Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

I’ve been meaning to post a review about the book Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman, but the book sort of defies any explanation; and when things don’t spring easily, I have a tendency to avoid doing anything about them.

In subject, the book is an explanation of varying theories of Time. Einstein, in working on his Theory of Relativity, is forced to re-think the concept and nature of Time itself. These thoughts take the shape of dreams about the movement, reality, and nature of Time. Each is unique and fascinating, gradually expanding and growing in complexity and creativity.

In one dream, Time is a perfect circle in which people forever repeat their lives. In another, the passage of Time restores broken things to order. In still another, Time moves more slowly as the people go more quickly. In yet another, Time does not exist, merely images. Each dream is unique and may reveal another facet of the nature of Time, or it may be a step backward from Time.

Lightman’s style is deliberately dreamy and poetic; he is meticulous with detail, terse or languid when necessary, and crafts the words in support of each dream about Time. It is fascinating and intelligent reading that will challenge you to think; much along the line of Jorge Luis Borges. For those of you who like being challenged intellectually by what you read, it’s heartily recommended.

There are elements that imply sexual situations and at least one overt situation; the rating would be PG-13. Expletives are at a minimum; I cannot consciously remember any in the book, but that does not mean that there may not be one or two.

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