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The Einstein Girl

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  975 ratings  ·  112 reviews
At the heart of truth lies madness...
Two months before Hitler's rise to power, a beautiful young woman is found naked and near death in the woods outside Berlin. When she finally wakes from her coma, she can remember nothing, not even her name. The only clue to her identity is a handbill found nearby, advertising a public lecture by Albert Einstein: 'On the Present State o
Paperback, 392 pages
Published August 8th 2009 by Harvill Secker
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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  975 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Einstein Girl is a real page turner and had me hooked right from the beginning, Its a Historical/Thriller I dont read thrillers as such but this Novel's blurb really drew me in and I was so glad I put it on my "to read sooner rather than later list" I loved the two main characters and felt they were very cleverly developed, my only regret with this novel was that I would love to have had the time to read it in one or two sittings as I felt I really wanted to keep reading and stay with the st ...more
Superb historical thriller - page turner, smart and with two great characters that will stay with you for a long time

Martin Kirsch is a psychiatrist in Berlin October 1932 who cares about the welfare of his patients even to the extent of putting his career at risk by interfering with the cruel (however well intended) experiments of his immediate superior.

A former army surgeon whose WW1 wounds and hospital infection both physical and psychological scarred him for life and made him turn to psychi
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very nice and touching story (based on some true characters specially Albert Einstein and his family)! Had never heard or read about his personal life so it was interesting to know this. There is very good information provided related to fields of psychiatry and theoritical physics. And to know that this all was during the time when Hitler's power was rising and Einstein had to run for his life, is all thought provoking. ...more
R.S. Gompertz
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller

I really enjoyed this story set in an around Berlin in the dark and foreboding 1930's as Germany was embracing fascism and Europe was slouching toward war.

The premise builds from a bit of mystery surrounding the mad son and ostensibly deceased daughter of Einstein's first marriage. Madness, both individual and societal is a key theme of this rich and evocative story.

The protagonist is a surgeon-turned-psychiatrist who lived through and witnessed the horrors of WWI. Psychiatry is in its infa
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone that is interested in physics, history or biography
Recommended to Branka by: friends
Very intense story, but based on a real events and for a very popular person, so far more interesting than a typical mystery. Except the narrator there are letters that guide us through the story. For these two reasons (except that I adore quantum mechanics and all people that made a contribution in that field) I would say it is not just a cheap thriller. If you are interested in biography or physics or even history books (we would all agree that Einstein is part of history) you should read it.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good historical fiction. I had some trouble telling what was actual history and what was fiction, though. It didn't make the story less interesting, but did lead me to do some reading on Einstein. ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"A dark and beautiful novel." For once a book that does exactly what it says on the cover. I loved this book. ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a very very well written book. Not so much for the story, which is not necessarily bordering on great but solid, but for the characters. For the picture it paints of people during the time the Nazi's got to power. While this is not the main focus of the story, it shapes the narrative and with our knowledge about what happens, it makes reading painful sometimes. You cannot but flinch at the naivity of some of the characters. The shadow of the terrible things to come always looms over the nar ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting tale set in 1933 Berlin. A young girl found naked in nearly dead in the woods near Potsdam with no memory and the only clue to her identity a handbill to a lecture to be given by Albert Einstein. Psychiatrist Martin Kirsch takes her case and ends up struggling to keep his position as he comes at odds with the new Nazi government. He struggles take him across Europe as he abandons friends, family and his fiance in his attempt to help the girl and to figure out her strange connectio ...more
Helen J.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good story, showing a human side to Einstein, and his status as 'celebrity' of his day. Historically fascinating account of pre-war psychiatry methods too. Some quantum theory but explained in reasonably simple terms! ...more
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
an amazing historic thriller...
Liliana Negoi
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Splendid! Utterly splendid - Sington's book is indeed a wonderful one! ...more
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've read Einstein's bio, this is a must. Fabulous plot line. I like the depth of the characters, and the way in which the story throws you off balance in various places. ...more
A good novel that succeeds mixing: Germany between IWW and Hitler's nomination as prime minister, psychiatry, a hint on relativity and quantum physics, the "dark side" of Dr. Einstein's family. ...more
Karl Galle
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever, thoughtful, and interesting story, based on a what-if scenario from an all but forgotten incident in Albert Einstein's early life. What begins as a (missing persons and possibly murder?) mystery gradually meanders through an exploration of early 20th-century theories of insanity and its treatment, the rising power of the Nazis in early 1930s Germany and their determination to weed out supposedly heritable mental conditions, and the Great War's shadow in the form of a dead brother whose ...more
The Einstein Girl is overall a touching, intelligent romance set in historical Berlin. As the main character Martin Kirsch, a psychiatrist, falls in love with his patient the story reveals acute insights on psychiatry/psychology and its limitations that could easily be as true today as they were then.
There's also a glimpse into the mind of someone almost losing his grip on reality - it carefully and compassionately shows how and why such a 'descent into madness' can happen to people sometimes. A
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
The stylistic devices employed in telling the story are quite captivating. Historical and current events are interwoven into a single continuum giving the past freshness of the present and vice-versa. The book tells the story of World War Two in a rather rare perspective on how the German society justified and supported the invasion of the Soviet Union and other smaller states. With it comes the psychotic details on the endeavors of Martin Kirsch while treating 'terminally insane' patients. At t ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
The superb storytelling, gr8 characters both real and fictional. especially historical notes at the end which inform us about 400.000 people who underwent sterilisation and 250.000 mentally and physically handicaped people who were murdered by Nazi regime.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Addictive historical fiction with a side of madness. Fun and thought provoking.
Nabil Ghazi
'Einstein Girl' is a superb page turner that makes you wonder each page what'll happen next to Dr. Martin Kirsch and his patient. The brief cameo of Albert Einstein makes everything even more interesting!

Kudos, Philip Sington!
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW!!! An absolute page turner, well developed plot and characters. A thriller with a good measure of psychiatry and physics thrown in, a rare treat.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Einstein Girl is a mystery set in a historical setting, 1930s Berlin, but it is so much more. I liked how it contained a lot of dept without ever becoming boring because of another rambling on scientific theory (actually, they were really interesting and important for the story)
The book gives some insight and background in the then new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics and how they were received and in the early beginnings of psychiatry (which I didn't know much about before start
Alvi Harahap
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This complex novel is a brilliant mystery with an intelligent narrative that raises those key questions that keep you turning the pages. What has happened and what will happen? The reader learns a little bit about the primitive psychiatry of the time, while the characters are strongly drawn and you get a real feel for what life was like working in Germany in that period. The reader is brought face to face with the trauma and the shame of the deaths of so many young men in the Great War.

The super
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Highly original historical mystery that takes readers (in a refreshingly readable way) to the bleak frontiers of human knowledge. The juxtaposition of the search for truth (both about the universe and the human mind) with human cruelty and ignorance is powerful, and the plot itself is full of surprises. Highly recommended.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
An intriguing historical thriller with some fascinating background on Hitler's rise to power in 1933 and the use of psychiatry at the time. Also fascinating is the debunking of some of Einstein's saintly aura. Nicely plotted too. ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A page turner right from the beginning. The story of the psychiatrist Kirsch trying to solve the mystery of who the Einstein girl is in the beginning of the Hitler rule. A historical thriller including parts of Einstein’s life.
May 23, 2013 added it
Intriguing story; good read!
Steve Center
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For a book with no murders there was an awful lot of suspense with the big mystery hanging over till the end. Loved it.
Cherry Jeffs
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot which riffs on the theories of quantum mechanics whilst weaving in historical context between the two world wars and the woeful state of mental health treatment in the period. Well-written,, interesting characters, and twists and turns until the very last page. What’s not to like?
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting novel taking place in Berlin!
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aka Patrick Lynch (with Gary Humphreys)

Philip Sington is an English novelist and playwright. He was born in Cambridge, UK.

He read history at Trinity College, Cambridge. Together with mystery writer Gary Humphreys he co-authored six thrillers under the joint pseudonym of Patrick Lynch, selling over 1 million copies worldwide. The third, 'Carriers', was adapted for the screen in 1998. They also coll

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