Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A brilliant review for A Brilliant Darkness

This was a book I really warmed to as the season progressed. I think this is a good sleeper opportunity. Booklist would agree - here's just some of what they said in their starred review:

"Magueijo explains [Majorana's] scientific theories in mercifully simple terms. But what simple terms can illuminate a tortured and unstable personality, vulnerable to bouts of depression and prone to antisocial reclusiveness? The complexities of that personality resist assimilation into any of the standard explanations – suicide, kidnapping, flight, monastic retreat – for Majorana's disappearance. But astounded readers will thank Magueijo for his daring venture into the science and the psyche of a perplexing figure."

Further reviews are upcoming in Seed Magazine (online) and New Scientist; and Mr. Magueijo will be making an appearance on KPFA's morning show in the coming weeks. This one is worth a gamble.
A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age, by Joao Magueijo (Basic, 9780465009039)

(There's good precedent for a science biography really taking off: consider The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Master of the Atom, by Graham Farmelo [Basic, 9780465018277]. We've been chasing stock of that book since July - partly owing to this sensational New York Times review.)

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