Saturday 11 September 2010

Review: The Solitude of Prime Numbers - Paolo Giordano

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 288
Published: 2010 (2008)

A prime number is inherently a solitary thing: it can only be divided by itself, or by one: it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, too, move on their own axis, alone with their personal tragedies. As a child, Alice’s overbearing father drove her first to a terrible skiing accident, and then to anorexia. When she meets Mattia she recognizes a kindred, tortured spirit, and Mattia reveals to Alice his terrible secret: that as a boy he abandoned his mentally-disabled twin sister in a park to go to a party, and when he returned, she was nowhere to be found.

These two irreversible episodes mark Alice and Mattia’s lives for ever, and as they grow into adulthood their destinies seem intertwined: they are divisible only by themselves and each other.

A meditation on loneliness and love, The Solitude of Prime Numbers asks, can we ever truly be whole when we’re in love with another.

I am gonna do a quickie cos my head is filled with thoughts about this book. I could sure go on forever if no one stopped me.

So  I am going with the formula used by Staci @Life in The Thumb and it was invented by..?

Mattia had a disabled sister, and he got angry with her one day and left her in the park when they were 8. They never found her and this has haunted him, he puller away from everyone and got lost in maths. Then he meet Alice who survived a horrible ski accident, and no limps, and has become anorectic. Two unlikely people form a friendship, and there is a longing that never  is touched upon.

Descriptive Words: Mathematics,  awkward, friendship, anorexia, tragedy, loneliness

Location or characters you met:
Italy - I didn't learn a lot about Italy, it was just a place where the story took place.
Mattia -  Had he aspbergers? There was the maths, the social aspect, it fits. I liked him and felt sorry for him. He cut himself, he was sad. He was lost.
Alice - She starved herself, and had big issues of her own. That's why she fitted so well with him

What worked for me:
The book was wonderful! I meant to only see if it was good and suddenly I was a page 70. He is a marvellous author and this book was just lovely.
What didn't work for me:
I guess I had wanted a bit more clarity at the end.
YES! Do read this book.

Reason for reading: Recommened by a friend
Cover Thoughts: meh


  1. I love the title! Sounds like a great read, too.

  2. This sounds like a beautiful book. Great, clear review :)

  3. Hi B:

    This sounds like a sad but excellent read. Complex characters and story. I agree with Chris - beautiful title.

    Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend!

  4. Chris
    It is a a nice title isn't it, and I liked how he explained it that first they are close, and then they move further away from each other

    It was a great one, I just wanted to read. I do get now why it got awards.

    Have a great weekend too :)
    It was certainly different, but then I need these wonderful fiction books that are so well written.

  5. Gread review Linda! Sounds like a beautiful story.

  6. Hi B!

    I love the title, intrigued, and a sad story, does it work out in the end?

    I sure hope so! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Dottie :)

  7. I have heard so many good things about this book! Glad that you liked it as well :-) I love the quote you shared.

  8. Jenny
    Oh it was, I so recommend it, and they did a great job with the translation too

    The end, let's just say that they were happy :) Cos I do need happy, I just don't know what I expected I guess

    Read it! I was actually on the fence cos the friend who recommend it, let's just say out taste is so different. I love, she hates, she loves I hate

  9. Blodeuedd
    It was, and well it was just good :D

  10. I like the title!
    Great review. Sounds like a fantastic read.

  11. Naida
    It sure was fantastic, and the title must be one of the best I have seen this year

  12. This does sound like a tragedy... When I read the blurd I thought history of numbers... but it was only a story... LOL

    It does sound different - glad it worked for you...


  13. I read reviews on this sometime back and they were all positive. Sounds a great book.

  14. EH
    I had no idea what to expect but my friend did tell me that part where he left his sister...cos a book about numbers, don't know if that would have been for em ;)

    I do recommend it, such a well written and good book

  15. I'm glad to see this book is so good since the cover and title are fabulous.

  16. The title is wonderful. Sounds like a beautiful, sad book. I'm glad to hear they are happy at the end, though.

  17. Bermudaonion
    There is just something about this book, something lovely, and sad. And worth reading

    They were, and that was a relief, cos espeically Alice was troubled. Mattia was just in his own world

  18. very cute way to do the review... I like it.

    I also like the cover... not you though. :)

  19. Shellie
    Thanks :) I needed something fast, and honestly I could have gone on and on, talking myself around in circles about this strange tale

  20. I almost missed this post. I loved this book! It's such a wonderful debut! And I liked the symbolism of them being twin prime numbers: alike but always seperated by other numbers.

    BTW I love the Dutch and Italian cover, they have the self-portrait of a Dutch photographer on it. If you're curious look here

    And nice, structured and clear review, B!

  21. Janna
    That cover fitted well, instead of this one that must be his dead sister.
    And oh..did I miss that, or forget. About them being the numbers, but it sure was lovely. And yes what a debut!

  22. I've never heard of this before though it doesn't sound like something that would really appeal to me. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!



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