Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain

Driving Mr Albert A Trip Across America with Einstein s Brain Part travelogue part memoir part history part biography and part meditation one of the most unique road trips in modern literature Albert Einstein s brain floats in formaldehyde in a Tupperware bo

  • Title: Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain
  • Author: Michael Paterniti
  • ISBN: 9780385333030
  • Page: 191
  • Format: Paperback
  • Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.Albert Einstein s brain floats in formaldehyde in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America Driving the car is Michael Paterniti, a young journalist from Maine Sitting next to him iPart travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.Albert Einstein s brain floats in formaldehyde in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America Driving the car is Michael Paterniti, a young journalist from Maine Sitting next to him is an eighty four year old pathologist named Thomas Harvey who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955 and simply removed the brain and took it home And kept it for over forty years.On a cold February day, the two men and the brain leave New Jersey and light out on I 70 for sunny California, where Einstein s perplexed granddaughter, Evelyn, awaits And riding along as the imaginary fourth passenger is Einstein himself, an id driven genius, the original galactic slacker with his head in the stars.Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation, Driving Mr Albert is one of the most unique road trips in modern literature With the brain as both cargo and talisman, Paterniti perceives every motel, truck stop diner, and roadside attraction as a weigh station for the American dream in the wake of the scientist s mind blowing legacy Finally, inspired by the man who gave a skeptical world a glimpse of its cosmic origins, this extraordinary writer weaves his own unified field theory of time, love, and the power to believe, once again, in eternity.
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      Published :2020-01-12T15:00:35+00:00

    527 Comment

    • Will Byrnes says:

      A road trip written with a 20-something sensibility. Not a work of genius. I enjoyed the writer’s use of language but found the tale, overall, rather tedious. It sounds wonderful in anticipation, but it did not sparkle for me. The author seeks out a fellow who had been present at Einstein’s autopsy, and who made off with Einstein’s brain. Paterniti befriends the codger—in his eighties—and they set off cross-country to California where the codger intends to leave the remnants with one o [...]

    • Saleh MoonWalker says:

      Onvan : Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain - Nevisande : Michael Paterniti - ISBN : 038533303X - ISBN13 : 9780385333030 - Dar 211 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2000

    • Sara says:

      I read this entire book thinking it was fiction! I just realized it is a true story.Wow. Well, how I write the review is now going to be a little bit different.The author took a road trip across the USA in the 90's with Einstein's brain in Tupperware in the trunk. I thought it would be a humorous book (see, I thought it was fiction!) but it's actually a relatively slow-paced story about a rather emo guy chauffeuring an old guy (former pathologist) across the states to give the brain to Einstein' [...]

    • Mac says:

      This book has two bad stinks wafting around it. First, it has the stink of a puffed-up magazine article that an editor somewhere decided could be a book. (I checked, and it was originally in “Harper’s” in 1997). Second, and worse, it has the stink of a writer finding something unusual to do in order to write a book about it. Horse/cart problems.But both of these are, at times, forgivable – good magazine articles can indeed become great books, particularly when the subject is far from exh [...]

    • Peter says:

      This book should have a lot going for it; a cross country journey, a potentially nutty doctor as a passenger, and the brain of one of the most important people of the 20th century. Instead this book is tedious, ponderous, repetitive, boring, often nauseating as well. If I cared enough about this book I'd go get my dictionary to find more words to describe how boring it is. Boring writer (BW) takes a trip with an elderly doctor with questionable standards of morality and has a tedious trip cross [...]

    • Jennuineglass says:

      The oddest little book I've read in quite some time. I think many would find this book enjoyable as long as they come to it with no expectations. At 200 pages that should be easy enough, you aren't locked into much.The premise is that a journalist, questioning his own place in life, offers to drive Dr Harvey across America, from coast to coast, so that he may meet the granddaughter of Albert Einstein. And oh, Dr. Harvey is the man who "stole" Einstein's brain during an autoposy where for the las [...]

    • David Glenn Dixon says:

      Washington City PaperArts & Entertainment : Book ReviewBraindroppingsBy Glenn Dixon • October 6, 2000Sometimes America is simply too big for its own good. It can make an epic out of an anecdote. If the Twentieth Century's Blue Ribbon Kitsch Icon, Intellectual Division, had had his gray matter snipped out of his brainpan and carted cross-country 40-odd years later, and the country in question were Liechtenstein, you'd have to be naked and dragging the thing by its medulla with your teeth fo [...]

    • Robert Isenberg says:

      For years, I eagerly waited to read "Driving Mr. Albert." I loved the idea of a road trip with Einstein's brain, and my enthusiasm psyched me out. By the time I actually tackled it, the book was destined to disappoint me -- but it was not for any reason I could have anticipated. The problem is not the book itself, which is a perfectly decent read. The problem is the time it was published, the year 2000.Michael Paterniti was clearly writing as a late-90s author, and a straight male one to boot. Y [...]

    • Alec says:

      I can't actually remember whether I thought this book deserved 2 or 3 stars when I finished it a few months ago, but since my main memory of the book is what a listless bore it was, I suppose that's a good sign I should go with the lesser. Driving Mr. Albert is another of the dreaded "road trip" novels, to which self-indulgent authors are so hopelessly drawnd for some unknown reason appeal to me in the aisles of the book store, despite the way they continue to disappoint. In this installment, th [...]

    • Mitch says:

      The weird premise of this book- that there are two guys traveling across America with the brain of Einstein in the trunk- is what drew me in in the first place. It would be difficult to find something quirkier; how could it not be interesting?What you actually get is a view into the lives of the two living and one long-dead passenger. It was a plus to learn something of the life of Albert Einstein. Like everyone else, I associate him with genius, know he E=MC 2'ed, and that's about it.It turns o [...]

    • Eve says:

      Did you ever read a book that started off really well and then at about page 75 you realize that you can reasonably enjoy about 25 more pages only to discover that you're reading a 211 page book!?So disappointing.It's an interesting book but I think maybe the author found himself with less material than he'd been hoping for and tried to beef up the book with extra, un-necessary story lines?This book is, for the author, a love-story and a book about finding himself. For the reader, it would be mu [...]

    • Ted says:

      Really weird book. If it sounds appealing to you, take it to the beach or somewhere relaxing, it will provide an easy read and a topic for discussion.

    • Andrew says:

      I'm not really sure what to say. This is a bit of a strange duck of a book, part travelogue, part biography, part history. While it had a lot of interesting content, and I can't say that I didn't like it, I'm still not really sure what my overall reaction to it really is. What I can say is that this is well written. Which is probably why I actually finished the book. Had this been poorly written, I'm not sure that I would have found the content compelling enough to sustain my interest all the wa [...]

    • May says:

      It's more of a 3.5 and an excellent book to take on a vacation. Paterniti is a good writer. I can even see a movie made out of this. I struggled and settled on a 3 good, but it could have been a 4excellent.The story is novel and the characters seem quite real. There are some interesting settings that are believable and interesting, such as the bar/casino scene. I'm down. Just not enough to add a star.

    • bookyeti says:

      Driving Mr. Albert one is one of those unique works that elude interpretive hyperboles a ‘magnum opus’. You don’t describe it you experience it.The weighty equation E=mc2 and the theory of relativity, conjure up images of a wiry-haired wrinkled genius known to the world as Albert Einstein. The author, Paterniti, mixes his own equation with words. The result? More than just a relative success, Driving Mr. Albert is a light and amiable concoction of humor, eccentricity, wit, poignancy, as we [...]

    • Joe Cummings says:

      When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Albert Einstein was one of the two dead celebrities/ heroes that we all knew. He was the guy who looks like a eccentric but lovable great uncle who was super-intelligent because he used a greater percentage of his brain than the rest of us mortals. Everyone admired Albert Einstein.Michael Paterniti's "Driving Mr. Albert" [2000] is an examination of the cost and curse of celebrity. The book focuses around Professor Albert Einstein and Doctor Thomas Harv [...]

    • Judy says:

      How do you not check out a book about a road trip across the country in a Buick Skylark with Albert Einstein's brain in a Tupperware container as a passenger? I was hooked after reading a description of the book and I'm glad that I threw it into the pile that I hauled to the checkout desk. This is the situation in which Michael Paterniti, a journalist, found himself. It seems that Thomas Harvey, a pathologist who was 84 years old at the time of the cross-country odyssey, performed the autopsy on [...]

    • Stef says:

      This book has been on my radar for a long time, so I picked it when I hosted my book club. The subject matter is fascinating - I had no idea of the background story, nor did I believe it was true. And while the author taking a road trip with Einstein's brain and the man that may or may not have stolen it so many years ago piqued my interest, the book was kind of all over the map (no pun intended). There are some great facts about Einstein and his inner circle, and it definitely made me want to r [...]

    • Melissa McCauley says:

      A well written, entertaining, but unfocused read – this could have been a magazine article, it frequently felt like one which had been expanded to book length with numerous digressions and asides. (The author includes numerous references to famous body parts and corpses throughout history, informing the reader as to their final disposition at the time of publication.)I am a lover of the unusual and absurd, but I must admit I was losing patience with this travelogue/biography well before the ha [...]

    • Mariam says:

      A book about two men driving Einstein's brain across the United States. It sounds like it is going to be a legendary story, only it is a very simple roadtrip story. But I really liked how simple and humorous it sounded, I cracked up at several points during the book. and I liked the weirdness of Thomas Harvey, the guy who supposedly stole Einstein's brain after doing the autopsy. But there's nothing grand there about Einstein's life This is not a biography of him. But it was fun reading it.

    • Chelsea says:

      Boring and self indulgent. I fell asleep reading this one - and since (as my mother would gladly tell you), I've been a borderline insomniac since before I could talk, that's even worse than you might think. More specifically - I'm much more interested in Albert Einstein (and his brain) than I the relationship woes of the author. So guess which one was dissected in more detail?

    • Jason Evans says:

      I love a good road trip. And, Einstein is an interesting character; that is not up for debate. Unfortunately, this book and it's adventures feel suspiciously bit contrived, especially the meeting with William S. Burroughs. Don't be taken in by the cool title like I was.

    • Nicole says:

      is nothing sacred in this country? Who knew Einstein's brain took a voyage without his torso.

    • Tim says:

      I read this because it was our book group selection and finished it as a point of pride; I've always finished my book group book. But I wouldn't have. It really bothered me to read it. It wasn't the subject matter, or that the narrator was incredibly self centered. It was because the writer abused both the language and reality. I reached a point where I couldn't ignore it; it really bothered me.There are many examples, but I'll limit this to a few samples. The word 'trolling' is used as a substi [...]

    • Rebecca says:

      This is a the only book that I had tears by the end of the book. The journey was so great that I was reluctant to end the journey. This is a book about the journey of Einstein's brain across the country. The author, Michael Paterniti just brought you into the book. The books starts with the author finding the person who stole Albert Einstein's brain, Thomas Harvey through a friend that knew him through William Burroughs and he with Thomas Harvey embark on a journey to California to let Albert Ei [...]

    • Don Friedman says:

      Strange but mostly enjoyable book. A young writer, struggling in his relationship, becomes intrigued about the story that a doctor who had been involved in Albert Einstein's autopsy, kept some of his brain, which was widely sought for possible research value. The doctor's goal is to drive cross country to give the brain to Einstein's granddaughter (who's not all that thrilled). He persuades the journalist, the author to do the driving and the book is mainly their adventure traveling cross countr [...]

    • Jill says:

      Honestly, I struggled between a 2 and 3 star rating for this one. The writing was really good, and the author made a spotty story somewhat interesting. About halfway through though, I lost the purpose of the story. Was it about the journey? Was it about the brain? Was it about the dr who "stole" it? I guess it was about all three, but it was hard to keep it all straight. It just felt sort of disconnected. I did finish it, and towards the end it did pick up a bit. So in the end, I gave it the 3 s [...]

    • Julie says:

      Quite a quirky read. It does not following the "normal" narrative flow. I grumbled about this for the first three-quarters of the book, finally settling in to the pace the last quarter. The flow mirrors the oddness of the topic and the main (real) character. A testament to what humans can infuse into inanimate objects (Einstein's long dead brain). Think Gollum and "My Precious." Ultimately, it all comes together and -- fittingly -- you can kind of time warp the story to make sense of it all.

    • Jill Blevins says:

      My son gave this one to me to read and I think I read it in one day. It was perfect for me for the moment, but if you asked me why I would not have an answer. It’s pretty much what the title says it is, and that’s the quest and the conflict. But it was full of characters and enough for me.I loved living this book for a day, and loved learning everything to know about traveling across the country with the smartest person in our history's brain.

    • Dankistler says:

      What a strange trip this has been.While I enjoyed the trip across the United States with these two characters and the unusual characters they met along the way the book never seemed to feel completely unified. Perhaps that is what the author wanted but I always felt like the three characters in the story—the author, the doctor and the brain—never connected fully. Still an enjoyable read with all kinds of insights into the life of Albert Einstein to research.

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