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Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by…
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Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

by Apostolos Doxiadis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6152515,832 (3.59)31
Recently added byprivate library, hyppo16, erlingwold, JustJoey4, pumuky, dylanwolf, capiam1234, wanack
Legacy LibrariesDavid Foster Wallace
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    Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem by Simon Singh (yokai)
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    The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj (Anonymous user)
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    Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis (whitrichardson)
    whitrichardson: If you liked "Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture" by Apostolos Doxiadis, you will certainly enjoy "Logicomix", also by Doxiadis. "Logicomix" is a graphic novel that tells the story of British mathematician and logician Bertrand Russel and his search for a logical foundation of mathematics.… (more)
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» See also 31 mentions

English (16)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
While it's not great, this novel about a mathematician and his nephew at least deals with interesting math. Neither of the main characters is very likable, however, and the dialogue's among the clunkiest I've ever seen. ( )
  wanack | May 12, 2014 |
I found myself enjoying this book when I realized it's best read as a myth, not as a straight work of fiction. Knowledge of the formulas of higher mathematics isn't necessary but knowledge of the pursuit of proofs and the names of some of the most famous practitioners would be helpful. A quick read, and a good one. ( )
  Brainannex | Oct 25, 2013 |
Pseudoscientific....you never actually more than scratches at the mathematics; i.e. whatever puzzle would have served as the propeller of the story. The story has a thin plot; it is about the storyteller and his relationship to the uncle, the mathematician, the failure who never becomes the one to prove Golbachs conjecture, and the uncle`s influence on his career choice, why he never became a mathematician himself in the end. Good idea set up with unusual props - it could have been....

But the story fails psychologically in the end when the nephew starts a crusade to make his old uncle come to terms with his failure. This is an act absolutely incongruent with the carefully displayed longstanding and growing sympathy between uncle and nephew, and of the empathy the more mature nephew developes towards his uncle through the combined knowledge begot from his own journey in to the mathematician´s world and the close greek kinship. The nephew´s crusade against what he perceives as illusions of his uncle, precipitates the uncle´s last go at the puzzle, and eventually his death, a premature death the nephew easily washes his hands of. The nephew´s character transformation is not tragic (unleashed unknowingly with disastrous results) they are just unbelievable.

Psychologically dysfunctional added to the fact that we never come close to mathematics per se leaves the book standing shakely on both legs. ( )
1 vote Mikalina | Feb 21, 2012 |
Remarkably readable tale hiding behind a daunting title that promises advanced mathematics. The narrative is entirely engaging as an enquiring narrator reveals the life and egocentricity of a brilliant self-defeating uncle. ( )
  TheoClarke | Apr 29, 2011 |
Uncle Petros is "off limits" for the narrator; for years this uncle tried to solve one of the most difficult problems in math, goldbach's conjecture, however, failing to do so. The story is a combination of the present, in which the narrator and uncle Petros interact, and the past, with uncle Petros quest in math. A nice combination of mathematical insights and information and a well written story. ( )
1 vote wouterzzzzz | Oct 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Apostolos Doxiadisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Out, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanninen, ReijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. 'Immortality' may be a silly word, but probably a mathematican has the best chance of whatever it may mean.
G.H. HARDY, A Mathematician's Apology
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Every family has its black sheep -- in ours it was Uncle Petros.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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