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Soledad Numeros Primos by Paolo Giordano
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Soledad Numeros Primos (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Paolo Giordano

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2,5781412,321 (3.55)1 / 73
Member:Groznny
Title:Soledad Numeros Primos
Authors:Paolo Giordano
Info:SALAMANDRA (2009), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (2008)

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English (57)  Dutch (37)  Italian (16)  Spanish (12)  Catalan (7)  German (5)  Finnish (3)  French (2)  Basque (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Alice and Mattia are two misfits who gravitate toward each other as teens both scarred by tragedy: Alice has been permanently damaged in a skiing accident and will never be the championship skier she thought, and mathematically brilliant Mattia is responsible for the disappearance of his mentally challenged twin sister. Alice and Mattia interact on and off through the years, each in a parallel orbit, never really sharing the same emotional space. Summary LJ BookSmack

Loved, loved, loved the concept of personifying twin primes (prime= number divisible only by 1 and itself; twin primes= prime numbers sequentially close, separated by an even number) as physically and emotionally scarred young adults incapable of sharing their love or themselves! Suddenly, temporarily, humanity has resolved itself into primes and non-primes for me.....it's so obvious--people who don't "fit in" versus popular, "shared" people--I wonder how I could have missed it for so long!

Twin primes, however, make for tough reading. Giordano describes them thus:

Among prime numbers there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from truly touching. Numbers like 11 and 13, like 17 and 19, 41 and 43.

It's pretty depressing. THE SOLITUDE OF PRIME NUMBERS isn't labelled as young adult, but I'm wondering if that is his targeted audience. If Giordano is dramatizing the often awful struggles of adolescent relationships (20s too) where you feel stuck in your separateness that is at the same time parallel to others' separateness.... Does that make sense?

Anyway, be prepared for not terribly likeable people and LOTS of unexpectedly, understandably, prime numbered people not sharing themselves. Giordano helps you understand rather than judge them. Strong book club novel. Resonant psychological read. But sad.

P.S. Surely the cover image represents the opposite of twin primes?!

7.5 out 10 Cautiously recommended to fans of psychological fiction and to readers who like to deepen their understanding of the human condition. ( )
  julie10reads | Sep 25, 2014 |
Alice is an anorexic rich girl. Mattia is a mathematical genius who is carrying around a guilty secret. Neither has been successful at forming bonds with other human beings, and both of them have scars, both literal and figurative, that the rest of the world actively ignores. But maybe they could truly connect with each other, if they'd ever let themselves.

OK, that sort of makes it sound like it might be a cheesy romance. It's really, really not. In fact, I found it rather painful to read, not so much because it contains bullying and self-harm and other disturbing and depressing subjects, but because I so badly wanted to reach through the pages and smack both of them until they made different choices, said what they were thinking, and started treating themselves better. But it was mostly the good kind of pain, and the "Aargh, I care about these characters and they keep making me suffer with them!" kind of wanting to smack them, not the, "Aargh, the author has made these characters too annoying and stupid!" kind.

The writing is very good, even in translation: simple and understated and rather compelling. There is, perhaps, something that feels slightly artificial in how pure these characters are in their isolation and their damage, if that makes sense. But I think there's also something that feels true in it, anyway, so that ultimately, it works. I'm not entirely sure about the ending, which had just enough ambiguity to leave me mildly troubled, but in principle, at least, I think it's probably better than any of the possible endings I was imagining. ( )
1 vote bragan | Apr 12, 2014 |
"Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and by themselves...Among prime numbers, there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost numbers, but between them there is always an even number that prevents from truly touching...Mattia thought that he and Alice were like that, twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other." pp.111-112
A coming of age love story about two people with troubled childhoods, two twin primes, friends drawn apart by lives' choices. The Solitude of Prime Number was an interesting title and read that I would recommend. ( )
  sar96 | Jan 2, 2014 |
"Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and by themselves...Among prime numbers, there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost numbers, but between them there is always an even number that prevents from truly touching...Mattia thought that he and Alice were like that, twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other." pp.111-112
A coming of age love story about two people with troubled childhoods, two twin primes, friends drawn apart by lives' choices. The Solitude of Prime Number was an interesting title and read that I would recommend. ( )
  sar96 | Jan 2, 2014 |
Despite good reviews (for the most part) & better-than-average writing, I can't really say this book left a lasting impression on me. I felt for the main characters (two "misfits"), but the whole novel felt like two parallel stories that never fully converged. I suppose many would say this is what makes the story profound, but I felt like something was really missing. After such a blasé plotline, I was at least expecting something fulfilling at the end, but even that was a disappointment. ( )
  indygo88 | Oct 16, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
The Solitude of Prime Numbers hints at the scientific background of its 27-year-old Italian author. Paolo Giordano is completing a PhD in Physics in Turin, while also winning the country's most prestigious literary prize, Premio Strega, selling over one million copies all over the world, and writing short stories and columns for the Italian press.

Giordano's first novel tells the story of two solitary adolescents: he compares them to "special" prime numbers such as 11, 13, 17, 41 and 43. These numbers can only be divided by one and themselves – they live parallel lives without ever touching. This is the story of Alice and Mattia, two extraordinary beings who will live parallel destinies, developing a friendship without ever becoming romantically involved.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Giordano, Paoloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baar, Marry vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, LukeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geuzebroek, MiekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voogd, Pietha deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Her old aunt's elaborately trimmed dress was a perfect fit for Sylvie's slender figure and she asked me to lace it up for her. "The sleeves are plain; how ridiculous!" she said.
--Gerard de Nerval, Sylvie, 1853
Dedication
To Eleonora
because in silence
I promised it to you
First words
Alice Della Rocca hated ski school.
Quotations
It happened in films and it happened in reality, every day. People took what they wanted, they clutched at coincidences, the few that there were, and from them they drew a life.
Feeling special is the worst kind of cage that a person can build for himself.
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Book description
Alice é obrigada pelo pai a frequentar um curso de esqui para ser forte e competitiva, mas um acidente terrível deixará marcas no seu corpo para sempre. Mattia é um menino muito inteligente cuja irmã gémea é deficiente. Quando são convidados para uma festa de anos, ele deixa-a sozinha num banco de jardim e nunca mais torna a vê-la. Estes dois episódios irreversíveis marcarão a vida de ambos para sempre. Quando estes "números primos" se encontram são como gémeos, que partilham uma dor muda que mais ninguém pode compreender. Ganhou o prémio Stregga e a menção honrosa do Campiello, os dois prémios literários mais importantes de Itália, e está a ser traduzido em mais de 20 países.



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Alice and Mattia are both misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit. When Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them, forcing a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface.… (more)

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