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The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected: A…

The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected: A Natural Philosopher's Quest for…

by Marcelo Gleiser

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288602,117 (2.69)None
Marcelo Gleiser has had a passion for science and fishing since he was a boy growing up on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Now a world-famous theoretical physicist with hundreds of scientific articles and several books of popular science to his credit, he felt it was time to connect with nature in less theoretical ways. After seeing a fly-fishing class on the Dartmouth College green, he decided to learn to fly-fish, a hobby, he says, that teaches humility. In The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected, Gleiser travels the world to scientific conferences, fishing wherever he goes. At each stop, he ponders how in the myriad ways physics informs the act of fishing; how, in its turn, fishing serves as a lens into nature's inner workings; and how science engages with questions of meaning and spirituality, inspiring a sense of mystery and awe of the not yet known. Personal and engaging, The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected is a scientist's tribute to nature, an affirmation of humanity's deep connection with and debt to Earth, and an exploration of the meaning of existence, from atom to trout to cosmos.… (more)



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Author and theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser’s quest for trout and the meaning of everything has him casting his fishing rod in a variety of cosmic sources of influences.

His philosophical musings of the inner structure of matter and energy demand a basic knowledge of physics, as well as an understanding of quantum theory.

While attending various scientific lectures, Gleiser visits fishing holes while asking beautiful questions about the serendipity of events. His river stream riddles are almost Zen-like. However, make no mistake ─ his transcendent wonder comes from the church of reason.

Some fishermen readers may be successfully lured into reading Gleiser’s book, but once his bobber makes a splash, the mystique ripples circle back to modern science, but not with much depth.
  jazznoir | Aug 30, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really wanted to like this book. I've tried picking it up three times. I can't get past page 4. I tried skipping the Prologue all together (does anyone else read them anyway?) I never made it more than a couple pages into the first chapter. I've fly fished and I've pondered nature but no matter how hard I try I can't enjoy Gleiser's writing style. I can't truly tell you how the book is because I couldn't force myself to read it. I'm sure others loved it and the prose but I just didn't. ( )
  ShawnMarie | Aug 15, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've gotta stop signing up for these "free in exchange for an honest review" things.

I've really gotta.

I'm sure the author is a very smart man, and a fabulous conversationalist. Sadly, reading this book is no more (no less, either) interesting than listening to a physics undergrad who has just tried the best weed of his life. ( )
  Kesterbird | Aug 15, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed the book. It was meandering and went from one topic to another as the author traveled, and that honestly was fine for me. I enjoyed the trip. I would have liked the chapters or sections to be more clearly defined ("hey, we're going to talk about this now") or have delved more deeply into some of the topics. It could have done some things better, but it was overall quite pleasant. ( )
  raisingasmartkid | Aug 6, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a story of a physicist (with the old fashioned title of Professor of Natural Philosophy) who re-discovers the art, the technique of fly fishing, which skill in turn led to a re-evaluation of childhood dreams and their linkages to science, discovery, and meaning in life. The epigraph heading his Prologue, captures the essence of this wonderful book:

"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play."

Attributed to Herakleitos. ( )
  chuck_ralston | Jul 25, 2016 |
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