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Love at Absolute Zero (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Meeks

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"Love at Absolute Zero" is about a physicist who tries to apply the tools of science to finding a soul mate. Specifically, Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin, gets a promotion, and all he can only think of now is finding a wife, causing his research to falter. To meet his soul mate within three days—that’s what he wants and all time he can carve out—he and his team are using the scientific method, to riotous results.

“It is impossible not to like Gunnar Gunderson," says critic Sam Sattler of Book Chase. "As he progresses from one disaster or near miss to the next, one views him with a mixture of compassion and laughter, but he is such a good-hearted young man that it is impossible not to root for him."

“As if Einstein didn’t struggle hard enough failing at a unified field theory,” says Philip Persinger, author of 'Do The Math,' “Meeks ups the ante by tossing philosophy, anthropology, hashish and love (with a capital L) into the mix. And while we’re so sorry, Uncle Albert, in "Love At Absolute Zero," Meeks succeeds absolutely. This delightful story begins when a duck steps out of water and into a wormhole—kind of like a quantum mechanical breakdown on the interstate. Fortunately, the author has such technical control over his material, that the reader does not share the same misery index with the main character as Gunnar bounces down a difficult path to ultimate happiness. It’s a great read.”

“I've read both of Meeks's short story collections and 'The Brightest Moon of the Century.' I roared through 'Love at Absolute Zero' in a day and a half. Meeks's prose is carefully crafted, his characters compelling and entertaining. I love everything he writes, and I recommend 'Love at Absolute Zero' without reservation.
-- author Kevin Gerard ("Conor and the Crossworlds")

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christopher Meeks began as a playwright and had three plays produced. "Who Lives? A Drama" is published. His short stories have been published in Rosebud, The Clackamas Literary Review, The Santa Barbara Review, The Southern California Anthology, The Gander Review, and other journals and are available in two collections, "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea" and "Months and Seasons." He has two novels, "The Brightest Moon of the Century," a story that Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviews describes as “a great and truly humane novel in the tradition of Charles Dickens and John Irving,” and his new comic novel, "Love At Absolute Zero."


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 442 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 264 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 098363291X
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: White Whisker Books (4. Mai 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004ZF9GWE
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #350.289 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.8 von 5 Sternen  85 Rezensionen
27 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Stumbles in the middle 15. November 2011
Von EarthDog Hilo - Veröffentlicht auf
I had great hopes for this "literary comic fiction" and wish it had fully lived up to them. The first third of the book is quite enjoyable, but it sagged so badly in the middle that I put it down for several weeks and might not have picked it up again except that the main character, Gunner Gunderson, was appealing and I wanted to see how things worked out for him. They did, but slowly, and with very little of the initial humor that had won me over in the early chapters.

The writing is sometimes lovely, even moving, but too often takes on a dryly clinical tone which may be appropriate for a physicist's viewpoint but doesn't do much to engage the reader. Other reviewers have liked the Denmark chapters, but for this reader the travelogue aspects are more instrusive than evocative, Gunnar's moping goes on far too long, and too many minor characters are introduced to little effect.

IMO the novel would have been better (and tighter) had Gunnar stayed in Wisconsin. The strongest scenes are those Gunnar shares with his research partners and family, a supporting cast who are sadly lacking from the middle of the book. When Gunnar does return home to at last find the love he's been looking for, things pick up again, although the ending was so abrupt I clicked "next page" expecting a final chapter still to come.

In spite of these weaknesses, there is much to like here. The author deftly integrates just the right amount of science into the story, and Gunnar's wistful musings on love and physics are endearingly quirky. On the whole the novel is charming, and if it had kept my interest better through the middle it would have earned a solid 4 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an objective review.
19 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An absolute winner 11. November 2011
Von Abel G. Peña - Veröffentlicht auf
After enjoying Christopher Meeks' cleverly self-deprecating short story collection The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea, I decided to pick up his novel Love at Absolute Zero. I was not disappointed. The story, focusing on good-natured, if haphazard, physicist Gunnar Gunderson's search for love (utilizing the tried-and-true tenets of the scientific method, natch), is an absolute rip. Here are some of the finer points (spoilers ahoy):

1. The premise itself already had me hooked, but the introduction is remarkably strong. The use of a dramatic flashback to begin the story in the middle of a dire scene is brilliantly pulled off, immediately getting the story's meat hooks into the reader and never letting up.

2. All the portions of the book spent explaining and analogizing scientific concepts into layman terms seemed particularly inspired, given the difficulty of the ideas. The section detailing Gunnar's course introduction for non-science majors felt honest and *alive*. If I had been in his class, he definitely would have convinced me with that lecture to stay.

3. The moment Gunnar realizes that his old school crush Ursula is "the one" exemplifies the ability of Meeks to really create a moment on the page. "She looked pleased, and as he stared into her blue eyes, he fell into their wonderful vortex, a swirl of feeling and meaning as if he was in another person's entire nervous system." Holy s***. That gave me goose bumps, and reminded me of exactly what it feels like to be in love.

4. There are also tons of hilarious moments. One of my favorites of these is when Gunnar attends a party with old friends and goes into the explanation of his atomic work on absolute zero. The snarky rejoinder, "Hey! Gunnar's been within a billionth of a degree of destroying the universe!" made me laugh out loud. Likewise, the scene in which the three scientists whisper ominously about seeking the answers to love in the dreaded Humanities had perfect tone, timing and word choice that made me outright guffaw. Yet another scene involves Gunnar fumbling through a speed-dating event, where he mingles awkwardly with his meat-headed competition and no-nonsense prey. "He nodded to the women first, both in dresses, then the guys next, in shorts and sandals with socks, and he stood there, his head still bobbing as he tried to relax and appear genetically attractive." I just about fell out with that priceless imagery.

5. The book also had many moments that served as wonderfully subtle foreshadowing. One of them was Gunnar's preliminary insistence on the aforementioned speed-dating. He's already supposedly given up on "the one," Ursula. But, of course, he keeps thinking about her and he keeps thinking speed-dating is the answer to his love mission -- never admitting to himself that chemically, psychologically, his insistence on the latter is the groping manifestation of his obsessions with the former. It's the kind of artful nuance Meeks handles deftly. Another of those wonderful, quietly foreshadowing scenes is when Gunnar makes it to Denmark, devastated by the betrayal of his exotic, Danish love-interest Kara, and then has a quick look in her parents' medicine cabinet. That mere act of picking up a bottle of Zopiklone 7,5 mg, opening it and simply observing, "One handful" ... spoke magnitudes. Great writing.

6. A formatting gimmick worth noting because it worked quite effectively in the context: Gunnar's "bullet-point" affirmations concerning the most basic truths of his new life in Denmark ("- Beds are good. - Comforters are good. - Kara is bad. - Love sucks. - Denmark sucks. - Sleep is good.") cut like a knife to the heart of what it feels like to be freshly brokenhearted in this or any other country. Then, coming right on the heels of that chapter closer, the scientifically-based quote leading Chapter 15 (all chapters lead with such an introduction) summarizing the third law of thermodynamics felt expertly chosen. We see Gunnar at what seems to be his lowest point here and are reminded that "absolute zero cannot be reached." It's a message at once hopeful and preparatory to the real rock bottom Gunnar is yet going to slam into.

7. Again, the science bits are written very accessibly and without impediment to the flow of the story -- in this case, I refer to the chemical underpinnings and forms of attraction put forth by the biological anthropologist known simply as "Pete." It was an excellent idea to save this conversation for the end, as it *finally* feels like we're getting the straight dope (or dopamine, as it were) on what makes love work in scientific terms. It's a turning point of awareness for both Gunnar and the reader.

8. Thus, finally (without ruining the ending), I felt the crowning achievement of the novel was Gunnar's speech on fermions and bosons, death, and love. This blew me away. Shoehorning advanced science into comprehensible metaphors is never easy, but this almost-soliloquy on the relevance and relation of our modern (often esoteric) research into the subatomic world to our age-old concerns of loving and dying was genuinely moving, skirting the precipitous cliff edge of evidential unsubstantiation and dancing on balletic pointe.

The story has much else going for it. On the whole, an absolute winner.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen As touching as it is amusing 15. September 2011
Von MJ Guthrie - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The idea of using scientific method to find romance seems a challenging premise for a novel. Christopher Meeks accomplishes that, and then some.

We start by following Gunnar Gunderson in his life as a physicist/professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is smart, creative, has a sense of humor, but is essentially a really competent professional science nerd. His lab partners clearly fit the same mold. They research "ultracold," trying to get atoms as close as possible to absolute zero. Dense, complicated, challenging stuff. When he is awarded tenure, Gunnar decides it's time to find love and marry. Also dense, complicated, challenging stuff.

Naturally, his inclination is to apply scientific method to this challenge, since that method has proven successful in his work. Also, minor detail, since he has deadlines to meet, he wants this to happen in three days. At this point the narrative goes from cute and amusing to hilarious. His attempts to define who he wants, improve his appearance, and focus his search is inventive, surprising, very funny, and, somewhat a surprise to this reader, really sweet.

Besides a smart and sensitive plot with wonderful characters, Meeks is also a gifted writer of prose. His descriptions of place and emotion are quite touching, and sometimes striking, as when we describes snow in Denmark as "coming down slowly like a mother's wishes on her newborn child."

As Gunnar's wisdom grows with experience, frequently aided by pain and humiliation, his search becomes increasingly touching, and we find ourselves completely swept up in his admittedly bizarre path to romance. I loved this book much more than I planned to, starting it expecting a fun but ultimately lightweight read. Inside, I was amused and moved by Gunnar's adventures.

I don't give five stars just because I like a book, but usually have to be able to see more than entertainment to give that rating. Absolute Zero turned out to be great entertainment, but also much more. I'm now a Meeks fan.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen How Men Look At Love 24. November 2011
Von Sandra Kirkland - Veröffentlicht auf
Gunnar Gunderson has spent his life in the lab. He is a rising star in physics, working on what happens to matter if it reaches absolute zero. At work he is a star, getting tenure at age 32. In life, he realises that he is near the bottom, no love interest, no chance of a wife and family unless he changes his way.

Always the scientist, Gunnar decides to approach the problem of finding a wife scientifically. He starts making lists of desirable traits and hypotheses of what women are looking for in a mate. This should be easy if he just applies the scientific method, right? Just to make things more interesting, due to work pressures he determines that he needs to find his soulmate in the time he has available while his lab is being moved--three days.

Readers will enjoy reading about Gunnar and his quest. He is an endearing sort, focused in his work but bumbling like an amateur through life. The question of whether he can make his love life work as well as his academic one will keep readers turning the pages to the end. This book is recommended for readers interested in true love, or at least how men may approach it.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Seriously? People are rating this four stars? 22. Mai 2014
Von Jeremy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I don't hate this I wrote in my Goodreads review, I find it dumb. For one thing, it doesn't follow its premise. It's supposed to be about a physicist who uses the scientific method to find a woman. Yet, he doesn't. He's just like any other guy trying to find a woman. Apparently, in this book world, just mentioning the term "scientific method" means you're using it.

The dialogue and writing is not very realistic, I mean seriously. Read some of the dialogue and picture people saying that. I did find it light hearted and cute and innocent, which for a not well written book, was enough to keep me reading for a while. It's like reading a long blog post.

But thing that makes me write this review: do people not care about editing? You find things like "Who's are". And what's even worse, Ursula's boyfriend is introduced as "Jim" but then later on referred to as "Jeff". Really? Seriously? Nobody cares about that?
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