“Einstein in the Attic” by Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri – (A review)

admin2021January 7, 2023

In the 19th Century debate raged between those who espoused Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and those who held the traditional view of the church that God created everything as explained in the bible.

Even today there is a clash of views between the adherents of what is called “intelligent design” and those who subscribe to evolutionary theory. The latter relies as proof upon processes such as mutation and natural selection, whereas the former maintains that living organisms must have been created all at once by an intelligent designer. So, what is truth?

How did we (and everything else) come about?

Why are we (and everything else) here?

Why are things the way they are?

What is it all for?

Are we alone?

Is there a god?

If so…..

Why does God permit evil things to happen?

These are but some of the questions many of us may have pondered from time to time in our lives.

As the world jumps every day from one crisis to another, whilst also being in the midst of a chaotic pandemic and a military invasion of Ukraine, a new book “Einstein in the Attic” looks to find answers within the existential struggle between science and faith.

If there is one question that has intrigued mankind for centuries, it is the problem of evil rampant in the world. The question has become even more relevant today with the advancement of scientific technology—bringing up the responsibility of using science to discover an answer to the ancient question.

Niece-uncle author duo, Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri, have recently released a new sci-fi adventure book that aims to find the answer to that same question through a mind-bending, thought-provoking novel, “Einstein in the Attic.”

Set against the backdrop of the war between science and God, reason and faith, “Einstein in the Attic” is the story of one scientist’s search for truth and meaning when faced with the ultimate question: Is there a God?

Upon first reading the title, you might be forgiven for thinking that you are being set up for something relating to the ideas of science linked to none other than the man who revolutionised our ideas about the nature of space and time. As for the reference to “attic” in the title, you might be thinking about a place where things from one’s life would likely be stored, or perhaps a reference to one’s ‘head’ and the kinds of ideas, beliefs and impressions that may be stored in the mind.

From just the first few chapters I was impressed with the quality of writing, the way in which the characters were established early on, along with their often complicated relationships together with the social and cultural settings in which they lived their lives. It was very easy to picture the characters in my mind as they were skilfully given flesh and blood on the page. The descriptions of the various settings of the story are also very detailed and vividly brought to life for the reader.

From the early chapters the reader could be excused for thinking that the story might turn out to be rather intense and heavy going, particularly as we follow Adam Reemi growing up; enduring war, violence and loss; moving from one culture to another and having to contend with change; facing problems in school and at home; dealing with work and marital relationship problems, along with dragging around emotional baggage and trauma from his past. As you’ll see, since fleeing war-torn Lebanon, Adam Reemi’s faith will indeed be shaken by the hardships he has endured.

It isn’t all that long before you discover the mood and tone shifting in very unexpected ways. The roller-coaster of adventure kicks off when Adam and a colleague, Muntz successfully construct a nano hadron collider. Using this device, together with sound waves (reminiscent of electronic voice phenomenon in parapsychology) Adam has at his disposal unheard-of power. Hey, don’t forget that we have accepted into our collective sci-fi consciousness the notion of flux capacitors, time-travelling DeLoreans and hover boards!

To help him answer the greatest question mankind has ever posed, Adam zaps the best philosophical minds of all time–namely Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Soren Kierkegaard, and Baruch Spinoza–from the past and into his attic. Yes, they may be the greatest minds of human history, but they are human beings with all the eccentricities, annoying habits, character flaws and foibles that human beings possess! This results in some very comical and entertaining episodes involving the revered giants of science and philosophy. Of course, as is often the case, not all goes according to plan and along with further changes of mood and atmosphere, Adam finds himself in a race against time to formulate an answer to the question of intelligent design… or risk losing everything.

I can well see this book appealing very much to young adult readers, as well as to a general reading audience interested in matters of science, theology and the larger questions of life. Einstein In The Attic would may also prove to be a valuable addition to school reading lists in English, science, religious studies and philosophy subject areas. Furthermore, I can see the story being easily adapted into a movie or TV / streaming service series. Be aware though that some of the language is a bit “fruity” but that it is used in context and lends authenticity to the story.

Keep in mind that Einstein In The Attic is a book of ideas but the concepts are presented in an accessible and engaging way for both readers who are familiar with the subject matter as well as the lay reader with little knowledge of the scientific and philosophical references.

The excellent research behind the novel is very much apparent. For me, a case in point is the character Isaac Newton. This genius natural philosopher’s actual private life and character and personality was in fact very ‘interesting’ to say the least and is wonderfully captured in the novel.

In an exclusive interview about their debut book, Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri shared that Einstein in the Attic is a one-of-a-kind original novel whose main characters delve into valid scientific proofs, arguments, and counterarguments and objectively scrutinize to deduce the existence of a creator.

The scientific proofs and their subsequent scientific advancements have been well-researched, are accurate, and hold high merit and validity. Furthermore, the novel presents them in a simple, yet unpredictable, entertaining, and accessible manner that makes it appealing to the general audience that keeps the reader hooked and eager to read the next page. “The novel is a distinctive intelligent science fiction story because it grapples with big questions through an entertaining pinch of humor, an engaging manner of dialogue, a strong narrative arc, a unique voice and writing style, diversity, and powerful character developments— all while also delving deeper into the world of spirituality.”

Einstein in the Attic was released on Amazon in January 2022. The novel has already received stellar 5-star ratings from its early batch of readers on Amazon.

The book has received rave reviews from readers:

“The authors were so knowledgeable about philosophy, science, and so much more. The story was engaging and flowed very nicely. What an amazing premise: the most renowned philosophers of all brought to present times. Their impressions of the modern era were hilarious and enlightening at the same time. I specifically loved the thoughtful Einstein and the feisty Newton. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.”

In addition to the encouraging reviews on Amazon, the fascinating tale has even caught the eye of an entertainment agent who is currently pitching and promoting the novel to various media companies for a possible film/tv series adaptation.

Along with some readers, I may not agree with some of the propositions that are advanced in the story in favor of “intelligent design” but I would whole-heartedly defend anyone’s right to express, debate and argue such a stance. Einstein In The Attic at least challenges us to question long-held and cherished views and stand-points and serves as a warning against blind acceptance of dogma and orthodoxy, especially when it comes to searching for the truth.

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