Karen's Reviews > The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi
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's review
Mar 27, 2010

really liked it

Profound, hard to describe, and difficult book to read as it is written by a chemist using many references to chemistry. Each chapter title is the name of an element which relates directly or indirectly to the story being told in the chapter. Most interesting is the use of elements to incorporate a story of deep meaning including understanding the universe as well as philosophy of survival and the meaning of life. The first chapter, Argon (common, inert) is his Jewish ‘family’ history. Followed by elements representing biographical and philosophical stories as a Jewish chemist growing up in Fascist Italy. Elements directly representing fictional stories. Chapters related to his time in and after Auschwitz. And the best for last, Carbon, and the life and biology of the universe.
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