Apparently, this is the most successful German novel since Patrick Suskind's “Perfume” and has knocked J. K. Rowling and Dan Brown off the bestseller lists.
I can very well believe that. The author talks about two brilliant German scientists of the 18th century, the explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and the great mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. These two guys were the brain of the late 18th century. Humboldt explored the world, well, mainly South America and accounts for a lot of discoveries and findings of that time, Gauss was one of the biggest mathematicians ever, already as a young boy he developed mathematical formulas we still use today, he found out a lot about space, you can say together they “measured the world” as we know it. This is a wonderful story of two extremely successful and interesting lives, and even if you're not interested in science at all, there is a lot to be learned from that period.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.