The Physicists
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The Physicists

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  5,939 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Johann Mobius, the worlds greatest physicist, is locked away in a madhouse along with two other scientists. Why? Because he is haunted by recurring visions of King Solomon, and the other two are convinced they are Einstein and Newton. But are these three actually mad? Or are they playing a murdererous game with the world at stake? This darkly comic satire probes the cost o...more
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Published April 1st 2010 by LA Theatre Works (first published 1961)
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Warwick
Oct 29, 2013 Warwick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Manny

The fact is, there's nothing more scandalous than a miracle in the realm of science.



Three of history's greatest physicists meet in a drawing-room: Newton, Einstein and Möbius. Newton has a bottle of cognac hidden in the fireplace. Einstein has just strangled a woman to death. And Möbius is being visited by the ghost of King Solomon, who is telling him the secrets of a Unified Field Theory.

Except the drawing-room belongs to a Swiss insane asylum, and the three men are patients.

What follows is a...more
علی
Who is ill? The lunatic inhabitants or the head of hospital?
یکی از کارهای برجسته ی دورنمات است. تیمارستانی که دیوانگانش همه دانشمند و فیزیکدان و ... هستند و خود را به دیوانگی زده اند تا از شر کشفیات و اختراعات خود و خطر آن برای بشریت، در امان بمانند. رییس تیمارستان، خانم دکتری معیوب است که اتفاقن تنها بیمار روانی این تیمارستان است. این اوست که شادمانه نتیجه ی کشفیات این دانشمندان را می دزدد و به نام خود در جهان می پراکند و افتخاراتی را که فیزیکدان ها از ان در هراس اند، با کمال میل برای خود می خر...more
Ahmad
Feb 01, 2014 Ahmad marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Die Physiker; eine Komodie in zwei Akten, c 1966, Friedrich Dürrenmatt
characters: Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Johann Wilhelm Möbius, Herbert Georg Beutler, Ernst Heinrich Ernesti, Mathilde von Zahnd, Richard Voß, Monika Stettler

عنوان یک: «ف‍ی‍زی‍ک‍دان‍ه‍ا»؛ اثر: «ف‍ردری‍ک‌ دورن‍م‍ات‌»؛ برگردان: «رض‍ا ک‍رم‌رض‍ائ‍ی»؛ نشر: ت‍ه‍ران‌، اب‍ت‍ک‍ار، ۱۳۶۳، در ۱۰۲ ص‌.، م‍ص‍ور؛ نمایشنامه
عنوان دو: «فیزیکدان‌ها»، اثر: «فردریش دورن‌مات»؛ برگردان: «افشین مهرسای»؛
نشر: تهران، ناردیس‏‫، چاپ نخست ۱۳۹۰، در ‏‫۱۱۲...more
Lea
I've read this book in school, not expecting much of it - but i was totally surprised.

The story of "die Physiker" deals with three physicists, who live in a sanatorium for the mentally ill. One of them did a groundbreaking discovery, who could influence the whole world... "Die Physiker" is a play, which teaches us a lesson about the responsibility of science.

One negative point I just have to mention, is that i am really not a fan of reading(!) plays. You read them with such a emotionless thought...more
Rachel
Das ist das erste Buch, was wir im Unterricht lesen mussten, was mir wirklich gefallen hat!
Auch jetzt noch, lese ich es gerne und setzte mich mit meiner besten Freundin hin und spreche die Rollen! Es macht wirklich Spaß :)
Rochelle
The Physicists by Friedrich Durrenmatt Reading Notes 1/09

Setting: The drama is set in a decaying villa that is part of a modern sanitarium in a small town in Germany. The author spends many words with exacting details of his setting including the color—white –of the furniture, the washable, glossy walls, and the fact that there is a prison nearby. He is attempting to adhere to the Aristotelian unities of time place and action.
If I were to produce this play, I would have to closely examine the s...more
Vasha7
This 1962 play is part of the wave of pessimism that followed the invention of the atomic bomb, one of the rare occasions in history that the total extinction of humanity has seemed like a real possibility. On the one hand, some thinkers stressed the essential warlike nature of humanity, as in Robert Ardrey's popular books about human origins as the metaphorical "children of Cain" or the famous opening sequence of 2001. On the other hand, writers like Dürrenmatt put the blame on scientific and t...more
Ziv Wities
Absolutely terrific first act, which portrays three men in an asylum, each claiming to be a brilliant physicist. It's both hilarious and macabre, as each physicist somehow winds up murdering a fawning orderly.

The second act, though, is something else entirely. Where the first act was macabre and absurd, the second seems intent on providing detailed explanations (which sends the delicious oddity out the window), and tailspins into a diatribe against modern technology (particularly, but not exclu...more
André
We had to read this book in school, and it's actually one of the few books that I really, really, really liked. I read it in a single day, because it was so thrilling and totally not like the usual books one has to read for school. And I don't think it's just because it's about Physicists. ;)
Carey Combe
A rather too simplistic message - the responsibilities of scientists and their inventions (but as it was written at the height of the cold war, not surprising), written in an original way with some great and memorable characters.
Aathavan
A madhouse with three physicists claiming to be Einstein, Newton and Mobius! This wonderful premise for the play is squandared and it does not exploit the richness that these characters could provide and instead wastes it on banalities.
Luscinnia
Ein herrlicher "Imbiss" für zwischendrin. Manchmal mag ich es, wenn mich Bücher verwirren. Und ich liebe Dürrenmatts herrlichen Humor.

"Nur im Irrenhaus sind wir noch frei. Nur im Irrenhaus dürfen wir noch denken."
David
Another nice play from Durrenmatt. Quick, funny, with some tasty twists along the way. A pleasing kick of weight in the last quarter too.
Wilson
Jun 22, 2007 Wilson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Physicists
Great stuff. If you've got a beach weekend of physics and nurse-strangling planned, put this book in your tote!
Heather
This is a good, solid comedic mystery about crazy people. And you thought Germans had no sense of humor!
Ashley
I initially read this in German many years ago, and fell in love with it then. I've always wanted to own the English version so that I could share it with others, and figured I would read it first.

The tale mirrors Oppenheimer a bit, or any of the other inventors of the terrible weapons that have come to pass and said to themselves 'I've created something so horrific, no one would ever use it.'

The Physicist creates a weapon, and just as he starts to wind down his research, he realizes what could...more
Mem
Autor: Friedrich Dürrenmatt (*1921-†1990)

Titel: Die Physiker

Uraufgeführt: 1962

Inhaltsangabe: Inspektor Voß ist langsam selbst reif für die Nervenheilanstalt, in der sich innerhalb 3 Monaten bereits der zweite Mord abgespielt hat. Der erste Mord begangen durch einen Patienten, der sich selbst für Newton hält. Der aktuelle Mord begangen durch einen Patienten, der sich selbst für Einstein hält. Und das Pflegepersonal mauert und nimmt die Geisteskranken in Schutz. Neben Einstein und Newton befindet...more
Maik G.
Three physicists have been confined to a very expensive posh mental institution, Les Cerisiers. Herbert George Beutler says he is Isaac Newton, but he knows that he is really Einstein. He adopted the guise of Newton to avoid upsetting another patient, Ernst Heinrich Ernesti, who claims he is Einstein. The third, Johann Wilhelm Mobius is himself. As a long term patient, he enjoys frequent visions of King Solomon.
I had the great fortune of knowing little about the plot. I was continuously entertai...more
Annika Min
Neat, absurd and crazy.

The play is set in the drawing room of Les Cerisiers sanatorium, three doors lead from there to the rooms of the three patient, Beutler, who believes he is Sir Isaac Newton, Ernesti, who believes to be Albert Einstein and Möbius, who is visited day by day by King Salomon.
The story starts directly with the murder inquiry, the second one in three months. Again, one of the patients killed a nurse. The dialogue is totally upside down, the head nurse as well as doctor Zahnd d...more
Brian
Three physicists are locked away in a sanatarium run by the the world-renowned psychiatrist Mathilde van Zahndt, and the body count is rising. Inmates believing themselves to be Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton have each already killed a nurse, and as the first scene closes Johann Wilhelm Mobius kills a nurse (on the orders of King Solomon)who professes her love to him and wants to establish a new life away from the sanatarium. But in the second scene, it is revealed that all is not as it se...more
Brendan
The Physicists is a two act play about three madmen in an upscale madhouse, two of whom have murdered their attending nurses recently. Over the course of the play, we learn plenty about the three men who believe themselves to be Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Mobius. It's a strange little play with good humor and a nice ending, but I can't write much more about it without giving the story away, so below there will be plenty of spoilers.

Over the course of the play we come to learn that none o...more
Patrik
Dürrenmatts style of writing is simply wonderful. Always very ironic and sarcastic. Unfortunately the plot is in my opinion very poor. In addition, the ending and its message are not on an equal level compared with other works of him.

A book for people who love the way how Dürrenmatt writes.
Tim Horvat
Vrhunsko, prebral v nemščini, res res navdušen še posebej nad drugim dejanjem in celotnim preobratom - super je, ker je Dürrenmatt naredil dva. Sratka, nikoli ne postane dolgčas, filozofija vrhunsko pomešana in zakamuflirana s fiziko in kriminalko. In absolutno - še vedno aktualno.
Lindsay
The Physicist was a humorous, although confusing play. There was Einstein, who wasn’t really Einstein. And there is Newton, who admits he is not Newton because he is actually Einstein. And then Mobius, a tormented soul who must walk the fine line between morality and science. This play deals mostly with the question: is it the mad who are truly sane? As a personal opinion, those who are sane think that they are crazy, and often have thoughts that would land them in a psychiatric ward should a sh...more
Sara M.
When I started this book, I espected a book about phisicists. Soon I understood that this book is about much more than just that. This book is really philpsophically written and switches from insanity to intelligence and logic. It combine a crime and science and has a surprising ending. I liked Duerrenmatt`s writig style alot and I had the opportunity to read it in german which I found really good because I like especially its wordchoise.
All in all this book showed me different perspectives of h...more
Daniel
This book is based on two interesting ideas: the danger of scientific breakthroughs if they get into the wrong hands and another one that I don't reveal here because it would be too much of a spoiler. Several curiosities seem to be meant to entertain the audience and make them look forward to the ending that will explain it all - judo and wrestling champions turned nurses killed by insane scientists, male boxing champions from various countries replacing them, leading scientists who became spies...more
Tereza Fuková
Mar 24, 2014 Tereza Fuková rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tereza by: Timo
Das Buch(das Drama) war sehr unterhaltsam und sehr gut geschrieben.
Die Idee war sehr gut und ich habe solche Entwicklung gar nicht erwartet, das hat mich gefreut.
Jakob
The Physicists by Friedrich Dürematt is very good story of the life of crazy people in a psychiatry. This sound very boring but it is a very neat story, very abstract and often not with an obvious point. The characters are all very present to the reader and reading the book you almost can see them jumping on a stage. The writing is very classic abstract, complicated but easy to read. The book is often hilarious and makes the reader smile because the characters act intelligent and stupid at the s...more
Katja
Angeblich eins der am meistgespielten Theaterstücke (selbstverständlich im deutschen Sprachraum), und von daher sollte man es mal gelesen haben. Wie amüsant die unter Verrückten gespielte Komödie ist, kann jeder für sich selbst entscheiden. Der philosophische Beitrag, der im Zusammenhang mit diesem Werk Dürrenmatts immer wieder erwähnt wird -- "die Verantwortung der Wissenschaftler", "Wissenschaft und Moral", "der Zweck der Forschung" -- hält sich meiner Meinung nach in Grenzen. Ich könnte mir s...more
Sara
I read this play for class in German. It was very difficult and slow-going, with many pauses to look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary, which was more often than I liked. But I finished it and I'm glad I did. It masterfully examines what progress in science and technology means for society, and what moral and ethical responsibilities scientists have. Since this play was written post-World War II, during the Cold War and the nuclear age, its message is extremely poignant. I would recommend an...more
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Dürrenmatt was born in the Emmental (canton of Bern), the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Dürrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began to study philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramati...more
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“A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn” 32 likes
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