In the tradition of Fermat's Last Theorem and Einstein's Dreams, a novel about mathematical obsession.
Petros Papachristos devotes the early part of his life to trying to prove one of the greatest mathematical challenges of all time: Goldbach's Conjecture, the deceptively simple claim that every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. Against a tableau of famous historical figures-among them G. H. Hardy, the self-taught Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, and a young Kurt Godel-Petros works furiously to prove the notoriously difficult conjecture. Decades later, his ambitious young nephew drives the defeated mathematician back into the hunt to prove Goldbach's Conjecture...but at the cost of the old man's sanity, and perhaps even his life.
©1992, 2000, 2010 Apostolos Doxiadis (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Ultimately, this is a human story, worth reading for the drama alone. The drama is an intellectual one, but no less potent for that. The reader will also gain a nice view of the major characters and issues of early 20th century mathematics. Altogether, not a truly great work but a very good one, entertaining and edifying while highlighting a set of characters and concerns rarely involved in literature.
Report Inappropriate Content