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Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America…
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Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain (Original 2000; 2001. Auflage)

von Michael Paterniti

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
9453217,124 (3.24)34
This travel book tells the true story of how, in 1997, writer Michael Paterniti agreed to take a road trip from New Jersey to California, reuniting the preserved brain of the great scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) with his granddaughter Evelyn. Paterniti's travelling companion is 84-year-old Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who not only removed Einstein's brain from his head during the autopsy but also purloined it from Princeton Hospital. Storing the great scientist's brain in a Tupperware zipped inside a grey duffel-bag, they rent a Buick Skylark, and drive from New Jersey to Ohio, Kansas City to Dodge City, Los Alamos to Las Vegas, finally achieving their bizarre reunion in Berkeley, California.… (mehr)
Mitglied:zhejw
Titel:Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain
Autoren:Michael Paterniti
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (2001), Paperback, 224 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:***
Tags:nonfiction, memoir, travel, humor, einstein

Werk-Details

Unterwegs mit Mr. Einstein von Michael Paterniti (2000)

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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's granddaughter.

Now that I know these are true people in this story, I'm blown away. Okay, they really did go see William Burroughs in Lawrence, KS! And I'm so glad the redheaded Sara with green eyes really exists. I'm still trying to process the fact that these are real people in the book. This also means the creepy Hollywood lawyer for dead star's likenesses really exists. Yikes.

It's amazing that everyone seemed to know that Dr. Thomas Harvey kept Einstein's brain in his basement for 40 some years and no one really did anything about it. He hadn't broken any laws. He was the guy that did the autopsy on Einstein. Wow. And he is quite a character. (Apparently, not a made up character.) He is hard to figure out. A lot is going on up there in his head. His conversations often make no sense but he seems to be in his right mind. The author, Michael Paterniti, loses patience with him and his odd way of communicating at times, but he toughs it out because, after all, this is really interesting. This is a road trip we would all do if we had the chance, eccentric character be damned.

So! Not the book I was expecting. Still interesting as a road trip novel, circa 1998. It's not edge of your seat exciting, but that's okay once you settle into the pace. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
An entertaining yet insightful story about a trip across country with Einstein's brain in the trunk.

The author meets the brain's keeper, the pathologist Dr. Thomas Harvey, through a casual remark by his landlord, Steven Lowe*, while Paterniti lived in New Mexico. Intrigued by the opportunity to see the brain, Michael later travels to meet Dr. Harvey.

Harvey was the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Einstein in 1955. As part of that procedure, he removed the brain and took it with him. He insists that he had permission from Einstein's son, by telephone, but the validity of that permission was questioned over the decades Harvey kept the brain.

Paterniti found Harvey to be eccentric and likable. Harvey didn't always answer Paterniti's questions fully, so it seemed that he was being a little disingenuous. Nevertheless, the two seemed to take to each other, at least to an extent. When Harvey mentioned he was going to travel from the east coast to the west to visit Albert Einstein's granddaughter Evelyn, Paterniti responded by saying he would drive. The impulsive remark set the whole thing in motion.

Interspersed with odd visits the pair make along the way are details of Einstein's life. Initially I got the impression that Paterniti saw Einstein as a cheerful fellow, a bit absent-minded but well-meaning. From my own reading I knew Einstein was far more complex and not the friendly father-figure we see in the memes. As the book progresses, though, his character is filled in and I became more satisfied with it.

This is the type book that I have generally become tired of - a kind of memoir with a theme. "One year doing X" or "overcoming grief by falconing". It covers a short period in Paterniti's life, all focused on the brain. There is a kind of formula for filling in the blanks in this type memoir. Nevertheless, I liked it. Paterniti has a light touch and is not overly full of himself. His integrity drew me in.

* It happens I knew Steven Lowe. He was a warm, lovely person I met in relation to his purchase of a motel designed by my father. I came to know him better over the short time he operated the motel, until his tragic death. Interestingly, he was a great teller of tales and had lived quite a life. He would be a great subject for a book himself, had he only lasted a bit longer. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
DNF - This book is a non-fiction account of Paterniti's meeting and getting to know the doctor who had Einstein's brain (from the autopsy). I found it dry and boring - I didn't care about the characters or what happened to the brain or even how he got the brain.....couldn't finish. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Michael Paterniti chronicles the experiences he had while transporting Albert Einstein's brain across the United States and discusses how the journey changed the way he viewed the world. HARD
  JRCornell | Feb 5, 2019 |
I had hopes that Driving Mr. Albert would make for an interesting read. After all, "A Trip Across America With Einstein's Brain", could have lots of potential. This book fell short of my expectations. The premise was "diluted" with side stories about the author's personal life. Every single time that happened, it took me out of the main storyline about Harvey, the brain and the trip, and left me flat. After happening several times, I "cheated" reading this book by skipping the parts that were to me very unenjoyable. ( )
  PeggyK49 | Jan 18, 2019 |
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It was a splendid mind. For if thought is like the keyboard of a piano, divided into so many notes, or like the alphabet is ranged in twenty-six letters all in order, then his mind had no difficulty in running over those letters one by one, firmly, accurately, until it had reached,say, the letter Q. He reached Q ....But after Q ? What comes next ? After Q there are a number of letters the last of which is scarecely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance .... How many men in a thousand million, he asked himself, reach Z after all ? Surely the leader of a forlorn hope may ask himself that, and answer, without treachery to the expedition behind him, "one perhaps." One in a generation.

--Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
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For Sara and Leo,
all the days and nights of us yet to come
And in memory of Peggy Fulton Corbett
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To be honest I thought the road trip would be a caper.
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Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. (Albert Einstein)
Marriage is the unsuccessful attempt to make something out of an incident (Albert Einstein)
Sometimes moments like this don't make any sense when you're in them. It's only later, when you remember back, that they stand as a dividing line between who you were and what you've become.
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This travel book tells the true story of how, in 1997, writer Michael Paterniti agreed to take a road trip from New Jersey to California, reuniting the preserved brain of the great scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) with his granddaughter Evelyn. Paterniti's travelling companion is 84-year-old Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who not only removed Einstein's brain from his head during the autopsy but also purloined it from Princeton Hospital. Storing the great scientist's brain in a Tupperware zipped inside a grey duffel-bag, they rent a Buick Skylark, and drive from New Jersey to Ohio, Kansas City to Dodge City, Los Alamos to Las Vegas, finally achieving their bizarre reunion in Berkeley, California.

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