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
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57