Read Love At Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks Online


"Love At Absolute Zero" is about a physicist who tries to apply the tools of science to finding a soul mate. Specifically, Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin, gets a promotion, and all he can think of now is finding a wife. To meet his soul mate within three days--that's what he wants and all time he can carve out in a research competi"Love At Absolute Zero" is about a physicist who tries to apply the tools of science to finding a soul mate. Specifically, Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin, gets a promotion, and all he can think of now is finding a wife. To meet his soul mate within three days--that's what he wants and all time he can carve out in a research competition--he and his team are using the scientific method, to riotous results."As if Einstein didn't struggle hard enough failing at a unified field theory," says Philip Persinger, author of 'Do The Math,' "Meeks ups the ante by tossing philosophy, anthropology, hashish and love (with a capital L) into the mix. And while we're so sorry, Uncle Albert, in 'Love At Absolute Zero', Meeks succeeds absolutely.""I've read both of Meeks's short story collections and 'The Brightest Moon of the Century'," says author Kevin Gerard (Conor and the Crossworlds). "I roared through 'Love At Absolute Zero' in a day and a half. Meeks's prose is carefully crafted, his characters compelling and entertaining. I love everything he writes, and I recommend 'Love At Absolute Zero' without reservation."...

Title : Love At Absolute Zero
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781466130548
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 380 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Love At Absolute Zero Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-20 21:52

    Rating: 1.5* rounded up because he's a Goodreads author.The Book Report: Gunnar Gunderson, physicist and dweeb, looks for love and finds it.My Review: "It is impossible not to like Gunnar Gunderson," says critic Sam Sattler of Book Chase (pulled directly from the back cover of the book). I am here to tell you that it is indeed possible, nay incumbent upon, the critical reader to dislike dull, nerdly, clueless Gunnar. A Candide manqué, a feebly drawn Bertie Wooster sans Jeeves, Gunnar elicited in me no strong desires. He made me laugh exactly once: The author describes Gunnar in the throes of his errrmmm crisis of completion as seeing A CHECKERBOARD! I split my sides. A checkerboard! Fountains of feathers, explosions of fireworks from deep oceans of perfume, celestial travel...I've read some fun and funny descriptions of what folks see when aaahhhmmm arriving at the station after the choo-choo ride, but this one...!But most of the book is just a litany of Gunnar's ghastly gormlessness. His own mother can't be bothered most of the time. His father's death brings forth in Gunnar only the desire to see if he's got a hospital gown on in the deathbed. The charming lassie who ends up, inexplicably to me, responding to this wet mass of protein with favor got the strongest response of anyone in the whole book from me: "NOOO! Save yourself, you're too good for him!"Which, come to think of it, was also my reaction to my daughter's first husband. Are all straight women this sucky at choosing men?

  • Eric
    2019-03-05 05:58

    This book is a funny look at love through a scientist's hypothesis/experimentation model of dating. It's not at all my typical kind of book, but that made it more of a breath of fresh air. There were, however, two aspects I didn't like. 1) The beginning of the first chapter flashed forward four months with unnecessary and heavy-handed foreshadowing. 2) The book's description, which implied the main character -- Gunnar Gunderson -- would have three days to find his soul mate. This set up an expectation that the book would take place over three days, where it actually took place (as the flash-forward makes clearer) over many months. But this was likely the editor or publisher's doing, and not the author's, as the author does not often write their book's jacket description.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-28 22:47

    First, I'm in awe of Goodreads this second. I'd been so deep into writing this book that something had to give, and that something was learning more about Goodreads. I could probably burn up my day with email and Facebook alone, let alone adding something new like Goodreads. Yet friends kept mentioning this place, and so I found my password and have decided to really explore it. I just found my profile, and two things surprised me here. One is that I didn't have to add my new novel; it was already here. So was my blog. I'm impressed.I'm proud of this book. I pushed myself, diving into making a physicist likeable even loveable and, along the way, slip in a little quantum physics. Poor Gunnar has so much come down on him. At the start of the book, he's given tenure at the University of Wisconsin, and he and his research team are taking a short time off from their research into matter as it gets extraordinarily cold--billionths of a degree from absolute zero. Gunnar wants a wife, and he's going to use the Scientific Method to find one. He's also giving himself three days to find his soul mate. He doesn't know the chain of trouble he's about to start.It's fun.

  • Debbie Smith
    2019-03-19 02:47

    Thank you Goodreads for giving me the chance to discover this delightful book by choosing me as a winner. I was intrigued by the discription of "Love at Absolute Zero" when I saw it listed in the giveaways. Having known men like Gunnar I was eager to see what Christopher Meeks had in store for this scentifically adept but socially inept "hero". From the beginning I was captivated by Meeks main character Gunnar. I found myself pulling for him to succeed and wishing I sit him done and clue him in on how the world really works. His highs and lows became my highs and lows and I enjoyed the surprisingly romantic ending to a book that was filled with scientific information. Who would have suspected that a novel about science and romance could be so charming? My only reservation in regards to this novel was the rather over discriptive "bedroom" scenes, but I am rather conservative in this area. Overall I would recommend this book as a delightful read - a romance novel that teaches about the world of scientific discovery.

  • Heather
    2019-03-01 01:42

    Gunnar Gunderson is a physicist with some pretty straightforward ways at looking at the world. While his research delving into the physics of absolute zero is going very well and he’s just secured tenure at the university, Gunnar suddenly feels an intense need to find a mate and wants to act on this desire quickly. While on a small hiatus from his teaching and research, Gunnar decides to devote his three day stretch to finding a woman whom he can settle down with. But three days being what it is, Gunnar finds himself in a pickle when his strange preparations for meeting the girl of his dreams don’t go as planned. However, he’s delighted when a chance encounter puts him in the way of a very attractive woman who is receptive and open to Gunnar in a way that none have been before. From the moment they meet, Gunnar and his paramour are smitten, and when Gunnar agrees to go to great lengths to be with the woman he loves, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Thus the three day courtship of his imagination takes on some huge permutations, and Gunnar begins to realize there are huge differences between love and science. In this hugely heartwarming and emotionally eloquent saga of Gunnar and the stirring of his heart, Meeks shares with us a most endearing man, looking for love and enchantment in some very unusual ways.Every time I discover that Chris Meeks is putting out a new book, I get unusually antsy about getting my hands on it. It’s always a pleasure to discover the way in which he will capture my attention and immerse me in the lives of characters that are so complex and concrete that they are difficult to separate from their real life counterparts. Meeks is always upping the ante and outdoing himself with each successive book, growing and stretching as an author whom I’ve come to trust and admire. This latest book was different for Meeks in that he explored the human comedy and tragedy of love in a perfect arena, juxtaposing it as he did with stone cold scientific fact. It was lovely the way the immutable played against the transcendental, and the way Gunnar emotionally slid from his staunch and scientific opinions on love to a more refined and relaxed attitude when it came to taking a chance and letting the desires of his secret heart be fulfilled.Gunnar was one interesting dude. While he’s a very successful physicist and not a bad teacher, there’s a component of his life that’s lacking, and it takes a wave of success to realize that he needs someone to share it with. He’s funny and self-depreciating, but unrealistic about love because he doesn’t understand it or how it works. Gunnar is very comfortable looking at love as a scientific problem, and because of this his attempts to solve it as such are usually impractical and don’t make a lick of sense. And when you stop to analyze what Gunnar thinks about love, it’s enough to make you question what love is and wonder if there are any universal rules that apply to love at all. Meeks subtly proposes these questions by putting Gunnar through his paces, and as the reader laughs at the improbable notions of his protagonist, there’s an element of perplexity as to why it shouldn’t be so. Discovering love isn’t like discovering a new isotope or element, but there is the same flush of initial recognition and the same enthusiasm to share your discovery with the world. For all that, love will not and cannot react in an explicit and time tested manner. For Gunnar, this is a realization that comes to chafe at him. While I could sympathize deeply with Gunnar plight, I could also laughingly relate to what he was going through at times. He had an uncanny knack in his humanness to be thoroughly affective and involving, his confusion and beliefs both charged with the spark of genuine humanness that is a hallmark in Meeks’ writing.When Gunnar decides to immerse himself in the experience of love and to let go of the safety of some of his ideas and his world, he’s in for a rude awakening. This new twist to his love affair baffles and untethers him. Once again, Gunnar tries to insert himself into science, but this time, the results are different. One of the most elegant things about this novel was the way that science and physics were more than ideas. Not only were they solid and sculpted plot elements, they gave the narrative a push/pull between two very different ideas and schools of thought that Gunnar tried to apply to his life. When leaving science behind to venture towards love, Gunnar becomes lost and directionless and finds himself fervently wishing to be ensconced in a world he understands and feels safe to him. But unfortunately, these new directions cannot be reversed so easily, leaving him feeling unmoored and angry. Always at the back of his mind is another opportunity for love that has passed him by, and as Gunnar grows less and less comfortable with the situation, his mind wanders to places where it’s painful for it to go. It was here that Gunnar loses himself and loses his way. The tenderness and confusion of his heart was on full display, and there was an element of hopelessness and melancholy that effused this section of the book and drew me deeper and deeper into Gunnar’s heartache and grief. But no matter how deeply shattered he felt, there was a glimmering light to his personality that clued me in to not counting him out of the game just yet.While the first sections of the book were lighthearted and comedic, the middle was more somber and reflective. Towards the end, there’s a measure of redemption for Gunnar, and there’s a sense that the time has come for this man. Gunnar’s plight is the path that will take him from the safety of ideas he can hide behind to the raw and uncharted territory of the unknown, finally landing him in a place where he doesn’t need to have all the answers and can let his heart soar. I was rooting for this man to extricate himself from the mire he had unwittingly gotten himself into, but was also appreciative that Meeks gave his character a heart that was truly ardent and that I could relate to without difficulty. As a character, Gunnar grows exponentially, and that’s something I love to see in the books I read. Plot, character and motivation combine into the perfect confection of a book that sees its readers cheering along for the underdog: a specimen who seems to have it all figured out but is repeatedly shocked when his hypothesis doesn’t lead to the desired outcome. Gunnar and his life go from looking into the yawning maw of hopelessness to landing in a harbor of contentment and fulfillment with a satisfying and well deserved conclusion. There are elements that are left up in the air, but one has the feeling that this new Gunnar will react with with a preciseness of the heart that has eluded him before.This book was another winner for Meeks, and decidedly so. It was in scope and emotion a very different book than The Brightest Moon of the Century, but in some ways, the concern I had for Gunnar both rivaled and matched the concern I had for Edward in Brightest Moon. This is a story that is fundamentally original and inventive. It forces its reader to ask pressing questions about not only the state of the protagonist’s heart and mind, but their own, and proves to both that the ideas we sometimes hold dear may limit us in imperceptible but very life altering ways. A deeply resonant read that manages to be funny without sacrificing its gravity. Highly recommended!

  • Grady
    2019-03-13 22:41

    'Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.' Niels BohrThe concept of marrying science and passion as the topic for a novel is a challenging one at best. And that is exactly what Christopher Meeks has succeeded in meeting in his latest novel LOVE AT ABSOLUTE ZERO. Meeks seems to mature literarily by leaps and bounds with each new book he pens. This reader became enamored of his short stories but then that little contagious virus mutated into the novel format, and where most writers begin with the big works and then distill to short stories later (if they are able to move into that challenging realm at all), Meeks appears to have gleaned the technical virtuosity of creating characters in a minimum of space and then unfold those characters in response to the movement of the landscape of a large novel with such aplomb that he is likely to continue on his climb to one of America's more important writers this decade. Gunnar Gunderson is a cerebrally elite physicist who at age 32 has already gained tenure at his University of Wisconsin Madison campus, teaching and immersed in a research project with partners Carl and Harry beginning with the Bose-Einstein condensate and moving toward reaching the ultra cold - Absolute Zero. Gunnar Gunderson is also relationship challenged, hopelessly naïve about affairs of the heart - an unpracticed but very sweet nerd whose preoccupation with physics has subsumed his filling out his life with love. Yet when confronted by his partners, 'He knew the way to find the right person. He should use the same approach that had always served him well: the scientific method. Use the scientific method for love.' His supportive partners disagree; 'Attraction and connection can't be explained anymore than sunspots....It's about chaos'. But Gunnar's hypothesis is that to attract someone he had to emphasize the laws of attraction: sending physical, mental, and genetic healthy signals. And from there the book takes flight on Gunnar's concept that he has three days in which to find the girl of his dreams. He decides to try ScurryDating and in order to physically become everything a girl would want he gets his teeth cleaned, then orthodontia, then hair styling and a wardrobe change and he is off to a social media convocation where he will be paired with potential dates - surely in time for his three day deadline. But fate enters the picture and he is sidetracked by finding an attraction to one of his students, in seeing an old girlfriend Ursula who though paired at the moment might just be the one - until he meets (steps onto) Kara, a Danish redhead bombshell visiting her old girlfriend. Gunnar experiences passion and in the two weeks that Kara has before her flight back to Denmark they have a passionate affair, fall in love/lust, and make plans for Gunnar to move to Denmark where he will do a sabbatical at the highly touted Physics Institute there. Kara leaves, Ursula returns from a nursing stint in Arizona now free of her prior boyfriend and ready for Gunnar, but Gunnar is committed to his Danish pastry - until of course he flies to Denmark and discovers that Kara has fallen out of love with Gunnar and into love with another. So Gunnar is stuck in Denmark sans Kara and faces more and more alterations to his scientific hypothesis about love. The carousel keeps rotating and Gunnar seems destined to miss that golden ring and when Gunnar returns to Wisconsin he reconnects with Ursula and comes to the realization 'I tell my introductory students about certain laws of physics....They are the rules except when it comes to quantum physics, especially at absolute zero, when things change. I talk about Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. We cannot know, for instance, where an electron is at the same time in knowing how fast it is moving.' And so Meeks drops us off at the gate of life wondering how things will resolve for Gunnar. And the magical thing is that he makes us really care about this strange bright naïve nerd. It is a given, now, that Christopher Meeks is a master craftsman as a writer. What surprises us in this novel is just how much research he's done to get the scientific part of it right. Where does all of this passionate knowledge of physics lie, knowledge that allows him to write so comfortably, opening every chapter with a scientific quote, that we novices stay on board with him? It is a gift - and one of the many that continue to emerge from the pen and mind and brilliant trait for finding the humor in life that makes him so genuinely fine a writer. Grady Harp

  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    2019-03-07 03:42

    In Love At Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks the plot is really quite simple: boy wants to meet girl. In this case the boy is 32 year old Wisconsin physicist Gunnar Gunderson. Gunnar gets tenure and decides he needs a wife. He consults with his research partners and they chart a course of action for him to find his soul mate in three days - which is all the time they are able to devote to the search while keeping to their research schedule. The premise behind Christopher Meeks's novel Love At Absolute Zero intrigued me right from the start. I know scientifically inclined geeks rather well and will admit that I could totally see one of them seriously consider using the scientific method to find a mate. Their seriousness and ability to immerse themselves in their research combined with taking a similar approach to finding a wife is where I imagined the hilarity would ensue. I was not disappointed.Since readers of She Treads Softly know I like science in my science fiction, you will understand my curiosity when I wondered how would Meeks approach incorporating science in an purely entertaining novel. (Be sure to come back tomorrow for a guest post by Christopher Meeks where he addresses my question about the research he did to get the scientific details down pat in the novel.) I applaud Meeks for doing an admirable job keeping the science real while at the same time not bogging down the entertaining aspects of the novel with too much information about the science.At the opening of each chapter is a quote or law that relates to physics or science in some manner. Pay attention to them because they enhance the humor in Gunnar's search. Chapter Five opens with: "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -Albert Einstein. Chapter Seven: "The great tragedy of science: the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact." -English Biologist Thomas H. Huxley. Chapter Twenty-one: "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." -Neils Bohr. (As many of you know, I love good quotes!)I found Love at Absolute Zero a very quick, entertaining, and enjoyable novel. He's also quite grounded in the real world, for example mentioning the site, and, of course speed dating. While I will admit to one minor quibble with the novel, the sheer humor and originality more than made up for it. My minor criticism is that the scientific geeks I know also all have very well developed vocabularies that they use without hesitation. As a character Gunnar was rather plain spoken in comparison to some real life counterparts. However, my minor complaint was all but erased when yet another funny scene occurred. My absolute favorite is in the quotes below and concerns the physicists visiting the Humanities department. Not that the novel is all humor. It is actually quite serious at times, but Meeks is a clever writer and has prefect timing - he knows when the reader needs a bit of levity to lighten up the mood. Actually, Love At Absolute Zero should be adapted to a screen play. The timing in the novel would perfectly suit a romantic comedy.Highly Recommended; I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

  • Karielle at Books à la Mode
    2019-02-22 02:45

    Love At Absolute Zero by Christopher MeeksRelease Date: July 22nd, 2011Publisher: White Whisker BooksPage Count: 304Source: From author, via Bewitching Book Tours for review, as part of the Love At Absolute Zero virtual tourLove At Absolute Zero is the story of Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin. The moment he's given tenure at the university, he can only think of one thing: finding a wife. This causes his research to falter. With his two partners, Gunnar is in a race against MIT to create new forms of matter called Bose-Einstein condensates, which exist only near absolute zero. To meet his soulmate within three days -- that's what he wants and all time he can carve out -- he and his team are using the scientific method, to riotous results.What Stephanie Thinks: When it comes to the social scene, particularly the female social scene, Gunnar Gunderson has never had the luck. He likes women, he's sure -- in fact, he likes them a lot -- but having grown up a dorky little science geek, as an adult, his charisma is slightly lacking to say the least.As a character, I absolutely adore Gunnar! He's perfectly awkward and well-intentioned and adorable. I could definitely relate to some of his mishaps -- how his life never plays out the way he imagines it. Just because he's a physics professor doesn't mean he's not imaginative. And in a sad way, I learned, just because he is thirty-two, a grown man, doesn't mean he's not naïve. One too many times, he's had his heart fooled, which may be the bane of his inability to score. But he needs game, he discovers. Call it a mid-life crisis, but he needs game -- he needs a woman -- and he needs her now.With the help of supportive (even if ludicrous) fellow-science-nerd friends, and a rock-solid mom and sis, Gunnar learns that the true meaning of love cannot be defined and planned accordingly; that the true meaning of love lies subjectively within the individual, and that it never, especially in the beginning, plays out how you will expect it to.Meeks's writing, I feel, isn't highly laudable. I admire how he can incorporate humor and physics together into a love story (now that I think about it, that feat itself is pretty impressive), but the style is a little stiff, doesn't flow very well. Nothing that keeps me up at night. The story's very readable, though; I didn't have any trouble getting through it, and didn't have to force myself to keep turning pages.If you're in for a rather untraditional happily-ever-after love tale with a little bit of science geek innuendo and a whole lot of genuine emotion -- something we rarely see from the male perspective, but what I think Meeks does an incredible job at conveying -- then pick up Love At Absolute Zero to give it a try!Stephanie Loves: "'The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly one you can never have."Radical Rating: 8 hearts-Would recommend to lots of really good friends.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-20 23:43

    Gunnar Gunderson is having his midlife crisis a little early. He’s just gotten tenure and suddenly he decides he needs a wife. Gunnar’s a scientist, not a romantic, so he decides to play to his strengths: he’s going to use the scientific method to help him find a wife. Even better, he’s going to find her in three days.What follows is a little over-the-top but definitely funny. If Gunnar and his wingmen can find a study or a research paper on what attracts women, Gunnar is going to try it out. Braces, eye surgery, speed dating — he’ll even talk to someone in the theater department.He’s got just a short time to devote to his hunt for love. Gunnar and his colleagues are involved in very competitive research on Bose-Einstein condensates, which exist only at temperatures near absolute zero. Due to some logistical issues at the university, they have this little window of opportunity and they are determined to take advantage of it. Imagine a couple of the geeks you went to high school with, hanging out in the basement rec room, plotting ways to get girls to make out with them. Age them about 15 years, give them a couple of advanced degrees (but no advanced social skills) and you have Gunnar and his friends. They try to help, in their own way, but Gunnar is determined to make every step in the book.I loved the speed-dating part of the book. The urgency, trying to make an instant good impression, reading all the scientific studies to wear the right colors and say the right things…and still managing to say the wrong thing, every time. Dating is horrible! No wonder he wants to get it over with in three days.I could also relate to his experiences in Denmark. I’ve talked about my travels here before, and while I love seeing new places, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. Trying to deal with a simple thing like ordering dinner when you aren’t 100% positive you know what you’re ordering? Scary stuff. But he digs right in and gives it a try, instead of slinking home a failure.All in all, it’s a fun book about the crazy stuff we do to find love. I could applaud Gunnar’s efforts even as I was thinking “this is never gonna work!” It’s tough to try and connect with someone and it’s scary to put yourself out there, so you can’t help but root for him, even when you think he’s nuts. Using the scientific method isn’t any crazier than buying cologne with pheromones or counting on your zodiac sign to determine your compatibility. Gunnar should give hope to geeks everywhere.

  • Virginia Campbell
    2019-03-11 01:41

    With some books, you can sense in advance that you are in for a reader's treat, that you will be taken outside your normal reading zone and sent on an involving and entertaining journey through words. "Love at Absolute Zero", by Christopher Meeks, is just such a book. I knew that I would love the hero, Gunnar Gunderson, and that I would be captivated by his adventure of self-enlightenment. What I didn't know, since this was my first read from Chris Meeks, was that the author would blow me away with his skill as a storyteller. Since Gunnar is a physicist, his thought processes center around science and logic. He even uses physics to rationalize human behavior and sexuality. For Gunnar, this is not just his profession, it's the very air he breathes. It is also very much a coping mechanism. Gunnar is not just a brainy geek. He's also a man with a good heart and a longing for love and companionship. We could not really empathize with Gunnar if we didn't understand his physics-patterned psyche, so Chris Meeks makes the science reachable for the reader. When Gunnar lectures his students, gives a speech, or discusses physics with anyone who will listen, the voice you hear is really the author making his hero more accessible to the reader. You cannot read Gunnar's misadventures without finding him endearing, admiring his intelligence, and hoping that he will finally get it right and score his happy ending. When Gunnar reaches a career and life milestone, his university tenure, he decides it's time to bring his personal life up to speed and find his perfect mate. Through scientific rationalization, Gunnar decides that he can make himself over and secure his soul mate in just three days. What he puts himself through to achieve his goal is both alarming and hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading this book, and I truly enjoyed the sense of self-ironic humor which pervaded the story line. While Gunnar was sure of his science, he often stumbled in his personal life. He was a successful man, attractive in his own way, and he was not without sexual experience. However, he was vulnerable, and when he was hurt and acted in ways totally unlike his true persona, then we hurt with him. There is a wonderful underlying wisdom in this book, an understanding of human nature and how it continually shoots itself in the foot when it is already on crutches. I very much look forward to reading more works by Chris Meeks so that I can learn things like this: "Don't dismiss the one-armed librarian." A highly recommended read. Review Copy Gratis White Whisker Books

  • Patricia Rockwell
    2019-03-16 01:53

    Not sure if this is romantic fiction or just light fiction. The author manages to mix philosophy into the plot seamlessly and as the story is told from the point of view of a research physicist, there's lots of commentary.Gunnar Gunderson is a young physicist with a good teaching/research job at the University of Wisconsin. He and his team of two like nerdy guys are searching for a supposedly non-existent particle that might show up if they manage to get it cold enough (absolute zero). The particle is somewhat like Gunnar's love life--zero. His knowledge of women is woefully lacking--and his Ph.D. doesn't help in this area at all. His research companions encourage him to try some of the modern inventions designed to bring the sexes together (somewhat like the particles in those atoms he studies). He tries a round of speed dating but with disatrous results. Accidentally he finds a woman and falls hard. Unfortunately, she's Danish and just as their romance starts to bubble, she has to return to her homeland. Not to be deterred, Gunnar maintains contact with her and even secures a position at a Danish university.However, when he arrives in Denmark, the relationship has changed. Not only are his romantic hopes dashed, but he finds himself in a foreign land unable to communicate. But being the scientist he is, Gunnar is not one to let such experiences pass him by, and he begins to observe the events and people around him in an attempt to try to learn how he got himself in such a predictament and how he might improve his lot.More catastrophes (big and little) occur before Gunnar manages to put his life together again. If this were simply a book about these life events, this probably wouldn't be much of a book, but as it's told through the eyes of this delightful, naive young physicist--we see a love story (actually several love stories) presented and dissected scientifically. For me, the charm of the book were Gunnar's rambling mini-talks on all aspects of life, love and science. I especially loved his lecture for non-science majors and his address to the convention in Denmark. The writing is sharp and intelligent and the characters are unique. The sex scenes are probably a bit too graphic for me, but I like cozy mysteries, so that shouldn't deter too many readers.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-18 02:07

    In an effort to be as thorough with my exploration of the romance genre as possible, I decided that the last book I'd subject myself to peruse would have a male author. It seemed only fair, really, ...even a tad bit scientific. So after a quick spin through some Goodreads recommendations I landed firmly on 'Love at Absolute Zero' by Christopher Meeks, a title where the scientific method is called out by name in the synopsis. The premise seemed lighthearted enough, promising a splash of comedy and the plot seemed to consist of more than "girl meets boy and girl drops panties." To say the very least, it appealed to my substance-demanding side, and apropos given the summary, so I gave it a whirl.So what were my findings? Well, some of you may be a sight bit disappointed to learn that it hasn't managed to make a romance genre convert out of me but it did help to reinforce a very important lesson, a lesson that's taken a few titles to truly solidify: Not all romance novels are bad. The trip through "Romance Land" also helped me to identify a couple of titles, and authors that I may actually seek out in the future.But enough about the genre as a whole and more about this work by Meeks, eh? It's a solidly written work that kept my interest up until the very end, rooting for Gunnar and his mission to find a soul mate from right around page one. And let's just say that while focus of the story does eventually stray from this ludicrous three-day soul mate discovery, it shifts to a much realer, soul searching exploration that still managed to keep me chuckling. It has a diverse cast of supporting characters that never feel superfluous to the plot and a wonderful sense of place and honesty that I haven't come across particularly often.Bottom Line: If you're a fan of books like 'Flat-Out Love' by Jessica Park this one will resonate with you. With it's offbeat sense of humor and brutally honest depictions of the kinds of people that can make up a life, it's well worth the time spent. If, however, you're more of a "girl meets boy and girl drops panties" kind of reader, well, it's probably not your cup of tea.

  • L_manning
    2019-02-20 23:53

    Gunnar Gunderson has a lot going for him. His research is exciting, and he's just gotten tenure. He feels like something is missing though- love. Gunnar decides the best way to find a mate is to take a scientific approach. If it's good enough for physics, surely it will work equally well for love too? From Wisconsin to Denmark though, he learns that love isn't as easy to figure out. Even with some major missteps, will Gunnar be able to find love? Can finding love coincide with good research? This was a very interesting book. Gunnar was a pretty funny character. Being a somewhat of a scientist myself, I've know lots of guys like Gunnar. Super smart but not so great with social situations. Naturally, once Gunnar decided he needed a wife, he threw himself into the process as readily as he would any experiment. His friends and fellow scientists were also great characters. They seem like they'd be pretty fun to hang around. Gunnar makes rash decisions when it comes to love, but luckily he learns and grows from all his trials. I found the scientific approach to love to be hilarious. Gunnar was endearing, and I found myself cheering him on. I definitely wanted him to succeed in his attempts at finding love. The book could read as a bit choppy and clinical at times, but I felt like this fit the atmosphere of the book. It helped me get a real feel for Gunnar's character. This book is very fun, and you get a great sense of how science and love can combine to make magic. Book provided for review.

  • Karen M
    2019-02-27 21:58

    I have to say I loved this book. It was both funny and a romance. Sometimes you read a book and it reminds you that you are not the only one whose history has a chapter on being broken hearted or put more plainly, being dumped but it is followed by a chapter on being hopeful and not giving up.Our sweet scientific thirty-something year old Gunnar has reached certain goals in his life. He owns his own home, check. He just reached tenure at his university, check. He's working on a project with his two friends that could bring him fame in his field, check. Now what could be missing for our hero? A wife, children, someone with whom to share his life, no check and this is where our story begins with Gunnar's realization that he needs a woman in his life, immediately. His last girlfriend was years ago and she moved across the country to get away from him, so how to find someone now. After finally realizing that scientific method isn't really working for finding true love, Gunnar goes with happenstance, again and again and finally fate does step in in some very odd ways but when something is meant to be you just don't want to fight it. The search for love has Gunnar traveling not only out of the country but completely out of his comfort zone and we get to take both trips with him. I enjoyed the read.This book was supplied by the author in exchange for an honest unbiased review which is exactly what this is.

  • Angie
    2019-03-04 05:38

    It has been a long time since I read a book and laughed this much. The premise is fantastic-science guy searches for love using the scientific method. There is clearly 1 main character and everyone else is just a minor player, not engaging individually but make a great ensemble and the book says something about personhood. It reads a bit like a sitcom. What made the book funny was the main character's makeover which was conducted by old professors. He did everything at once: Lasik, braces and teeth whitening the day of his first speed dating experience! Hilarious!!In addition to the hilarity, a few lines spoke to me:"Through what untwist of fate would it have taken to have dodged his present misery.""He'd gone with the truth he'd known at the time. He shouldn't be regretful"One of the things I enjoyed about the book was that chapters started with a science quote."An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." -Niels BohrRead this book and you will laugh too!

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-20 03:56

    Love At Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks is a fun story. Gunnar, a physicist, has decided that since he has reached the goal of tenure in his career, that it is time to find a wife. With a complication in his team’s research, he has three free days in which he plans to do just that! Except those three days are only the beginnings of his wild journey, going places and doing things he never even imagined he would do.After reading Love At Absolute Zero and a short story titled The Sun Is A Billiard Ball, both by Christopher Meeks, I feel that his stories have an excellent flow to them, never becoming dull, and always moving at the perfect pace for an excellent story. He also writes realistically so that you feel you can relate to the characters in at least one way or another.

  • Lori Tatar
    2019-03-15 05:54

    Christopher Meeks has given us a likable character with a very cramped schedule, who wants to meet Ms. Right in very short order. He has a schedule during which to make this happen and even gives timed dating a try, you know, when you meet and greet for just a few minutes in an effort to find the perfect somebody. It takes him a little time to figure out that the things that matter can't be set to a specific block of time, and that while physics and pheromones may explain a lot, they simply don't explain everything. This is a great story for those who want a romance with a little less sap, and a little more substance. Vampires and werewolves, move over and make room for some semblance of reality!

  • Wonderkell
    2019-02-22 04:01

    I have never read a romance written by a man & from the male perspective before. I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. Gunner Gunderson's round about way of finding love is at times hilarious & at times heartbreaking, but always touching. I really came to love Gunner & I really, really wanted him to find true love.One of the other things that was great about this novel was the author's knowledge of the science that was such an integral part of the story. I don't have a scientific mind, but even I could understand the theory being discussed. I received a complimentary review copy of this novel. In no way did those circumstances influence my review.

  • Ken
    2019-02-25 06:05

    It's been a long while since I've read a romantic comedy but this book intrigued me for a couple of reasons. First, I have a weakness for stories set in cities where I've lived. Second, the main premise--using the scientific method to find love--held a lot of promise. And third, particle physics! Even though I wanted to give Gunnar a gentle tap on the head with a blunt instrument at times, the book delivered on all counts. It was a light, enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more of Meeks' work.

  • David Robinson
    2019-03-19 06:07

    Good book. It's about Gunnar Gunderson a physics proffessor at The University of Wisconsin. He's just got tenure, he's in his early thirties, now he's going to take three days off from his research of Bose Einstein condensate theory to find a wife. He's going to use the same research methods in his search for a wife that he uses in the lab. On his three day quest, he speed dates, get's some dramatic cosmetic upgrades, has a fling that lands him in Denmark. Meeks does a good job of toning down the science jargon for us regular folk, and I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment.

  • Holly Robinson
    2019-02-25 00:03

    Who says guys can't write chick lit? I loved this fun romantic comedy with some great science metaphors that make you think about the accidental but profound nature of how different people come together--perfect for a geeky girl like me. An added plus are some hilarious scenes in Denmark--this would make a great movie script.

  • Marie-Eve
    2019-03-07 23:53

    Really liked that book very much! I honestly didn't expect much when I started reading this book, but the idea to use the scientific method to find love was very clever and funny! I'm the kind of person who likes the company of some of those awkward scientist because they are so interesting and this book made me feel like some of the caracters were my good friends!

  • Veronica
    2019-03-08 00:40

    I received this book through Firstreads.This was a very entertaining novel. The main character, Gunnar is very likeable, and I found myself cringing at his well-meaning attempts to use the scientific method to find himself a wife. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned for poor Gunnar and I was rooting for him as he dealt with the aftermath of his unique approach to dating.

  • Louisa
    2019-03-13 02:53

    Great book, really funny, loved all the physics things that I learned, and the little quotes and such at the beginning of each chapter!

  • Vernon Luckert
    2019-03-19 22:03

    Interesting and entertaining read. Humorous situations resulting from a perspective on love and life that is different than most.

  • Kate
    2019-02-20 00:51

    I like that this book classifies itself in a new genre - Lab Lit (presumably, light fiction taking place in a lab).

  • Sally Boyington
    2019-03-13 04:52

    The concept of this book is great. The execution, not so much. I finished it and put it aside for a few days to think about it and am still not quite sure what it is: romantic comedy, dramatic fiction, literary fiction? The opening section even left me expecting some kind of thriller, with Gunnar’s guilt and shame and sense that he deserved to die because “She was gone.” I thought he’d killed this unnamed woman.This is a fast read with a lot of great aspects but needs some content editing to be truly compelling. From the confusing opening paragraph (he rushes to the toilet, faces the mirror and then turns away and becomes dizzy, opens the lid of the toilet to throw up [presumably facing it now], falls backward, and hits his head [presumably on the toilet]) to the unclear shifts of place and time, I spent too much of the book wondering what was going on. If I had liked Gunnar the way I was intended to, I could have found some amusement in his blundering approach to love, I’m sure. But I didn’t care for his superiority, dismissiveness, and self-centeredness. He grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, but scorns the “six-pack” lives of his classmates and brands them in his mind as fat and stupid. He’s a physicist who has just gotten tenure (at a fairly young age) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, yet he’s never been out of the country for conferences or other professional reasons. Despite his own provincialism, he’s inclined to take potshots at America, particularly rural and small-town Middle America, for failing to have a progressive Old World outlook on life; then again, he romanticizes the Midwest, for he chooses to live “on the edge of farm country” and thinks there’s “something majestic about a corn field.” He’s dismissive of the theatre and theatre people, yet one of his most trusted friends is a theatre professor, to whom he turns for advice about love (advice he largely ignores).The women who make his short list are slender and attractive and well educated, and these factors apparently are sufficient to qualify them to be Mrs. Gunnar Gunderson. Indeed, they fit right into his philosophy, “Anything worth doing was worth doing quickly.” This supposedly intelligent, analytical man has three days between experiments to find Ms. Perfect, so he spends his time on superficial and potentially dangerous improvements: having braces applied to his teeth and getting laser surgery on his eyes, besides adopting a new haircut and clothes that make him look a decade or more younger. I don’t see the scientific method in his blundering approach, unless it’s that he intends to disprove the hypothesis that women are as easily fooled as he apparently thinks them.I don’t want to make this a spoiler, so I’ll just say that the ending feels like it belongs in one of today’s breed of romantic comedy movies. I enjoyed the science (though the author is evidently more clear on physics than biology) -- particularly the quotations from well-known physicists and the “popular physics” approach to the undergraduate course -- but felt that the portrayal of Gunnar as a geek too naïve about modern culture to find a suitable mate was not borne out by his history with women or his supposed focus on his career.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.Editorial quibbles:Occasional blatant foreshadowing that takes the reader out of Gunnar’s head by using omniscient voice: “Gunnar didn’t know that rushing to this meeting would become the first domino to lead him to the bathroom floor”; “Only later would he feel the force pressing back, setting into motion a cascade of changes.” If he didn't know what would happen in the future, didn't feel the oppositional forces, then the reader shouldn't either.Too-frequent typos, including “surf at Wikiki”; “but it also it related”; “Davis Duehar” (instead of Duehr) eye clinic; “Netflicks” (instead of “Netflix”).

  • L.E.Olteano
    2019-03-08 22:40

    Originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Sept 26 2011:How about that cover? Predictable I should start with that, I know, but, I mean…it is awesome, isn’t it? Original, and fresh, and memorable. Just like the bookI will begin by saying Gunnar was a brave choice for MC. He’s a smart, educated man, with a rather brilliant scientific mind, and little to no emotional smarts. He’s sort of socially-awkward, fashion style-impaired, and intelligent. That’s not a chick-magnet combo, from what I’ve seen. He reminds me, in bolder or shier strokes, of basically the majority of my super-smart guy-friends. He’s also single, like them. Maybe that says something about being single, or something about not being single – I’m not sure. Aaaanyways…He was the most fun to read character I’ve met in a long while; he’s real, he’s got like-wise amusing friends, and they have that cute, male-thing attitude towards situations: “We can solve this. I have an answer to this. We will resolve this situation.” Real cute when they go action-man, right? Well the guys identify the issue, think about it, find solutions, and then get right down to applying them. I had the most fun all summer reading about their problem-solving bright ideas. All their carefully planned and thought out solutions bring them, invariably, laughs and more problems, really. Of course, all things find their resolve through the commonly known method of chaos and random events, and well, love.The rest of the characters are really funny, especially Gunnar’s colleagues. The women in Gunnar’s life are…uhm, memorable, shall we say. I felt like giving them a cookie or throttling them (especially Kara), and I felt a strange sense of personal success when he finally found what he was looking for. Well, at least I hope he did. The ending is sort of open on that, so I can imagine him and his woman being as happy as I choose to. Which is a really good thing.The plot itself was a fun ride, with ups and downs, and honestly I had no idea where we were going. I mean, there wasn’t really any predictable point, and I loved reading the book because of that. I also loved reading it because Christopher Meeks‘s writing is basically awesome, it’s got a lot of humor, and a beautiful rhythm.What could have been sort of bleh was the physics; I wasn’t a fan of science in high-school, though nowadays if you ever catch me watching TV, it’s either Discovery Science, ID, World or the likes. But it wasn’t in any way pestering, the scientific bits made sense, and were sort of few and in-between. I mean, I’m not sure, but I think I would have loved Gunnar just as much if he’d been a flamenco teacher. Maybe slightly less, I’m not a real fan of dancers for some reason.To make a long story short, you really should read this book. It’s fun, it’s light, it’s good. I loved it. Did you?

  • Zanriel
    2019-02-20 03:56

    Wow, so much better than I expected. It was sensitive, powerful, and flowed with an emotional fluency that I haven't come across in quite a while. There were a few moments when my eyes would well up with tears, and it was then I knew the book had me under its spell.I've never read anything by this author before, but I've been on the prowl for romantic stories that focused on the male's point of view. They're hard to find, let me tell you. This book came up around the time I read "The Rosie Project". It has a similar theme, a scientist who tries to apply the scientific method to finding love. Like "Rosie" it becomes clear pretty quickly that science doesn't have all the answers.This book had a lot going for it. First off, there were several passages that waxed scientific or philosophically, but to make a point about how life and love can be unpredictable. When we slow matter down closer and closer to absolute zero, atoms take on a different quality, and we still don't know what mysteries might be revealed at those levels.This book could probably be considered "lad lit" or "dude lit" as opposed to "chick lit", but really, it's a romance novel. But it's by a guy, for guys, and the reason I say that is because it's written from a male perspective. Descriptions of people and objects focused a lot on visuals, because us guys are visual creatures. The emotional descriptions were sometimes confused and muddled, not because the author didn't know how to put words to emotions (quite the opposite) but because us guys, we don't always know how we feel, and even less how others feel about us. As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a journey through the protagonists emotional landscape, feeling what he feels, seeing what he sees. I really resonated with it.Through much of the story I kept telling myself "This can't end well. I know this is going to have a sad ending." Well you'll have to read it and see how it turns out for yourself! Awesome book, easily 5 stars. I'd recommend this book more for guys wanting to expand their horizons into the romance or "lad lit" genre. I'm not sure how the gals would take it. I don't think it had any misogyny, or that it objectified women, but it had a lot of science and philosophy, and well, boys will be boys! I noticed the only other rating on here (as of this writing) is 2 stars, but it appears to have been written by a female. Who knows? I sure liked it! Loved it in fact.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-04 01:06

    You wake up one morning and everything seems typical. It's just an ordinary day. You expect the worst only to be rewarded with a promotion--or in Gunnar's case, tenure. Suddenly, life is looking pretty good. Gunnar Gunderson has always been all about his work. He is a physicist, both a researcher and a professor. He is on the verge of a major break through in his research and suddenly and everything seems to be going his way. He is reminded, however, of the fact that he has no one to share his successes with, other than his research partners. Time is tight, however, and so Gunnar decides to try and find a wife during his spare time. He gives himself three days. He approaches the experience as he would a science project, sure science won't fail him. What comes next is a comedy of errors as Gunnar, so clearly out of his league, attempts to date and find the woman of his dreams.Love At Absolute Zero is more than just a love story--or a comedy. It is the story of a man coming into his own. My initial response to Gunnar was one of sympathy. It was hard not to feel sorry for the guy as he bumbled his way through the dating process. While an expert in science, his social skills and knowledge of women left a lot to be desired. He sure tried though, it was impossible not to like Gunnar as the story wore on. I found myself cheering for him, wanting him to get the girl in the end.While the novel's beginning was on the comical side, it grew rather serious towards the middle. It was a natural transition as the reader sees Gunnar grow and learn from his experiences. The author did a remarkable job capturing what it would be like for someone in Gunnar's shoes, being solidly ensconced in science to diving into love and all the joy and pain it can bring. I also appreciated the author's ability to describe the culture shock Gunnar went through, traveling from Wisconsin to Denmark under especially difficult circumstances.Love At Absolute Zero was not only an enjoyable read but fit my mood well. It was humorous even while being serious. I was riveted to the story and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next to the protagonist, Gunnar Gunderson.