Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “丈量世界” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  5,483 ratings  ·  426 reviews
Mit hintergründigem Humor schildert Daniel Kehlmann das Leben zweier Genies: Alexander von Humboldt und Carl Friedrich Gauß. Er beschreibt ihre Sehnsüchte und Schwächen, ihre Gratwanderung zwischen Lächerlichkeit und Größe, Scheitern und Erfolg. Ein philosophischer Abenteuerroman von seltener Phantasie, Kraft und Brillanz.
Paperback, 2nd ed., 341 pages
Published 2010 by 商周出版 (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 丈量世界, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 丈量世界

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dec 15, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with low latent inhibition of which i am one
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list and apoloniaX
So 200 years ago the world was a pretty big place. Not any bigger than it is now but it had the feel of a larger ball of rock as many humans were still scrambling about "discovering" places. Note - most of these places had already been discovered by the people who lived in them. They just didn't shout about it in quite the same way. It is also interesting to note that the people doing the scrambling about were, for the most part, European. Is this because all Europe-ers are massive nosy bastards ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 14, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2010)
Shelves: 1001-non-core
Fascinating read. A scientific historical novel (first published in 2005) originally written in German by young author, Daniel Kehlmann (born 1975). It is said to be the worldwide bestselling German novel since Patrick Suskind's Perfume in 1985.

This is a story of a two scientists during the time of Napoleon reign in Europe. The first scientist is Alexander von Humboldt who is a botanist, geologist and an explorer. He has an elder brother Wilhelm von Humboldt who lives a "normal" life, i.e., stu
Feb 01, 2008 Oceana2602 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Oceana2602 by: FAZ
Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World was one of my birthday presents last year, and I waited almost a year to finally read it. Even though it had been on my wishlist, when it suddenly sat there on my shelf, the idea of reading about pre-industrialization Germany, about Humboldt and Gauß, two boring old scientist, seemed rather dreadful.

I should have known better. Measuring the World is not a science book. It's not about two boring old men either, though it is about two old scientist. And the wa
Measuring the World reimagines the life of German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and geographer Alexander von Humboldt. The book follows a fictionalised account of their journey, along with Aimé Bonpland as they measure the world. Their methods where ground-breaking and this novel entangles their lives to explore their effects on science today.

This is not a book of science, this is historical fiction that explores the lives of two German scientists. While the subject matter may sound dull an
Prima di leggere il libro, conoscevo di nome Gauss, mentre quello di Humboldt potrebbe essere apparso nei miei studi scolastici ma subito è stato dimenticato. Quindi la lettura è stata utile principalmente per conoscere questi due scienziati, di cui vengono narrate le avventure in capitoli alterni: ambedue tedeschi, di origini diversissime -popolare il primo, figlio di un giardiniere; di famiglia nobile il secondo- hanno vissuto vite del tutto diverse, l’uno, “enfant prodige” della matematica, s ...more
A huge success in Germany. For the life of me I can't figure out why. Which were more boring - the parts about Gauss, or the parts about Humboldt?

Trick question - they were equally soporific.

What in hell was the point of this book? if I hadn't been confined to an aeroplane, I'd never have finished it.

5 Yawns on the snoozometer.
Jose Gaona

Gauss y Von humboldt fueron personajes muy diferentes, casi antagónicos. Mientras que el primero se adentró por los senderos de la matemática pura y la ciencia más teórica, el segundo llevó a cabo la tarea de explorar el mundo natural hasta sus últimos confines. Aparentemente sus intereses no pudieron ser más distintos. Sin embargo, algo común subyace en ambos periplos, algo que conecta toda investigación y todo conocimiento humano. Y Kehlmann ha sabido pr
In this novel, we follow the Adventurers/Intellectuals Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel at times, yet at other times i literally fell asleep due to boredom. If Daniel Kehlmann would have removed some of the formulas or numbers that did not apply to grasping the concept of the novel, I would have given it a rating of 4, or possibly even a 5 out of 5. This novel did an excellent job of demonstrating the struggles, both physical and emotional that tho ...more
La misura del mondo di Kehlmann tenta di farci stare simpatici Gauss e Humboldt narrandoci più o meno la storia della loro vita e poi il loro incontro a Berlino in chiave umoristicamente affettuosa, con l'intenzione di demolire l'aura storica attorno a loro e farceli vedere per quello che sono, umani esattamente come noi.
(Io non ho mai avuto dubbi in merito)
Il libro è effettivamente curioso e divertente fino..a pagina 30, poi precipita in un circolo vizioso di noia per la sottoscritta che non s
Erzählt werden zwei Geschichten, zwei Lebensläufe. Der eine von Alexander Hum-boldt, der andere Carl Friedrich Gauß. Einfach gegen einandergeschnitten werden die Lebensentwürfe dieser beiden Wissenschaftler nebeneinander gesetzt. Der Weg zum Ziel – so wohl die Grundaussage – ist unterschiedlich. Während Gauß kaum etwas von der Welt sieht und sich jeder Veränderung verweigert, reist Humboldt durch die Welt, kein Berg zu hoch, kein Fluß zu breit.
Während Gauß sich den Freuden der Liebe hingibt (neb
Một cuốn sách thực sự thú vị về Alexander von Humboldt và Carl Friedrich Gauss. Tôi chẳng biết gì về hai nhà khoa học này, ngoại trừ Gaussian distribution phải học trong lớp toán ra. Daniel Kehlmann ném ta về thế kỷ 18, cố tưởng tượng ra những gì đã diễn ra trong hai bộ óc ấy. Chính xác hay không, dựa vào thực tế tới mức nào, tôi chịu, nhưng rõ ràng là có hấp dẫn. Một Gauss chỉ luẩn quẩn trong nước Phổ nhưng có thực là ông không chu du khắp thế gian này bằng bộ óc của mình? Một Humboldt say mê t ...more
Pierre Menard
Jun 09, 2014 Pierre Menard rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Who is inclined to turn his/her heroes into a myth, forgetting their weak spots
Recommended to Pierre by: Oscura
Gauss, il principe dei matematici, e von Humboldt, il principe degli esploratori. Due ingegni straordinari, due personaggi eccentrici, due spiriti liberi, ideali protagonisti di un romanzo che si propone di mescolare in modo equilibrato verità e finzione letteraria, per narrare una bella storia e far riflettere il lettore su alcuni temi importanti.

Dico subito che il risultato è nettamente al di sotto delle aspettative. Il primo dei (molti) difetti del romanzo di Kehlmann è l’inconsistenza della
آخرین کتاب بود تا 21 خرداد ...
Droll but educational depiction of German mathematician Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss and Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and his collaborator French botanist Aimé Bonpland in their explorations of the Americas. Great minds, great anecdotes, great chuckles. In short, a fine historical fiction.
Acheté dans un magasin de livres d’occasion á Copenhague au mois d’avril 2011, je savais en avance un petit trésor m’attendait. Les deux génies allemands Gauss et Humboldt font des aventures incroyables dans une quête pour mesurer le monde dans l’un des livres les plus drôles que je n’ai jamais lues. Surtout la scène oú Gauss á l’âge de 8 ans donne une leçon á son professeur de math sadique est hilarant. - Qui avait dit que les allemands n’avaient pas de sens de l’humour ?

En outre, il est frapp
this book was a fine and immensely fascinating and satisfying read!
i read it in one setting last nite, even stayed up late to finish it! it's that kind of book! you learn a lot about living 200 years ago, when there were no dentists, only sailboats and berlin a small town with mostly huts and dirty streets! and at the same time you are entertained! this book was a mega-bestseller in germany, he has a new book coming out called "fame", which deals with the protection of privacy in parts! i have n
Hauskasti kirjoitettu "seikkailukertomus" kahden tai kolmen tunnetun herrahenkilön vaiheista. Helppo lukea, ei tarvitse osata matikkaa.
Ein wunderschöner Roman über Gauß und Humboldt, der einem die Zeit der großen Dichter und Denker näherbringt und den eigentlich leeren Namen deutscher Genies aus dem Geschichtsunterricht wie Humboldt, Gauß, Kant, Goethe... Leben einhaucht und sie sehr sehr menschlich macht.
Zwei exzentrische Charaktere, die Interessantes entdeckt und faszienierend gelebt haben. Denen sehr zu empfehlen, die sich für Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik, das Nichtkonventionelle, andere Kontinente und die Welt im Allgemeinen interessieren.
"a real example of the pitiful arbitrariness of existence that you were born into a particular time and held prisoner there ... It gave you an indecent advantage over the past and made you a clown vis-a-vis the future."
wonderful. found myself smiling ever so often, at the quirks of the two gentlemen. i hardly ever read german (language, not country of origin) literature, but this was definitely worth it.
Medir o mundo era o objectivo destes dois homens muito diferentes, tanto ou mais que os métodos que utilizavam para o fazer. 'A Medida do Mundo' acompanha as suas histórias, de pequenos génios a cientistas de renome, a velhos já ultrapassados no domínio da ciência, quando se tornam amigos apesar de todas as diferenças. Apesar de sobrevalorizado, não deixa de ser uma obra interessante e que nos oferece, de forma bem disposta, um pouco de história sobre estes homens pouco conhecidos do grande públ ...more
Sudha Neelakantan
Interesting mix of fact and fiction

I wish I had not heard the authors interview where he said that he did take liberties with fact. I was left wondering how much of the largely unsympathetic character portrait was real and how much was not. With so much genius and drive it was an interesting juxtaposition of historical figures and places. One feels for Bonpland at the end of Humboldts journey. Worth reading, but a little more empathy on the authors part would not have been misplaced. Their achie
There are some very nice passages of character development in this, and some nicely imagined interactions. Gauß and Humboldt were dynamic figures in mathematics and science, and both very flawed people. Kehlmann captures both aspects well, although as a complete narrative his reach somewhat exceeds his grasp.

Some of my favorite passages:
On Humboldt, capturing his character: "Ein Hügel, von dem man nicht wisse, wie hoch er sei, beleidige die Vernunft und mache ihn unruhig. Ohne stetig die eigene
Nuno Magalhães
"A Medida do Mundo" é um livro extremamente interessante na medida em que o autor provoca a reflexão do leitor sobre a natureza do ser humano ao descrever duas personalidades completamente distintas que se complementam numa busca por explicações racionais da natureza do mundo e mesmo do universo. Trata-se, no fundo, da história de dois sábios alemães que, no século XIV, tentaram, cada um à sua maneira, explicar o planeta e o cosmos, recorrendo ao pensamento científico e à sua pedra basilar: a ob ...more
“Die Vermessung der Welt“ is incredibly funny. In an intelligent, refined and sophisticated way.

The story is a quite simple one: Parallelly told are the lives of two German 19th-century scientists, Alexander von Humboldt and Carl-Friedrich Gauß. And you do not need any particular scientific knowledge or interest to find the book appealing. On the other hand, the story itself is not the point, it never is (at least not to me). If I had to isolate the element from which the entire beauty of this n
It's 1828. (No it isn't!) No, but for the purpose of this novel, it is. Sort of. Well, that's where it starts. Or ends.

I'll start over. So it's a more-or-less fictionalised story of these two German scientists from the 18th century:

Alexander von Humboldt, geographer and explorer
Carl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician and physicist

The novel starts with the two of them meeting as old men in 1828 and then follows two parallel lines: that meeting and what happens to them afterwards forms the backdrop
German books that are hyped enough to get translated seem to have something in common. That something being that I don't enjoy them very much.

While I do believe that a meeting between Gauß and Humboldt could lead to an interesting book, and while I do know scientists that are so far removed from life that they're socially awkward, I don't think that focussing a book on the awkwardness of said scientists is a great idea.

Gauß, although annoying and arrogant, seems to have a grasp on what a normal
Ce livre relate la vie de deux grands savants allemands aux spécialités et profils bien différents. Le premier est le célèbre mathématicien Carl Friedrich Gauss. C’est un véritable génie précoce qui est tellement en avance sur son temps qu’il s’en rend lui-même compte. Il ne n’a de cesse de se lamenter en se demandant pourquoi il doit endurer le sort si cruel d’être né et de devoir vivre dans un monde si arriéré. Il pense plus vite que tout le monde et c’est principalement pour cette raison que ...more
Upon finishing this book, I knew I would but tried not to be jealous of how much more some adults (privileged writers with high class educations) know than others (me). I cannot think so far from myself that I can come up with characters based on real characters and succeed in making them sound genuinely like the real people they may have been. Maybe all I need is practice (lol, probably more than practice). Here, Daniel Kehlmann expertly fictionalizes a few historic figures. And not just any hi ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Eyes wide open: Daniel Kehlmann: Measuring the World 6 21 Nov 21, 2013 02:07AM  
  • The Blindness of the Heart
  • The Last World
  • Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit
  • The Book About Blanche and Marie
  • Pavel's Letters
  • The Invention of Curried Sausage
  • Anton Reiser: A Psychological Novel (Penguin Classics)
  • Schloß Gripsholm
  • Green Henry
  • Herr Lehmann
  • The German Lesson
  • The Successor
  • Der Richter und sein Henker
  • Das Wetter vor 15 Jahren
  • Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
  • En busca de Klingsor
  • Briefe in die chinesische Vergangenheit
  • Jugend ohne Gott
Daniel Kehlmann is a German-Austrian author.

His novel Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages. Awards his work has received include the Candide Prize, the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Heimito von Doderer Literature Award, the Kleist Prize, the WELT Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Kehlmann divides his time between Vienna and Berlin.
More about Daniel Kehlmann...
Ruhm Ich und Kaminski F Mahlers Zeit Beerholms Vorstellung

Share This Book

“Inzwischen geht es ihm besser, manche Tage seien schon fieberfrei, auch die Träume, in denen er Baron Humboldt erwürge, zerhacke, erschieße, anzünde, vergifte oder unter Steinen begrabe, würden seltener.” 2 likes
“Insa, cand au trecut de primele suburbii ale Berlinului si Humboldt si-a inchipuit cum Gauss a cercetat corpurile ceresti prin telescopul sau in tot acest timp - corpuri ceresti ale caror orbite pot fi descrise in formule simple -, n-a mai fost in stare sa spuna care dintre ei doi a ramas acasa si care a colindat lumea.” 2 likes
More quotes…