With some books, you can sense in advance that you are in for a reader's treat, that you will be taken outside your normal reading zone and sent on an involving and entertaining journey through words. "Love at Absolute Zero", by Christopher Meeks, is just such a book. I knew that I would love the hero, Gunnar Gunderson, and that I would be captivated by his adventure of self-enlightenment. What I didn't know, since this was my first read from Chris Meeks, was that the author would blow me away with his skill as a storyteller.
Since Gunnar is a physicist, his thought processes center around science and logic. He even uses physics to rationalize human behavior and sexuality. For Gunnar, this is not just his profession, it's the very air he breathes. It is also very much a coping mechanism. Gunnar is not just a brainy geek. He's also a man with a good heart and a longing for love and companionship. We could not really empathize with Gunnar if we didn't understand his physics-patterned psyche, so Chris Meeks makes the science reachable for the reader. When Gunnar lectures his students, gives a speech, or discusses physics with anyone who will listen, the voice you hear is really the author making his hero more accessible to the reader.
You cannot read Gunnar's misadventures without finding him endearing, admiring his intelligence, and hoping that he will finally get it right and score his happy ending. When Gunnar reaches a career and life milestone, his university tenure, he decides it's time to bring his personal life up to speed and find his perfect mate. Through scientific rationalization, Gunnar decides that he can make himself over and secure his soul mate in just three days. What he puts himself through to achieve his goal is both alarming and hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading this book, and I truly enjoyed the sense of self-ironic humor which pervaded the story line.
While Gunnar was sure of his science, he often stumbled in his personal life. He was a successful man, attractive in his own way, and he was not without sexual experience. However, he was vulnerable, and when he was hurt and acted in ways totally unlike his true persona, then we hurt with him. There is a wonderful underlying wisdom in this book, an understanding of human nature and how it continually shoots itself in the foot when it is already on crutches. I very much look forward to reading more works by Chris Meeks so that I can learn things like this: "Don't dismiss the one-armed librarian." A highly recommended read.
Causes Christopher Meeks Supports
Associated Writing Programs