Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

By Edwin A. Abbott

Rating: 3 stars

This short volume (barely a novella by modern standards) shows us a two dimensional world and we’re taken on a tour of it by one of its inhabitants, a Square, before he has his horizons (literally and metaphorically) expanded as he’s shown other planes with more or fewer dimensions.

The geometry in this hasn’t aged an awful lot. It’s a nice piece of work that forces you to think about planes in a geometry would work and it’s quite fun. Shame the same can’t be said for the story around it. Flatland sounds like a sexist, class-ridden place where women and the lower classes (ie fewer sides) have few rights and can be killed for the most minor offence. It doesn’t even have to be number of sides, no matter how many sides you have, gods help you if you’re an irregular shape!

There’s possibly a metaphor there somewhere, but I’m not sure I get it. Still worth it for the geometry though.

Book details

ISBN: 9780486272634
Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc.
Year of publication: 1884

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