I purchased "Love at Absolute Zero," by Christopher Meeks, from Amazon because I had enjoyed previous works by the author, and the storyline intrigued me.
Plot/Storyline: 5 stars
"Love at Absolute Zero" is the fictional story of physicist Gunnar Gunderson’s search for love. The first part of the book, where Gunnar tried to find a perfect soul mate by the scientific method, was funny and painful at the same time. I found myself laughing out loud a lot, but I was also groaning, often on the same page. Through pure chance, Gunnar did meet the perfect girl, but there was a wee problem.
The second half of the book was how Gunnar dealt with that wee problem, which unexpectedly became a huge problem, one that pushed Gunnar to the depths of despair and hopelessness.
The basic storyline was a familiar one: boy meets girl--boy loses girl--boy gets girl, but there were enough interesting twists and turns along the way to make the story immensely enjoyable.
The scene where Gunnar participated in a speed dating session was worth the price of the book. It was painfully funny, and I’m eternally grateful that I never had to experience anything like that.
Note: The story included quite a bit of quantum physics. I found this to be fascinating stuff, especially in the way that Gunnar used subatomic particles to explain human relationships. But quantum physics was used as a backdrop for the story, it was not the story. If you have no interest in physics, don’t let that deter you from reading Love at Absolute Zero. The author kept it simple enough for any reader to understand.
Characters: 5 stars
The characters and their relationships were as important as the storyline. Gunnar Gunderson was a likable and sympathetic character. He was a brilliant physicist who was deeply committed to his work, but he also yearned for the same thing that most humans crave – love. Gunnar’s mother Audrey and his sister Patty were real people, with the kind of personalities that most readers are likely to identify in their own families.
Writing style: 5 stars
I’ve read the author’s two short story collections, so I knew he was an accomplished writer, but in Love at Absolute Zero, he brought all of his skills and experience to bear. The writing was very polished, and the dialogues were realistic, running the gamut from whimsical to very serious. Characters showed genuine human emotions, which added to the intensity of the story.
I was skeptical of the idea of incorporating a complex subject like quantum physics into a love story that would be both readable and enjoyable, but the author hit a home run. It’s a very good story, very well told.
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Associated Writing Programs