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Soledad Numeros Primos by Paolo Giordano

Soledad Numeros Primos (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Paolo Giordano

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2,7501502,132 (3.54)1 / 81
Title:Soledad Numeros Primos
Authors:Paolo Giordano
Info:SALAMANDRA (2009), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (2008)


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English (65)  Dutch (38)  Italian (16)  Spanish (12)  Catalan (7)  German (5)  Finnish (3)  French (2)  Basque (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
I don't know what it was about this book that made it so difficult to read. I must have picked it up and put it down a hundred times before I finally got to the last page. It wasn't that it was a horribly written book. In fact, just the opposite. It was so beautiful in a haunting, painful way that I could only read it in short bursts.

Alice and Mattia are two misfit loners who accidentally find each other as teenagers at a birthday party. Despite the fact they are thrown together on a malicious dare, they develop a bond of solidarity. To quote Pink Floyd, they were "two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl" recognizing the loneliness in each other. Except, their friendship does not develop as one normally would. They remain just as singular (primary, as the title suggests) as if they had never met. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Feb 2, 2016 |
Alice is anorexic and Mattia cuts himself. Both have emotionally unresolved tragedies from childhood and parents who neither coped well nor helped them through thing well. They meet and form a form of friendship that lasts from high school through college when Mattia, brilliant in mathematics, takes a job in northern Europe. Alice ends up married to a doctor, and eventually they meet again, nine yeas after Mattia leaves.

It was extremely difficult to connect with these characters because they hate themselves and are unable to truly love or like anyone else. They choose to be misfits as both have opportunities for friendships and other relationships that they shy away from. I had to look up the longevity of anorexics, because I found it hard to believe someone could still be alive so many years with so little food, but apparently those who become anorexic as young as 15 can live to be in their 50s.

However, there are a lot of strengths to Giordano's writing, so I couldn't give it a 2, and I still love the title (that last one is no reason to like a book, but it's what drew me to it.) ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Audio book performed by Luke Daniels

From chapter 21: Mattia had learned that, 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. If you have the patience to go on counting, you discover that these pairs gradually become rarer. You encounter increasingly isolated primes lost in that silent, measured space made only of ciphers, and you develop a distressing presentiment that the pairs encountered up until that point were accidental, that solitude is the true destiny. Then, just when you’re about to surrender, when you no longer have the desire to go on counting, you come across another pair of twins, clutching each other tightly.”
Alice Della Rocca and Mattia Balossino are the solitary primes of this beautifully written novel. The story begins in 1983 with Alice, forced to take ski lessons by her attorney father. The narrative skips to 1984 and twins Mattia and Michaela; Mattia is always charged with “look after your sister,” because Michaela is clearly not able to look after herself. These two chapters provide key incidents that lead to Alice and Mattia’s increasing solitude. But they will meet in high school and like rare twin primes they will cling to one another, though never quite touching.

Giordano writes with such elegance about the landscape of loneliness, the need for love and acceptance. This is an intimate study of the psychology of two damaged characters. Both Mattia and Alice lack the strength to truly connect to someone else, yet have the strength to live alone and isolated. Their steps toward one another are halting and even excruciatingly difficult, making the reader almost as anxious as the characters. Like real life, the ending is ambiguous, but oh, how I want to know what happens to these two people.

Luke Daniels does a wonderful job narrating the audio version. His nuanced performance is both gentle and harsh, quiet and panicked, tender and mean.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
People have been unhappy for about as long as people have existed, but Mattia and Alice, the main characters of "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" seem to be unhappy in particularly modern ways. He's a genius mathematician, but he struggles to form emotional bonds with others, engages in self-harm, and hides a dark secret in his past. She was disabled in a childhood accident, struggles to cope with an eating disorder, and her parents are rather cold and distant. None of them want for much -- indeed, Alice's family seems quite well-off -- but their lives seem drab and joyless. They may share, as the title implies, a deeper emotional connection, but who knows what surprises life holds? More importantly, who cares? "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" is pretty drab and joyless itself, in part due to its prose, which is, like IKEA furniture, functional but rather boring. This may be an effect intended by the author, or it may be due to a poor translation; it's difficult to tell. Plain old bad writing might also be the culprit here. The author does capture something of the excitement and nausea of adolescence in the book's earlier chapters and finds some beauty in the language of the mathematics that Mattias studies obsessively, but I generally found myself unable to care about its protagonists' tortured, airless lives. "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" -- which is an oddly poetic title for a book that distinguishes itself being, in the main, resolutely unpoetic -- fails, for me, anyway, the Henry James test, which holds that a novel can be about anything as long as it's interesting. Somewhere in here, I think that there might be a big, sweeping, sentimental romance struggling to break free, but in order to pull that sort of thing off, you really need to create memorable characters that mean something to someone besides themselves, and Alice and Mattia don't seem like much more than the sum of their various sorrows. Okay, I'll stop now. "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" can take its two stars, buy a Eurail pass, and get out of town. Ciao! ( )
1 vote TheAmpersand | Jan 1, 2016 |
Nicely wrought love story of a sort, spanning the adolescence and adulthood of two damaged souls who find solace in one another. Lovely. ( )
  eenerd | Dec 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Ik heb blijkbaar een voorkeur voor Italiaanse schrijvers die de Premio Strega winnen. En de 26-jarige Paolo Giordano is met zijn boek De eenzaamheid van de priemgetallen ook nog eens de jongste Premio Strega-winnaar aller tijden!

Het verhaal pakte mij vanaf het begin.
De briljante Mattia schaamt zich voor zijn achterlijke tweelingzusje Michela. Onderweg naar een verjaardagsfeestje liet hij dat lastige zusje eventjes achter op een bank in het park. Ze is nooit teruggevonden.
Alice wordt door haar vader gedwongen te skiën. Zijn obsessie voor de lange latten maakt haar opstandig en als zij tijdens een mistige afdaling haar skiklasje verlaat, breekt ze haar been. Sindsdien loopt ze mank.

Mattia omschrijft zichzelf en Alice als twee priemgetallen die afwijken van hun omgeving zoals priemgetallen dat doen ten opzichte van de rest van de getallen:
”Alleen en verloren, vlak bij elkaar, maar niet dicht genoeg om elkaar echt aan te raken”.
Giordano beschrijft heel mooi hoe twee jonge mensen hun draai in het leven proberen te vinden; van hun traumatische jeugdjaren tot ze bijna dertigers zijn. Alice en Mattia voelen zich vanaf de dag van hun ontmoeting verbonden, maar merken al snel hoe moeilijk het is om wezenlijk contact met elkaar te krijgen.

Het is een roman die je bijna filmisch meesleept, je hebt geen idee hoe het zal eindigen. Het enige dat je kunt doen, is hopen op een happy end, maar de vraag is of dat er wel komt. Wat mij betreft mag deze jonge schrijver nog heel veel meer moois uitbrengen!
Waarschuwing: dit boek is moeilijk weg te leggen als je begint te lezen!
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.
"La solitud dels nombres primers", la novel·la més venuda a Itàlia el 2008, relaciona solitud, geometria i literatura a mans del seu autor, Paolo Giordano, un llicenciat en Física teòrica de 25 anys que ha aconseguit l'èxit amb la seva primera publicació literària, segons que ha dit en una entrevista amb Efe.
added by jvmonjo | editEFE, Nina Tramullas (Jul 3, 2009)

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Giordano, Paoloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baar, Marry vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casassas, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, LukeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geuzebroek, MiekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voogd, Pietha deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
To Eleonora
because in silence
I promised it to you
First words
Alice Della Rocca hated ski school.
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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