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Equilateral

A Novel
Kalfus, Ken (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 2 stars out of 5.
Equilateral
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Baker & Taylor
Obsessed by a belief that highly evolved beings exist on Mars, a turn-of-the-century British astronomer gets support for a massive project to build a signal that is undermined by malaria-stricken Egyptian laborers and two women who understand the astronomer more than he realizes. By the National Book Award finalist author of A Disorder Peculiar to the Country. 25,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
Equilateral is an intellectual comedy set just before the turn of the century in Egypt. A British astronomer, Thayer, high on Darwin and other progressive scientists of the age, has come to believe that beings more highly evolved than us are alive on Mars (he has evidence) and that there will be a perfect moment in which we can signal to them that we are here too. He gets the support and funding for a massive project to build the Equilateral, a triangle with sides hundreds of miles long, in the desert of Egypt in time for that perfect window. But as work progresses, the Egyptian workers, less evolved than the British, are also less than cooperative, and a bout of malaria that seems to activate at the worst moments makes it all much more confusing and complex than Thayer ever imagined. We see Thayer also through the eyes of two women--a triangle of another sort--a romantic one that involves a secretary who looks after Thayer but doesn't suffer fools, and Binta, a houseservant he covets but can't communicate with--and through them we catch sight of the depth of self-delusion and the folly of the enterprise.
Equilateral is written with a subtle, sly humor, but it's also a model of reserve and historical accuracy; it's about many things, including Empire and colonization and exploration; it's about "the other" and who that other might be. We would like to talk to the stars, and yet we can barely talk to each other.


Baker
& Taylor

Obsessed by a belief that highly evolved beings exist on Mars, a turn-of-the-century British astronomer gets support for a massive project to build a signal, which is undermined by malaria-stricken Egyptian laborers and two women who understand the astronomer more than he realizes.

Authors: Kalfus, Ken
Statement of Responsibility: Ken Kalfus
Title: Equilateral
a novel
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013
Edition: First U.S. Edition
Characteristics: 207 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Subject Headings: Astronomers Fiction Egypt History British occupation, 1882-1936 Fiction
Genre/Form: Humorous fiction
Historical fiction
Topical Term: Astronomers
LCCN: 2013002690
ISBN: 9781620400067
1620400065
Branch Call Number: FIC K
Research Call Number: JFD 13-2626
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Jan 09, 2014
  • kkelle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Interesting book.Set in 1800's in Egypt. Thayer. An astronomer,believes that an advanced society exists on Mars and is attempting to contact them. A story mixed with astronomical calculations and human frailties. Might be an interesting book discussion selection.

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app05 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30