed reading this fable/novel. The author Alan Lightman delves just deep enough into the universe to hear the beauty and suffering poignancies, to properly consider the necessity of opposing qualities such as good vs evil (or the unity of good and evil and keeping both concepts as unneeded labels) dilemma, control issues over how much knowledge should an animate being (like us humans) have over the Void, immortality and the...more

I just finished Mr g and I am quite astonished by it. It’s a whammo story, beautifully and elegantly told. Full of wit and invention and science and humor, it is a consummate performance, a true work of literary art. It is made of philosophy and science and religion and poetry and whimsy. One of the book’s finest pieces of myth-making prestidigitation is, through its first person narration by g(G)od, to make you see human life differently, to make us see our world anew. That is a wondrous thing...more
Now that I've recovered from this icky stomach flu, I can officially review this wonderful book!

I would say this is a solid 4, at least ! If I were more scientifically minded, it probably would have been higher.

The story starts out with Mr. g (God with a little "g" because the author intends to humanize Him) hanging out in the void with his aunt and uncle (no, this is not explained - just go with it) and he decides that he is going to create the universe. The first few chapters describe Mr. g c...more
I enjoyed the heck out of reading this book, pretending to understand the physics of the creation and its laws -- well, I more or less understood the laws -- and was carried along by the processes and their implications and results. Mr. g encounters numerous questions as he watches it all unfold, meanwhile interacting with his crotchety Aunt Penelope and sentimental Uncle Deva and their opinions about how it should be done, and discussing outcomes with the arrogant Belhor, who was an accidental...more
Julie H.
More a novella than a novel, Lightman's Mr g: A Novel About the Creation is a brilliant antidote to the polarization of science and (or should I say vs.?) religion which is all too prevalent in popular culture. The premise here is that Mr g awoke one day bored from what had doubtless been an infinite number of eons worth of naps. Looking around with dissatisfaction at the Void, peopled only by himself, Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, he impetuously created time. In time (now that this was an optio...more
Tedious. The premise is intriguing. How would a creator view the experience of bringing the universe into existence? What thoughts and dilemmas would occur? What existence would this creator have? So many possibilities. Apparently he lives in a void with his bickering aunt and uncle. Honestly I wanted so much more from a vantage like this. I would expect majesty and brilliance, but these characters seemed entirely banal and blatantly human. The way they spoke, the lives they lived just didn't ma...more
The narrator lives in the void with his aunt and uncle, and the void is without dimension or time until the narrator, Mr g, imagines these things. This sets off a series of events where the narrator creates a number of universes and experiments with their various properties. He eventually creates a universe with a simple but distinct set of rules that is able to exist for a while. Those rules lead to matter, to galaxies, and planets. Some of the planets bear autonomous life. Mr g and his aunt an...more
Judith Hannan
Alan Lightman once again uses his talents as a writer and his knowledge as a scientist to create a book of wisdom and questions. Mr. g wakes one morning and decides to create the universe. Combining Kabbalistic, Buddhist, and biblical story with the physics behind the birth of the universe, Lightman offers a thought provoking view of creation. While the physics can at times clash with Lightman's often poetic writing, what becomes clear is that there are many parallels between science and the Ge...more
Yazar boyundan büyük bir işe kalkışmış ve nihayetinde kalkıştığı bu işin altında ezilmiş. Ne ironidir ki yaratandan bahseden bu kitap yaratıcılıktan çok uzak ve tam bir hayal kırıklığı. Yazarın ilk sayfalarda boşluğu ve zamansızlığı tanımlamaya çalışması, gelecek felaketin habercisi. Tanrının bir gözü var ve, zaman mekan ve ışık yokken görme eylemini gerçekleştiriyor.

Evrenin doğmasındaki "İlk neden" daha özensiz olamazdı.

İlerleyen sayfalardaki tartışılan konular genel geçer kavramlardan ibaret v...more
This is an intriguing little book. It's a novel about how the universe was created and includes both playfulness and philosophy. It's the kind of a novel I think a physicist would enjoy, or at least they would understand the references to quantum mechanics and measuring time according to hydrogen atoms.

Mr. G is never referred to as a god, but simply as an immortal being who was bored with the void. One day he woke up and decided to create a universe. He invents time, space and matter, and then l...more
This is a really unique novel. "Mr g" establishes the laws & conditions that lead to the creation and development of the universe, then repeatedly reflects (this is all told in first person from his perspective) on those developments as they occur from before the formation of the first atom to the present, all in a very short, mostly engaging novel. This is not a novel for everyone. There's lots of science, much of which is certainly over my head, but also a good deal of cosmological, philos...more
Lightman has been one of my favorite authors but this book just missed the mark for me. A fictional look at how the universe was created, sticking to some of the facts we have established in physics, I found the writing uneven -- sometimes things were "invented" like waves before it was clear water was produced, etc. There were hints of Einstein's Dreams in various chapters and a meditation on good and evil, but I just didn't read it with the sense of deep thought that I usually get from his wor...more
Was not quite as powerful as Einstein's Dreams but it was still pretty good. I liked all the intermingling of religions and perspectives that we have assigned God. The various names that are used throughout the book are pretty good too.

I guess all the scientific principles are verifiable and based on our data and theories we have today. I'm not quite up to date on everything but he puts it in the afterword that it is. I wonder if it'll change in the future.

I can't wait to talk to him about his b...more
Andrew Hunt
Having read both this book and Einstein's Dreams, I remain unsure whether Dr. Lightman is truly in earnest in his construction of setting and narrative, or is aware of the difficulties in his presentation of spacetime and is attempting to convey to the reader through metaphor ideas which could not be conveyed otherwise. I do, however, lean toward the latter interpretation.

This novel has a good bit of interesting imagery, but its Hollywood depiction of Satan, occasionally saccharine tone, and lac...more
Got this from the sale shelf on Audible; sounds delightful.


Kind of a gem. The perfect balance of the science and the mystical elements of the origins of the universe, with some wry humor thrown in. It's a tiny bit dense at the beginning (my physics education is a bit weak), but the story is so inventive and ultimately so heartfelt, it's very much worth persevering through the unknown terminology. I can think of many friends who would really appreciate this thought-provoking book.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I'm not typically interested in stories about the beginning of time or our our existence in the universe. However, this was such a refreshing approach with imperfect characters that I just wanted to keep reading it. Humorous and unique! Last year, I had the opportunity to meet the author, Alan Lightman, and listen to him read excerpts from the book. He is a highly intelligent and genuine person with a dry wit and so much to offer as an author. Look forward to reading his books...more
This is a creation story for scientists. But it falls flat of inspiring anything in the reader. It's heavy-handed. The author's voice is visible on every page. It reads like a physics lecture about the history of the universe turned into a bedtime story for physics majors. That is, it's pedantic to a fault, it uses math and physics terms and timescales "accurately" (as the author assures us in the Notes) to no great effect, its characters are archetypes with contrived emotions, and its story tel...more
The "Mr g" of the book's title is god (or God, if you prefer), an all-powerful being with a compassionate heart and a sense of humor. His Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva are his only companions for eternity in the Void until he gets the idea to create something.

The means by which he physically creates matter, energy, galaxies, stars, planets, and life follows "the best current data and theories in physics, astronomy, and biology," Lightman writes in the after notes. And "All qualitative discussion...more
Ahmad Ryan
The book started interestingly, but after a few chapters it got a bit boring when the author was describing how Mr G (aka The GOD) created this universe and what events unfolded one after the other. The description was nice, I found it boring only because I have already read about all that like a million times in my Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics lectures. (Yes the author described the creation of the Universe exactly as how it is supposed to have come to existence according to science's...more
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Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist, and essayist born in Memphis, Tennessee. He is an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams.

More about Alan Lightman...
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“-But rational thoughts lead only to rational thoughts, whereas irrational thoughts lead to new experiences.” 9 likes
“Two men who had never seen each other before and would not likely see each other again. But their sincerity and sweetness, their sharing an instant in a fleeting life. It was almost as if a secret had passed between them. Was this some kind of love? I wanted to follow them, to touch them, to tell them of my happiness. I wanted to whisper to them: 'This is it. This is it'".” 5 likes
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