The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

3.57 (35,557 ratings by Goodreads)
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" exquisite rendering of what one might call feelings 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 271 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 20.32mm | 99.79g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143118595
  • 9780143118596
  • 116,220

About Paolo Giordano

Paolo Giordano was born in Turin in 1982. He is working on a doctorate in particle physics. The Solitude of Prime Numbers is his first novel.
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Review quote

"A mesmerizing portrait of a young man and woman whose injured natures draw them together over the years and inevitably pull them apart. Mr. Giordano remarkably and movingly portrays the hesitant groping toward warmth that works beneath the pair's emotional disabilities. The author works with piercing subtlety. An exquisite rendering of what one might call feelings at the subatomic level."
-Richard Eder for The New York Times "The melancholy that hangs over The Solitude of Prime Numbers is seductive and unnerving. A-."
-Entertainment Weekly "Giordano's passionate evocation of being young and in despair will resonate strongly with readers."
-USA Today "The elegant and fiercely intelligent debut novel by 27-year-old physicist Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers revolves around Mattia and Alice, friends since high school-'twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other, ' wherein resides the seductive enchantment of this singular love story."
-Elle "This compelling debut shows a remarkable sensitivity and maturity in the depiction of its damaged soulmates. A fragile, unconventional love story by a talent to watch."
-Kirkus "A deeply touching debut. Beautiful and reads easily, due in party to the almost seamless translation. An intimate psychological portrait of two 'prime numbers'-together alone and alone together."
-Booklist "Surprising, intimate and deeply moving, The Solitude of Prime Numbers takes the readers on a hypnotic journey through an unexpected love affair. Paolo Giordano writes with grace and elegance of gentle but damaged characters, using inventive language to create a story unlike anything in recent fiction. This is everything a debut novel should be and leaves one longing for the books that will follow."
-John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas "Paul Giordano is an expert on loss and sorrow. He understands and reveals the hidden hollows of the heart. His story is a quiet one, but his strong writing and unforgettable characters make his book a page turner. The Solitude of Prime Numbers is sad, dark and perfect."
-Mary Pipher, author of Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World "What a shock to open a novel written by a young physicist in Italy and find myself there, on every page. No wonder Giordano's readers can be counted in the millions; this astute, aching contemplation of solitude has a power to make us all feel a little less alone. A love story told with astonishing perceptiveness and remarkable subtlety, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is an extraordinary affirmation of the reasons we read."
-Stefan Merrill Block, author of The Story of Forgetting
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Rating details

35,557 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 21% (7,292)
4 36% (12,781)
3 28% (10,096)
2 11% (3,954)
1 4% (1,434)

Our customer reviews

This is the tale of a pull and push that inevitably happens with those of an alike nature. A young man and woman drawn together for their similar natures only to realize that it's that same quality that pushes them apart. Frankly, hasn't that theme run a little too redundant? Haven't we yet learned that opposites attract, and alike repel? Well, I guess you can already guess I wasn't too impressed by this book. I came to own this book by way of a GoodReads recommendation. I actually stumbled on it at first by viewing someone's profile who was already 'currently-reading' it. Afterwards, that same person recommended that I read it. I liked most of their book selections, I loved the summary of the book, and finally by way of it being chosen in my Global Reading Book Club, I gave it a go. The big dissapointment came when I was quickly unimpressed by it. I didn't like it much at all. The writing is more than stale, in my opinion. I grew to boredom often than not. I wasn't pulled into the plot at all, if maybe one time. I guess it just maybe isn't my type of book, maybe a little too 'mathematical?' Which ironically shouldn't have been a problem fom me since I come from a science background, yet it was. Go figure! I will leave it at that since it is all I actually want to say about this book that left me dry for the most more
by Elemillia Ucselub
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