Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

  • Paperback
By (author) Apostolos Doxiadis

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Uncle Petros is a family joke, but his young nephew suspects there is more to this ageing recluse, living alone in a suburb of Athens. He discovers Petros was once a celebrated mathematician, foolhardy enough to stake everything on solving a problem that defied proof for nearly three centuries.

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  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 134 x 217 x 18mm | 270g
  • 20 Mar 2000
  • FABER & FABER
  • London
  • 0571202039
  • 9780571202034
  • 1,686,163

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Review text

If you enjoyed Fermat's Last Theorem, you'll devour this. However, you don't need to be an academic to understand its imaginative exploration of the allure and danger of genius. Old Uncle Petros is a failure. The black sheep of a wealthy Greek family, he lives as a recluse surrounded by dusty books in an Athenian suburb. It takes his talented nephew to penetrate his rich inner world and discover that this broken man was once a mathematical prodigy, a golden youth whose ambition was to solve one of pure maths' most famous unproven hypotheses - Goldbach's Conjecture. Fascinated, the young man sets out to discover what Uncle Petros found - and what he was forced to sacrifice. Himself a mathematician as well as a novelist, Doxiadis succeeds in shining a light into the spectral world of abstract number theory where unimaginable concepts and bizarre realities glitter with a cold, magical and ultimately destructive beauty. (Kirkus UK)

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