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Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by [Apostolos Doxiadis]
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Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 128 ratings

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Kindle $8.96
Kindle, November 15, 2012

Length: 228 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

"Every family has its black sheep--in ours it was Uncle Petros." The narrator of Apostolos Doxiadis's first novel, Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture, is unable to understand the reasons for his uncle's fall from grace. A kindly, gentle recluse devoted only to gardening and chess, Petros Papachristos exhibits no sign of dissolution or indolence: so why is he held in such low esteem? One day, his brother reveals all:
'Your Uncle Petros cast pearls before swine; he took something holy and sacred and great, and shamelessly defiled it!' ... 'His gift, of course!' ... 'The great, unique gift that God had blessed him with, his phenomenal, unprecedented, mathematical talent! The miserable fool wasted it; he squandered it and threw it out with the garbage. Can you imagine it? The ungrateful bastard never did one day's useful work in mathematics. Never! Nothing! Zero!'
Needless to say, such apoplexy only provokes the boy's curiosity, and what he eventually discovers is a story of obsession and frustration, of Uncle Petros's attempts at finding a proof for one of mathematics' great enigmas--Goldbach's Conjecture.

The innumerate may initially find this undramatic material for a novel. Yet Doxiadis offers up a beautifully imagined narrative, which reveals a rarefied world of the intellect that few people will ever enter, in which numbers are entirely animate entities, each possessed of "a distinct personality." Without ever alienating the reader, he demonstrates the enchantments of this art as well as the ambition, envy, and search for glory that permeate its apostles. Balancing the narrator's own awkward move into adulthood with the painful memories of his brilliant relative, Doxiadis shows how seductive the world of numbers can be, and how cruel a mistress. "A mathematician is born, not made," Petros declares--an inheritance that proves both a curse and a gift. --Burhan Tufail --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Apostolos Doxiadis received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from Columbia University in New York and a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He lives in Athens, Greece.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • Publication Date : November 15, 2012
  • Publisher : Faber & Faber (November 15, 2012)
  • File Size : 2176 KB
  • Print Length : 228 pages
  • ASIN : B00AD9XZO6
  • Language: : English
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 128 ratings