Levi is an Italian Jew from Turin who studied chemistry and worked as a chemist throughout the second world war, including (having been captured as a partisan) just outside Auschwitz. This book tells stories from hislife which are linked to one element or another. Thus, in one job he uses potassium to purify benzene and almost burns the lab down; at anothertime an acquaintance gives him a piece of uranium he had acquired from Germans feeling to Switzerland at the end of WWII.
It reminded me a little of Faulk's A Fool's Alphabet in its somewhat artificial structuring (but it is at least chronological) but more of Richard Feynman's Surely you're joking Mr Feynman which is a much more amusing scientific autobiography .
Nevertheless, this was an interesting read.
August 2009, 232 pages
- I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57