Mr G: A Novel About The Creation

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Mr G: A Novel About The Creation

by Alan Lightman

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | October 29, 2013 | Hardcover

Mr G: A Novel About The Creation is rated 2 out of 5 by 2.

“As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.”
 
So begins Alan Lightman’s playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the story of Creation as told by God. Barraged by the constant advisements and bickerings of Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, who live with their nephew in the shimmering Void, Mr g proceeds to create time, space, and matter. Then come stars, planets, animate matter, consciousness, and, finally, intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. Mr g is all powerful but not all knowing and does much of his invention by trial and error.

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and Mr g discovers that with his creation of space and time come some unforeseen consequences—especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to Mr g, Belhor delights in provoking him: Belhor demands an explanation for the inexplicable, requests that the newly created intelligent creatures not be subject to rational laws, and maintains the necessity of evil. As Mr g watches his favorite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change himself, the Creator.

With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, combining science, theology, and moral philosophy, Mr g is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.55 × 5.43 × 0.89 in

Published: October 29, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030737999X

ISBN - 13: 9780307379993

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from A big bang of nothing I’m finally working through the books I’ve read but neglected to review, and this one comes in 9 months after. Alan Lightman has interesting ideas, as seen in his short story collection, “Einstein’s Dreams,” that I read a couple of years ago. “Mr g” similarly shows his creativity, but at the same time, he drones on on some of the more technical aspects involved in creating the universe. I’m more of a Biology person, so the sciences of Chemistry and Physics bore me tremendously, and these play a huge part in how molecules are formed and how the stars are borne and therefore are prominently written about by Lightman. The nice moments of this novel are when Mr g’s relationship with the few characters in a place before life, his uncle and aunt, and a shady character by the name of Belhor, are in the forefront. “Mr g” is a short read but it felt like a hefty, lengthy one. I’m sure it has an audience, as it found one in me when I got an advanced reader’s copy from its publisher, but a fan has it not turned me into.
Date published: 2012-10-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mr. g A very interesting book! It is all about how universes can come to be and on one in particular. With only three rules governing a universe we get to see it from beginning to end. I'm not a religious type but I did still find this book very interesting!
Date published: 2012-01-28

– More About This Product –

Mr G: A Novel About The Creation

by Alan Lightman

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.55 × 5.43 × 0.89 in

Published: October 29, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030737999X

ISBN - 13: 9780307379993

About the Book

"As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe." So begins Lightman's playful and profound new novel, "Mr g," the story of Creation as narrated by God.

Read from the Book

Time As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.   Not much was happening at that time. As a matter of fact, time didn’t exist. Nor space. When you looked out into the Void, you were really looking at nothing more than your own thought. And if you tried to picture wind or stars or water, you could not give form or texture to your notions.   Those things did not exist. Smooth, rough, waxy, sharp, prickly, brittle—even qualities such as these lacked meaning. Practically everything slept in an infinite torpor of potentiality. I knew that I could make whatever I wanted. But that was the problem. Unlimited possibilities bring unlimited indecision. When I thought about this particular creation or that, uncertain about how each thing would turn out, I grew anxious and went back to sleep. But at a particular moment, I managed . . . if not exactly to sweep aside my doubts, at least to take a chance.   Almost immediately, it seemed, my aunt Penelope asked me why I would want to do such a thing. Wasn’t I comfortable with the emptiness just as it was? Yes, yes, I said, of course, but . . . You could mess things up, said my aunt. Leave Him alone, said Uncle Deva. Uncle toddled over and stood beside me in his dear way. Please don’t tell me what to do, retorted my aunt. Then she turned and stared hard at me. Her hair, uncombed and knotted as usual, drooped down to her bulky shoulders. Well? she said, and waited.
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From the Publisher

“As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.”
 
So begins Alan Lightman’s playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the story of Creation as told by God. Barraged by the constant advisements and bickerings of Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, who live with their nephew in the shimmering Void, Mr g proceeds to create time, space, and matter. Then come stars, planets, animate matter, consciousness, and, finally, intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. Mr g is all powerful but not all knowing and does much of his invention by trial and error.

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and Mr g discovers that with his creation of space and time come some unforeseen consequences—especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to Mr g, Belhor delights in provoking him: Belhor demands an explanation for the inexplicable, requests that the newly created intelligent creatures not be subject to rational laws, and maintains the necessity of evil. As Mr g watches his favorite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change himself, the Creator.

With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, combining science, theology, and moral philosophy, Mr g is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.

About the Author

Alan Lightman is the author of five previous novels, a book-length narrative poem, two collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a novelist, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, and was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment at MIT in science and in the humanities.

Editorial Reviews

“A soulful riff on the birth and eventual demise of our universe…Lightman the humanist allows room for the compatibility of rationality with spirituality and mystery, while Lightman the scientist plays devil’s advocate with the partisans of Genesis, blinding them with logic.” – The New York Times Book Review “Though Lightman’s clever irreverence recalls Salman Rushdie and Kevin Brockmeier, his plainspoken style lends the book a fitting earnestness…Readers who don’t mind the liberties the author takes with the sacred might enjoy this scienced fiction.” – Library Journal “A scientific vision laced with the mirthful aura of divinity…aglow with wonder.” – Washington Post   “Just as he did with his incomparable Einstein''s Dreams , Alan Lightman again surprises us with a work that is utterly original in both form and content. Mr g is a philosophical fable which is at turns hilarious and moving, rendered with a literary hand so deft that the weightiest metaphysical topics levitate into pure delight.” –Rebecca Newberger Goldstein   "It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force, Einstein''s Dreams , but in Mr g he has done so—with wit, imagination, and transcendent beauty." –Anita Desai "Here is the creation of the Universe and the young Creator who grapples with what he has made—and ultimately with responsibilit
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