a friend handed me this while were talking about something sciency and i'm so glad he did.
the book is predominantly satire, with much of being it a social commentary told in a very clever way- from the perspective of 'A Square' (the narrators name and shape), a mathematician living in a 2d world. it's incredibly imaginative and made only more amazing by the fact that it was published in 1884.
the latter part of the book is where the science is, as a visitor arrives to explain that there is actually a third dimension that he and the people of flatland are missing out on, which is no easy task. it's very basic science explaining a complicated topic, but don't be put of by simplicity because it's never really about the details, but the ideas. i thought the book was genius, cover to cover, you can pick holes in the 2d world he creates, but you'd wasting your time and missing the point. it's only 100 or so pages, go get it.
It was a wonderful book that felt so pure because of the innocence of Francie and her outlook on the world. The story was very touching and emotional because the writing was plain and simple (not a bad thing) and made the emotions of the moments seem very real. The book made me think of my childhood because all the feelings that Francie went through are something that's common in every childhood and for a few moments after everytime I put the book down I could see and feel things the way I used to when I was just an innocent little kid. Betty Smith did an incredible job and I absolutely loved it.
Another twinge of sadness that the book brought was that Smith said she wrote it how it should have been and not how it was. I can only imagine the alternatives where her's and Francie's stories probably diverged considering every rough spot in the book ended up with a happy/fortunate ending.
I'm about a hundred pages in and I'm really digging it. He's not the best narrative writer. I read his Paddy Whacked too, and felt that was a bit dry in spots too. But it's loaded with info. The guy really does his research.
And this hits on a bunch of topics that interest me. Cuba. That era of the mafia. The political connections. That era of casino houses. It so far gives you a pretty nice short history on a number of topics.
And oddly, this is a topic that I have a cursory knowledge of, but I'm still pretty well gripped by it. It's pretty much the true story or The Godfather II. And if you watched Boardwalk Empire, this gives you something of an accurate historical bridge connecting true story inspiration of that to the inspired by true events parts of The Godfather II.