Book review: The solitude of prime numbers

Posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2010


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The solitude of prime numbersThe solitude of prime numbers is the first novel of Paolo Giordano. While studying for a doctorate in Physics he won the Premio Strega. He is the youngest writer ever to win the most important literature price of Italy.

This book captures the special friendship between Alice and Mattia. Both traumatised by the events in their youth. Mattia by the disappearing of his disabled young sister and Alice by her terrible ski accident. Looking at her leg, she is confronted with the consequences of her innocence again and again.

When they meet at school they feel immediately an attraction like two sole prime numbers. Alone and lost, nearby but not close enough to really touch each other. The even number is standing between them. We follow these two extraordinary characters from child to adolescence, being two young adults. As they grow up they live parallel lives. Alice becomes a photographer and anorexic. Mattia becomes an intelligent mathematician but keeps on cutting himself to scarf out the quilt.

When reading the novel it is hard to understand that this is Paolo first book. They way he brings forward the emotions and frustrations of both characters feels likes you are experiencing it yourself. He gives a clear view of human psyche. We all remember a moment in time where we feel as lost as Alice and Mattia. You are drawn into their world from the first sentence.

If you want to know how this exceptional friendship will evolve and how their adventure will end, I would recommend to buy and to read this book. I can only tell you that the ending is like a mathematical problem, difficult and yet to be solved.


Our rating: ★★★★½


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The Solitude of Prime Numbers: A Novel


Book details

  • Author: Paolo Giordano
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; 1st Edition March 18, 2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021482


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Tagged as 2010, Fiction, Paolo Giordano, Review+ Categorized as By year, 2010, By rating, 4 Stars, By genre, Romance

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