Lit2Go (iTunesU link)
Length: Approx. 4 hours
Reader: Lorraine Montgomery
The book: Have you ever stopped to consider the world from another perspective? I don't just mean looking through the eyes of another culture, gender, or ethnic group, though that certainly is important to being a humane thinking member of society. I mean a perspective so alien and different, it requires travel to another dimension.
In Flatland, Abbott imagines life in two dimensions, where all people are geometric figures. Abbott satirizes his own Victorian class-conscious society by making different geometric shapes correspond to different classes and relegates women to mere line segments. Beyond the social satire, Flatland provides an excellent introduction to the concepts of geometry and multi-dimensional space, as the main character, a square, visits one dimensional Lineland in a dream, then is visited in turn by a sphere from Spaceland. Considering life in different dimensions is a mind-bending exercise that opened my comprehension of the world and forced me to think about the possibilities of other worlds beyond this one.
Rating: 8 / 10
The reader: Montgomery proves an excellent tour guide to the world of Flatland. She has a pleasant American accent that is clear and engaging. Since the book is told from the perspective of a male, the voice doesn't quite fit with the narrator, but that's a minor quibble. Like all publications of Lit2Go, these recordings are provided by the University of Central Florida as part of a Florida Department of Education grant. If you'd like an alternate reading of the same book, the LibriVox version of Flatland (zipped mp3) read by Ruth Golding is equally good.
(Entered in the Book Review Wednesday contest at Cym Lowell. Follow the link for reviews of other books by various bloggers)