Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

"I asked for something entirely different; for me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai."

This is an interesting and somewhat strange collection of stories that it would be tempting to rediscover in Italian and compare and contrast with the translation.
Having said that, my reaction to it was a little ambivalent. Aspects of the stories certainly drew me in, yet as a whole I felt somewhat distanced.
Named, apparently as the best science book ever, I'm not sure that I agree, but I'm sure greater minds than mine have come to that conclusion.

I read this rather in a hurry, whilst on public transport and the like. I think that perhaps detracted from my appreciation and this book could definitely benefit from a re-read. Consequently, I feel a little disingenuous about my review, there are some exquisite passages of prose, but as a whole it missed some crucial element for me.

3 out of 5 tables are periodic

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