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The Last Theorem: A Novel Paperback – August 18, 2009
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“Good characters . . . good tensions.”—San Diego Union-Tribune
“An intriguing cautionary tale.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A can’t-put-down adventure.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Frederik Pohl is the author of many novels, including The Boy Who Would Live Forever; Gateway, part of his acclaimed Heechee saga; and Jem, for which he won the National Book Award. With Isaac Asimov, he was a founding member of the New York-based science fiction group known as the Futurians. In the sixties, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine, if, which won the Hugo Award three years in a row. In 1993, he became a Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master. He lives in Palatine, Illinois.
- ASIN : 0345470230
- Publisher : Del Rey; Reprint edition (August 18, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780345470232
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345470232
- Item Weight : 9.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.54 x 0.71 x 8.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #348,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Yes, as others have pointed out, there's definitely Clarke's ever ongoing thematics of First Contact, and his sense of it developing into something mostly benign. (Frankly, "Childhood's End" disturbed me in un-intended ways when I first read that book three decades ago -- all that psychological merging! -- I'm somewhat better disposed to these current aliens than those.)
Don't expect a particularly deep read. My favorite of Clarke's fiction remains "Rendezvous with Rama". However, I wouldn't ignore this tale out of hand. It has flaws, but it does have strengths, and I like the idea of a Tamil main character. Some of the friendships he formed at the beginning had nuances that could have been expanded more later on in the novel, and I am sorry the authors passed up on these opportunities. I can grasp that Ranjit is more home in theoretics and mathematics than in interpersonal growth, and it does fit his geekish character.
I did have fun reading this, and that counts. (I think I also want to visit Sri Lanka...)
I love Clarke, really, but this is a stinker.
I am a physicist, so I appreciate science fiction which has emphasis on science, on fiction, that is scientifically possible (or at least appears to be possible for now). And I believe that this is a close as you can get to it.
I wanted to give it 4 stars, because it's too short! I swallowed the whole book in 1 day (not because it's really short, but because it's so amazing). But honestly, I'd like to read some form of continuation, which won't be possible because Pohl passed away in 2013. If this is his legacy, it deserves nothing else but 5 stars. It's a great book.
The six words above are obviously part of their collective psyche not least the innocent suffering and the gay character who is never really recognized or talked about. I'm only partly mad at them for that. They are both gay men who come from a very old and mostly dead generation #of course Art and Fred are as old as their generation#. On the other hand, who are they protecting? They could have used their fame to actually forward gay issues, work toward ending the innocent suffering and expand heroic and positive gay characters, but they did none of that.
I liked the math and Ranjit #my only reason for the 2 stars), but I have no idea what he had to do with anything in the story except for his own little world within the world. He did nothing really except be in a given place at a given time to move the plot along. In fact there were no heroic characters in the novel at all.
Novel? Did I say novel? First of all there was nothing novel in it. Second there was no novel. There might be several story ideas all mashed together, but there is no cohesive story.
I began appreciating each tale as it came, and relishing the moments between when I could reflect on what happened. Our hero (Ranjit) becomes somewhat of a modern-day Odysseus, but his passion for Fermat's last theorem replaces fighting, while events in Sri Lanka, the world, and the Galaxy become his Odyssey.
While this book is neither author's greatest work, it's a fun collaboration, revisiting themes of mid 20th-century science fiction in an even older format. Fans of the genre will want to read this with that in mind, and to take a look at another way of writing serious science fiction.
Top reviews from other countries
Some readers wrote there are lengths, but I can't comply to that statement: sure it is not always the pure page turner, but I really enjoyed to be able to lay the book to rest for a couple of hours or days: the characters and the story are developed nicely, so no problem to take it up again where I left it.
For scifi-fans interested in more than action and alien battles a definitive recommendation.
I must also add I have tried to read the Clarke/Baxter books which are just as bad.. but, Stephen Baxter on His own is absolutely brilliant. Very much like early Clarke.
The early Arthur C Clarke novels and short stories were wonderful but I think towards the end He became too full of Himself and attempting to be a bit highbrow. Shame as people new to His work will surely just dismiss Him because of this last, sorry to say rubbish book.