Driving Mr. Albert: a trip across America with Einstein’s brain
What an idea for a book! Paterniti won the National Magazine Award for his article “Driving Mr. Albert,” first published in Harper’s Magazine, which details the true story of how he located 84-year old pathologist Thomas Harvey—better known as the man in possession of Einstein’s brain bits—and drove from New Jersey to California to return the remains in a Tupperware container to Einstein’s daughter, Evelyn. This is Paterniti’s version of On the Road, with Einstein himself as a sort of imaginary third passenger. At turns memoir, history, biography and philosophy, the 211-page book is a funny, absorbing page-turner. Along the way you find out all kinds of odd facts about Einstein (he had a dog named Chico), while accompanying the author on his intimate journey into the heart of America and the mysteries of a legendary mind. TPaterniti is the kind of friendly travel writer full of witty insights; while his writing remains accessible even when pondering the insights of Einstein’s genius. This is a memorable road trip rooted in the absurd but full of value; a quick, enjoyable summer read. The paperback costs $10.95 and is available at fine chain stores near you.