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Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,411 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
First there was Edwin A. Abbott's remarkable Flatland, published in 1884, and one of the all-time classics of popular mathematics. Now, from mathematician and accomplished science writer Ian Stewart, comes what Nature calls "a superb sequel." Through larger-than-life characters and an inspired story line, Flatterland explores our present understanding of the shape and orig ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 18th 2002 by Basic Books (first published 2001)
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Kelvin
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, adult, stem
I had this one week a while back where I was super into math and science related books and that’s how I stumbled upon Flatterland. I’ve read some of Stewart’s other books and I appreciated how he could make complex math topics more accessible. Flatterland is no different. I’m good at picking up math concepts pretty quickly but some of the topics in this book had me confused the first time I read about them. However, when I read about them in Flatterland, they made much more sense. This, above al ...more
Andrew Breslin
Aug 18, 2010 rated it liked it
This was entertaining and educational, but it wasn't really a work of fiction. It was a long parable illustrating fascinating ideas about geometry. Very well-written and thought provoking, but there was no actual story.

I've always loved Kurt Vonnegut's succinct and brilliant advice to would-be crafters of fiction: "All your characters must want something, even if it's only a glass of water." The characters here don't want much of anything, other than to be used as tools by the author to illustr
...more
Richard
Jun 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in science and maths
I heard about this book from a friend who is a freelance proof reader. She'd read it and admitted that most of it had gone straight over her head. However she did recommend it highly.

I picked up a copy at the same time as Flatland and read the two books one after the other.

Whereas the first book was about a flat being being shown life in three dimensions, Flatterland shows the adventures of a person being taken into a world of many non-euclidian dimensions. The space it talks about is often well
...more
Anna
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Το βιβλίο είναι εξαιρετικό και πολύ καλογραμμένο. Το θέμα είναι σε ποιον απευθύνεται: αναφέρεται στις διαστάσεις, το χώρο, το χρόνο, τις εναλλακτικές γεωμετρίες... Για να το καταλάβει κάποιος νομίζω ότι χρειάζεται σίγουρα να είναι τελειόφοιτος - στην αντίστοιχη κατεύθυνση - μιας σχολής που ασχολείται με τέτοιες σπουδές. Βέβαια θα μου πείτε οποισδήποτε άλλος γιατί να το διαβάσει;
David
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: david-giltinan@sbcglobal.net
I have noticed people putting this on their "to read" shelves and wishlists. I hope they are not as disappointed as I was, but greatly fear that disappointment is likely, almost inevitable. For the reasons in my review below - "Flatland" is a hilarious romp, wittily and successfully executed. This book, with its oh-so-clunky title, is most emphatically not.

This book takes as its starting point Abbott's "Flatland", the quirky 19th century mathematical classic which imagines life in a 2-dimensio
...more
MTK
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Η "συνέχεια" του "Flatland", μιας βικτοριανής νουβέλας με μαθηματικό περιεχόμενο. Το αρχικό βιβλίο ήταν εξαιρετικό, αλλά βοηθούσε το μικρό του μέγεθος και οι πιο απλές μαθηματικές έννοιες με τις οποίες καταπιανόταν. Η συνέχεια είναι αρκετά κουραστική στην ανάγνωση και προσωπικά κάπου με έχασε (ομολογώ ότι δεν έχω ιδιαίτερη σχέση με τις θετικές επιστήμες).
Becca
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
I almost didn't get through this. It starts off well, but then it turns into a dialogue. That would be fine, if not for the fact that the author periodically tries and fails to connect it back to the characters and the world of Flatland. Flatland the book is a political satire in addition to a scientific text; this book abandoned all but a shell of the politics while pretending it was still there. I would have rather had a book which didn't try to have a plot or characters, and did a better job ...more
Zoha Trabelsi
"ويبقى الرعاع البؤساء من المثلثات متساوية الساقين لا تنتظمهم خطة ولا يتقدمهم زعيم، فإما يكون مصيرهم السقوط دون مقاومة، أمام فرقة من إخوانهم يحتفظ بها الكاهن الأكبر لمواجهة الأزمات المشابهة، أو ينتهي بهم الأمر إلى الانهيار الداخلي بفعل الأحقاد و الشكوك التي تتفنن جماعة الكهنة في إثارتها بين صفوفهم، فيقتتلون فيما بينهم ويهلكون أنفسهم بأيديهم. يسجل تاريخنا ما لا يقل عن مائة وعشرين محاولة للتمرد إلى جانب الإنتفاضات الصغرة التي يصل عددها إلى مائتين وخمسة وثلاثين، وقد آلت كلها إلى نفس المصير."

قمع فتنة
...more
Koen Crolla
Stewart is far too pleased with his own jokes and can't write dialogue for shit, even allowing for the limits the subject matter places on the narrative. That narrative often obscures that subject matter unnecessarily, as well; if I hadn't already been familiar with pretty much everything covered, I doubt I would have had the patience to tease meaning from his prose.
If you have more patience than I do, though, I guess Flatterland is a fine enough introduction to non-Euclidian geometries, the var
...more
Paulo Glez Ogando
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: matemáticas
In 1884 Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote an awesome classic of scientific divultation called Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. This Flatterland is a derivative work from that. The original had a second purpose, to satirize the rigid social structure of Victorian England, with its hierarchies of status and privilege. Stewart doesn't deepen this, though he deals a bit with the status accorded to women and their emancipation in a male-oriented society.

The main character is young Vikki, Albert's grea
...more
Laurie
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely lovely book.
I learned so much at the time.
Don't know what was retained, though.

Amazon.com Review
In 1884, an amiably eccentric clergyman and literary scholar named Edwin Abbott Abbott published an odd philosophical novel called Flatland, in which he explored such things as four-dimensional mathematics and gently satirized some of the orthodoxies of his time. The book went on to be a bestseller in Victorian England, and it has remained in print ever since.
With Flatterland, Ian Stewart,
...more
Zana
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I used Flatland and the first few chapters of this book when I taught Calculus. :)

The first half of this book was 4 stars, no question. About the time it got into the theory of general relativity, it started zipping along way too fast and lost the storyline. The fun mathematical playfulness turned into an infodump with reeeeeallly bad math jokes. Really, really bad math jokes. Indescribably bad math jokes.

That said, I loved the first half. The book suffered for having been written almost 12 year
...more
Morgan
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Based off of the Book "Flatland" written by Edward A. Abbott, one of my all-time favorites, i stumbled upon this book scavenging the library. Curious, i checked it out and began to read. The main character, Victoria Line, is the great great granddaughter of the main character of the original book, Albert Square. A main difference between the two books is the obvious time-periods in which the books were written. "Flatland" was written in 1884 and the language was often difficult, but this book, h ...more
Christopher Folts
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I consider myself to have an above-average understanding of mathematics and physics, and I found this tedious and, at times, challenging.

This mostly is the result of the twee, hokey adaptation of a Victorian-era story that many modern readers (myself included) would find particular dull. It's also result of the choice of medium: higher-dimensional geometry is not surprisingly difficult to discuss and explain with words and 2D greyscale illustrations.

Having said that, Brian Greene has skillfull
...more
Nigel McFarlane
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A spacehopper takes a resident of Flatland on a tour of higher dimensions and weird geometries. It's a light-hearted romp through some mind-bending concepts, with a lot of terrible puns and humour very much in the spirit of Lewis Carroll.
Nicole
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
i appreciate this book but I'm not smart enough for it.
Lauren
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
interesting, but it was a little hard to follow, but that might just be because im dumb.
Chanania
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
In a line: Not as good as it could have been but probably worth reading anyway.

You are probably well aware that this book is about abstract mathematics and specifically higher dimensions so I will not go into a detailed list of subjects covered by the book. On the other hand, I will cover what the book fails and succeeds to achieve.

If you haven't read Abbott's original Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions , I suggest reading that first. That book beautifully opens the reader's mind to the con
...more
Brett-Marco Glauser
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gets progressively denser/more esoterically scientific (ends up with enumerating theories of subatomic quantum mechanics), but informational and easily the most digestible that information could be for a layperson. But if you aren't interested by geometry or physics, stay away.
Jay Go
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I was hoping to love this book as much as I loved Flatland. Sadly, I do not.

I put the book down for almost a year, and just recently picked it up to finish.

As others have noted, Flatland was scientific and a political satire. Flatterland tried to cram in the politics in the last few pages as an afterthought.

I really hated how all the names were just smooshed. So instead of Albert Einstein he was simply Alberteinstein. What is that? Not very imaginative, and simply a pain to read.

The book came
...more
Stefan Shirley
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book but nothing like the original book, Flatlander. Flatterland allows the reader's mind to consider multi-dimensional worlds based on current mathematical ideas.
Kent
Dec 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: my sister
Recommended to Kent by: boffie
from Boffie for Christmas 2008

I read Flatland (everyone should), and it was about 100 pages of interesting mathematical/sociological critique, written in 1884 in the style of Jonathan Swift. There were significant differences in the Flatland societal strata among classes and between men and women. So I thought this book was going to be a novel expanding on those differences, just 100 years later.

Instead, it was a book about mathematics and physics 100 years later. And a lot has happened in mathe
...more
Andrew
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
This, like the book it follows, was weird.

But the weird was for different reasons.
The first half of the book went by fine. Topology, Projective Spaces, Hyperbolic Spaces, fine.

Then Ian Stewart switched to mathematical-physics. I may be starting to develop a sort of understanding for the subject (at least a layman's understanding), but it still makes my head hurt.

I found the fact that time travel is mathematically, though not necessarily PHYSIC-ly possible, to be interesting. Once you get into q
...more
something_
The main issue I have with this book is that, in relation to the concepts presented, I found it 'too much, too soon'. While the themes themselves were extremely interesting, half of it flew over my head - there were just too many concepts, too many 'spaces', and too many theories to take in at once if you don't have some background knowledge on these topics already.

As far as the story telling goes, the main character is A. Square's granddaughter, which will continue his journey many years later.
...more
Robert
Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So is a story about Vikki line and the Space Hopper on adventures throughout the Mathiverse, a mathematical realm with very different habitats. Vikki is a 1D line that usually navigates in 2D space, while the Space Hopper is a horned sphere. But what they find will show how abstract or how complex the Mathiverse is, and also what lurks deep in our universe...

I highly recommend this book to those who like mathematics; the Mathiverse has many different places o
...more
Simon
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Not a bad introduction to some important maths and physics concepts, however a basic understanding of maths/physics and a terrible sense of humour will make this a more enjoyable read. The blurb states that this book is 'an endless stream of ingeniously funny wordplay' and while ingenious could well apply in a number of cases funny is far less applicable. I'm proud of my awful sense of humour, and can happily sit through a whole Tim Vine stand-up comedy set without cringing... but this tested my ...more
Alex Brown
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading the original, I had dreams about Flatland. I'd been delighted by the maths and annoyed by the seemingly sexist and classist tone.
Only picking up Flatterland a year later did I learn my annoyance was unjustified, I'd missed it was satire.
This book is varied. sometimes it takes a complex mathematical concept and makes it simple or fun, sometimes it takes a simple concept and makes it compex (easy to understand graphs explained through taxis on city blocks was just awful), always it u
...more
Jasper Elsley
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Victoria's adventure doesn't starts off with a sphere (like in Flatland), but instead starts off with a Space Hopper taking Vikki on adventures to many dimensions and places in the Mathiverse including Platterland, the Fourth Dimension, and the Fractal World. My favorite character is the Space Hopper because he either has a ∪ or a ∩ on his face. The Space Hopper helps Vikki see the other dimensions by lending her a VUE.
My favorite part of the book is when Vikki goes down to Planck Length and se
...more
Greg
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on a mission to read all of the Flatland derivative works and this was the first (though I also read a short story and watch a couple short films online while I was finishing this. At first I struggled with Stewart because he seemed so pun-obsessed. I like a good pun as much as the next person but it was just really overkill. Eventually, I got over that distraction and started to really appreciate what he was doing here. I won't pretend I understood even a third of the mathematical concepts ...more
Tim
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, science
The good points of this spiritual sequel to Edwin Abbott's Flatland, aside from simply making more people aware of Flatland, is it's approachable story and lots of clever word-play, and many allusions to Lewis Carroll.
Where it falls short is its attempt to be a lighthearted introduction to the more complicated math and physics of the last hundred years. Like most works of this genre, it tends to cavalierly explain away complicated counter-intuitive concepts as simply being true without bothering
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover 2 15 Nov 12, 2016 10:15AM  
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Ian Nicholas Stewart is an Emeritus Professor and Digital Media Fellow in the Mathematics Department at Warwick University, with special responsibility for public awareness of mathematics and science. He is best known for his popular science writing on mathematical themes.
--from the author's website

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other au
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