i read this is 9th grade and wrote a review of it for my english class when i was supposed to be writing an editorial to the school newspaper, because...morei read this is 9th grade and wrote a review of it for my english class when i was supposed to be writing an editorial to the school newspaper, because i left my copy of the paper in my locker. malcolm x greased up his hair and slicked it down till he decided to embrace his african american hair. malcolm x didn't have such a great childhood. malcolm x didn't do that great in school. he went to jail. he wrote this. my mom read it, my mom gave it to me. it was a pretty good book, but that's all my shitty memory will give me access to. (less)
What surprised me the most is that Paterniti’s a really good writer. He knows how to do that thing where he makes small details significant. Like mayb...moreWhat surprised me the most is that Paterniti’s a really good writer. He knows how to do that thing where he makes small details significant. Like maybe a town he drove through or a house he passed, a stranger he met, a gift he was given. And in a book about a road trip, where most experiences happen at 60 mph and last all of two seconds, that thing is necessary. As he catches sight of a train he writes, “In the vast nothingness of Arizona, running parallel to the highway, a train slivers West in the late-day sun— silver passenger cars and sleeping cars and dining cars glinting coast-to-coast behind two black engines.” I mean: I picked this book up to learn a little about Einstein, but instead found a really good piece of journalism. Einstein aside.
In fact, I think the bits about Einstein seem misplaced. Paterniti spends most of his time writing about people he met and how they perceive Einstein. He talks extensively about Dr. Harvey, his partner in road trippin’ and the man who’s been in posession of Einstein’s brain since he stole it post-autopsy. In some ways Paterniti uses the book to try to understand Dr. Harvey — why did he steal the brain if it meant the end of his career? Why did he keep it for so long? Paterniti explores other people as well, like the Japanese professor with his obsessive collection of Einstein-related objects. Or Einstein’s granddaughter, with whom he holds Einstein’s brain for the first time. Paterniti writes about these people well, and these are my favorite parts.
It’s because of this focus on various others, though, that make the passages strictly about Einstein awkard. I think that all Einstein-related information should have come from the mouths of people Paterniti spoke to. This would have shifted the focus onto perceptions of Einstein, rather than the man himself, which is really what the book is about. (less)
If you're new to Catholicism, start somewhere else first. This book is written for those in the know.
I forced myself to read this, even though I didn'...moreIf you're new to Catholicism, start somewhere else first. This book is written for those in the know.
I forced myself to read this, even though I didn't understand it. I don't feel it's right for me to give it one or two stars, since I'm sure it's interesting if you're well-versed in Catholicism. It tackles the criticisms against the church (without justifying at all, as far as I can tell; Küng is very fair), but it doesn't explain them. So you're screwed if you're just an average lay-person, looking to learn a bit about the religion. Personally, I'm a very lay-y lay-person (I lay around a lot), so this was a tough one.