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Die Vermessung der Welt by Daniel Kehlmann
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's review
Feb 03, 2010

liked it
Read from March 09 to 21, 2010

This book was on the bestsellerlist for weeks in Germany, so I thought I'd give it a try even though the premise sounded rather hard to read.
It was quite the opposite although the whole dialogue is in reported speech which needs a little time to get used to.
What made it a quick read was the humoristic approach. Altough the mathematician Gauss and the scientist Humboldt were geniuses in their time, the author described them in a comical almost slapstick way. They behave kind of goofy and stupid. I thought that this was a nice approach, to take these two important and intelligent personalities and write only a little story about them even though their biographies could have been turned into an epic novel. Daniel Kehlmann chose to surprise the readers, which I guess made this book so successfull.
My only criticism would be that the story doesn't really move forward. The protagonists devote their lives to science, get old and there is a little montage of the two biografies at the end but it lacks a little in suspense and conflict.

Overall a good read. Nothing more, nothing less...

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