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Monday, November 29, 2010

Review - The Solitude of Prime Numbers - Paolo Giordano

The title of this book fascinated me for months. The cover was equally good.I knew I would never find it in Sri Lanka so this was one of the first books I put on reserve here in Melbourne so that I could get to it before I left! I found it tough going!

A prime number is one that can be divided by itself or by the number one. We find Alice and Mattia both odd children, both single individuals who do not fit in anywhere - family, or school or later in society. They are odd balls and they know it.

In Alice's case an over ambitious father drove her first to a skiing accident and then to terrible anorexia which the family conveniently ignored. In Mattia's case one of a twin who was autistic and whom he was secretly ashamed of - disappeared due to his negligence whilst still a young boy. Mattia never forgave himself and he withdrew into an inner shell, mutilating himself over and over again. Mattia was a brilliant brain excelling in mathematics and this was his lifeline. Alice and Mattia found themselves with something in common. One a cripple physically and one a mental crippled for life.

I do not think I am a gregarious person - I enjoy my solitude as much as anyone else but this book for me was too "alone", and the characters were so isolated and at the same time for me, anyway, miserable in their isolation.

I did finish the book as I normally do. It was 352 pages but it did nothing for me. I know the book won a very prestigious award for its author but the over riding sadness of the book dragged me down.


  1. I bought one of the books you recommended (Brontë..). No chance to follow your rythm (or I must stop blogging)! How do you make it? :-)

  2. Peter right now I am not working and in Melbourne. Other than housekeeping there is nothing much to do!!! So I read and I must since this is the only opportunity I will get to get some of the latest books around!!!! When I go back to Sri Lanka I go back to vintage and classics!

  3. This book does sound very depressing. Thank you for your thoughts and review, I won't be adding this one to my personal tbr bucket list.

  4. I enjoyed this book, but afterwards, well you are so right, there was nothing

  5. This book sounds very dark, even if it won awards. I think if I were to read this I would have to sandwich it in between two light and funny reads (or switch back and forth between a light read and this one)

    Thanks for the review!