Friday, 23 September 2011

Love at Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks

GENRE: contemporary fiction/romance

Love at Absolute Zero is about Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old star physicist at the University of Wisconsin. The moment he’s given tenure at the university, he can think of only one thing: finding a wife. His research falters into what happens to matter near absolute zero (−459.67 °F), but he has an instant new plan. To meet his soul mate within three days—that’s what he wants and the time he can carve out—he will use the Scientific Method. Can Gunnar survive his quest?


Love at Absolute Zero is a gem of a book, and as I rarely begin a review with such a direct declaration, you can be sure that I truly enjoyed reading this story, from the first to the last chapter.

The novel tells the story of Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old brilliant physicist with a tenure at the University of Wisconsin, a passion for his research project and now, a new-found desire to find himself a wife. It seems that a wife will complete the picture. Gunnar, however, is – despite being a very intelligent and talented physicist – a man who relies on science completely. He relies on science so much that he goes about finding his one true love with a scientific approach. But even though he has a perfect plan and knows all the right scientific methods to use in order to find his soul mate in only three days, it immediately begins to show that Gunnar is, in fact, very naïve and inexperienced when it comes to love, and so his great romantic adventure begins.

Gunnar is a great hero who is very smart, intelligent and of a clearly scientific mind, but who is a bit emotionally challenged when it comes to love. He seems that every problem can be approached by way of employing scientific methods, but he has to learn that there is no such thing as an equation for love. He knows the ways of romancing, but he never truly experienced anything with his heart, which leaves him vulnerable and naïve. His quest for love is a wonderful journey spiced up with passion and humour, and it is easy to sympathise with Gunnar, sometimes even relate to him. After all, are we not, on occasion, all fools when it comes to love? Gunnar is, therefore, although a geek (a great, sweet geek!) who could step right into a scene of The Big Bang Theory, an ordinary guy who happens to be a bit unique. In short, he is very human and real, and the sort of character one remembers.

The novel approaches a very interesting subject – love from a scientific point of view; and this brings me to the science used in the novel. This book has an amazing trait – it balances science and romance with a natural ease, focusing on both subjects equally, realistically and in a quite believable way. The author clearly did a lot of research related to quantum physics and presented it well in the novel. The physics in the story really are physics and the science is completely real. The reader does not need to feel challenged by the fact that quantum physics is discussed and explained in the story; every part related to science is written in a way that can be understood by anyone, while maintaining the sense of reality, by which I mean that the author doesn’t downplay physics. Meeks makes you want to learn physics and be able to chat about it with Gunnar. Another thing I’d like to point out is that every chapter is preceded by a quote belonging to a famous scientist, be it Einstein, Bohr or Huxley. It’s a very nice touch.

Then, there is the romance, which is equally important and described in the novel in equal measure. In my experience, one of two subjects in a novel usually stands out, but Meeks balances the science and the romance with ease, making both subjects very interesting and simple to follow. The two subjects form an intriguing combination that works just perfectly.

Gunnar’s story is fun, funny and wonderful, and it shows a rational view on love, but also that, ultimately, love can get anyone, even the most rational ones. The premise is definitely original and the story well delivered. This is a book that I can easily recommend to anyone, regardless of the gender.

I received a copy of the novel for review as part of the blog tour organised by Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.



Teddy Rose said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much. I know I couldn't help but root for Gunner.

Blodeuedd said...

Welcome back :D I am glad you had a good time and it's fun to see you here again

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Welcome back-I missed you! And I'm glad you started with such a great review of an enjoyable book; I don't think I've seen this one around but I'm definitely intrigued now!

Jan von Harz said...

Glad to see you back and with such an interesting novel to review. I love the combination of to such opposite subjects and while it is not a book I would ever pick up your review has me thinking it would be fun.

Jo K said...

Glad you're back! Science and romance don't seem to go together usually, so I'm curious about this book - I believe it must be good if the science is explained in the reader-friendly way. Great review!

Anonymous said...

This sounds amazing! And kind of reminds me of my boyfriend - he's the scientific type, so I wonder if this is the path he was on before we met :-) lol.