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The Solitude of Prime Numbers

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers Cover

ISBN13: 9780143118596
ISBN10: 0143118595
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stunning debut novel about the intertwined destinies of two friends brought together by childhood tragedy.

A three-million-copy Italian bestseller and winner of that country's prestigious Premio Strega award.

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. But the shadow of the lost twin haunts their relationship, until a chance sighting by Alice of a woman who could be Mattia's sister forces a lifetime of secret emotion to the surface.

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? And when Mattia is asked to choose between human love and his professional love — of mathematics — which will make him more complete?

Review:

"Italian author and mathematician Giordano follows two scarred people whose lives intersect but can't seem to join in his cerebral yet touching debut. Alice and Mattia, both survivors of childhood traumas, are the odd ones out amid the adolescent masses in their high school. Mattia has never recovered from the loss of his sister, while Alice still suffers the effects of a skiing accident that damaged her physically and stunted her ability to trust. Now teenagers, Mattia, also addicted to self-injury, has withdrawn into a world of numbers and math, and Alice gains control through starving herself and photography. When they meet, they recognize something primal in each other, but timing and awkwardness keep their friendship on tenuous ground until, years later, their lives come together one last time. Giordano uses Mattia and Alice's trajectory to ask whether there are some people — the prime numbers among us — who are destined to be alone, or whether two primes can come together. The novel's bleak subject matter is rendered almost beautiful by Giordano's spare, intense focus on his two characters." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

"Mesmerizing...an exquisite rendering of what one might call feels at the subatomic level." The New York Times

A prime number is a lonely thing. It can only be divided by itself or by one, and it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia are both "primes" — misfits haunted by early tragedies. When the two meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit. Years later, a chance encounter reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface. But can two prime numbers ever find a way to be together? A brilliantly conceived and elegantly written debut novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a stunning meditation on loneliness, love, and what it means to be human.

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About the Author

Paolo Giordano has just completed his Ph.D. in particle physics, and is now devoting himself to writing full time.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

josh_weinman1, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by josh_weinman1)
A marvelous book that dives into the lives of the lesser known. A brilliant story of two lonely people who want to fit in to the rough society around.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
bankapa, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by bankapa)
My favorite books are those that I find myself struggling to read more slowly and occasionally put down as I near the end of the book. The reason is that I know once I finish this book, I will have to say goodbye to characters I have come to know and love. This is one of those books. Alice and Mattia are very real in their sadness and their ways of dealing with the pain that life has given them. Their awkward friendship ranges from raw and painful to endearing and sweet. These unique and beautiful characters provide not only an interesting story, but also insight into the minds of some troubled youths and an empathetic view of those with behavior we just don't understand. The characters in the The Solitude of Prime Numbers will stick with me, and I know that at some point I will read it again.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143118596
Author:
Giordano, Paolo
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.88 x 5.14 x 0.78 in 0.46 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143118596 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Italian author and mathematician Giordano follows two scarred people whose lives intersect but can't seem to join in his cerebral yet touching debut. Alice and Mattia, both survivors of childhood traumas, are the odd ones out amid the adolescent masses in their high school. Mattia has never recovered from the loss of his sister, while Alice still suffers the effects of a skiing accident that damaged her physically and stunted her ability to trust. Now teenagers, Mattia, also addicted to self-injury, has withdrawn into a world of numbers and math, and Alice gains control through starving herself and photography. When they meet, they recognize something primal in each other, but timing and awkwardness keep their friendship on tenuous ground until, years later, their lives come together one last time. Giordano uses Mattia and Alice's trajectory to ask whether there are some people — the prime numbers among us — who are destined to be alone, or whether two primes can come together. The novel's bleak subject matter is rendered almost beautiful by Giordano's spare, intense focus on his two characters." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , "Mesmerizing...an exquisite rendering of what one might call feels at the subatomic level." The New York Times

A prime number is a lonely thing. It can only be divided by itself or by one, and it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia are both "primes" — misfits haunted by early tragedies. When the two meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit. Years later, a chance encounter reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface. But can two prime numbers ever find a way to be together? A brilliantly conceived and elegantly written debut novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a stunning meditation on loneliness, love, and what it means to be human.

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