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The Solitude of Prime Numbers

by

The Solitude of Prime Numbers Cover

ISBN13: 9780670021482
ISBN10: 0670021482
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.50!

 

Staff Pick

A meditation on isolation, loneliness, and alienation, this novel is astonishing in its crystal-clear depth. Two high-school friends — Alice, an anorexic, and Mattia, a cutter — conceal a sea of emotion beneath their stoic facades. As adults, after years of separation, a chance encounter changes both of them to the core. Paolo Giordano, who published The Solitude of Prime Numbers when he was just 27 years old, is talented far, far beyond his years. This book is excellent.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

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:

A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one — it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both primes, recognize in each other a kindred spirit. When a chance occurrence reunites them after years apart, a lifetime of concealed emotions are forced to the surface.

Synopsis:

The provocative international bestseller about two young girls growing up fast in a failing industrial town on the coast of Italy
 
They were always a pair: daring, intelligent Anna and breathtakingly gorgeous Francesca. Just shy of fourteen, their newly acquired curves and skimpy bathing suits have earned them celebrity status on the beaches of their gritty town, where the glittering resort island of Elba taunts them from across the bay. The girls, aware of their newfound power, are on the brink of everything—high school, adulthood, ambition—but when their intense friendship suffers a blow, each sets off on her own, only to learn that the "glamorous" world of adult physicality can be at best banal and at worst dehumanizing. As their choices take them to a painful crossroads, the girls must reconnect if they have any hope of escaping their small-town destinies.
            Frank, sensual, and evocative of the Academy Award–winning film Cinema Paradiso and the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Swimming to Elba is a harrowing yet redemptive meditation on politics, family, sex, and the lasting power of friendship.

About the Author

Ward Just's sixteen previous novels Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

writermala, January 23, 2011 (view all comments by writermala)
In this, his Debut Novel, Paolo Giordano strikes an immediate connection with us his readers. In likening his two main characters to Prime Numbers Giordano paints a picture of a lonely couple unable to bridge the chasm between them even when there is an obvious connection.

Mattia, Alice, Fabio and even to some extent Michela have been characterized so beautifully that the reader can visualize them and identify with them in certain areas.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Barbara Cser, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Barbara Cser)
beautifully strange. rarely does a book devour me, but this one did and then some.
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Elyse, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Elyse)
One of the best books I read in 2010
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670021482
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Giordano, Paolo
Author:
Just, Ward
Author:
Avallone, Silvia
Author:
Shugaar, Antony
Publisher:
Pamela Dorman Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100318
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 0.98 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Solitude of Prime Numbers Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Pamela Dorman Books - English 9780670021482 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A meditation on isolation, loneliness, and alienation, this novel is astonishing in its crystal-clear depth. Two high-school friends — Alice, an anorexic, and Mattia, a cutter — conceal a sea of emotion beneath their stoic facades. As adults, after years of separation, a chance encounter changes both of them to the core. Paolo Giordano, who published The Solitude of Prime Numbers when he was just 27 years old, is talented far, far beyond his years. This book is excellent.

"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 , A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one — it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both primes, recognize in each other a kindred spirit. When a chance occurrence reunites them after years apart, a lifetime of concealed emotions are forced to the surface.
"Synopsis" by ,
The provocative international bestseller about two young girls growing up fast in a failing industrial town on the coast of Italy
 
They were always a pair: daring, intelligent Anna and breathtakingly gorgeous Francesca. Just shy of fourteen, their newly acquired curves and skimpy bathing suits have earned them celebrity status on the beaches of their gritty town, where the glittering resort island of Elba taunts them from across the bay. The girls, aware of their newfound power, are on the brink of everything—high school, adulthood, ambition—but when their intense friendship suffers a blow, each sets off on her own, only to learn that the "glamorous" world of adult physicality can be at best banal and at worst dehumanizing. As their choices take them to a painful crossroads, the girls must reconnect if they have any hope of escaping their small-town destinies.
            Frank, sensual, and evocative of the Academy Award–winning film Cinema Paradiso and the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Swimming to Elba is a harrowing yet redemptive meditation on politics, family, sex, and the lasting power of friendship.

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