The Solitude Of Prime Numbers

Paperback | October 4, 2011

byPaolo Giordano

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A stunning debut novel about the intertwined destinies of two friends brought together by childhood tragedy.

A three-million-copy Italian bestseller and winner of that country’s prestigious Premio Strega award.

A prime number is inherently a solitary thing: it can only be divided by itself, or by one: it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, too, move on their own axis, alone with their personal tragedies. As a child, Alice’s overbearing father drove her first to a terrible skiing accident, and then to anorexia. When she meets Mattia she recognizes a kindred, tortured spirit, and Mattia reveals to Alice his terrible secret: that as a boy he abandoned his mentally-disabled twin sister in a park to go to a party, and when he returned, she was nowhere to be found.
These two irreversible episodes mark Alice and Mattia’s lives for ever, and as they grow into adulthood their destinies seem intertwined: they are divisible only by themselves and each other. But the shadow of the lost twin haunts their relationship, until a chance sighting by Alice of a woman who could be Mattia’s sister forces a lifetime of secret emotion to the surface.

A meditation on loneliness and love, The Solitude of Prime Numbers asks, can we ever truly be whole when we’re in love with another? And when Mattia is asked to choose between human love and his professional love — of mathematics — which will make him more complete?

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From the Publisher

A stunning debut novel about the intertwined destinies of two friends brought together by childhood tragedy.A three-million-copy Italian bestseller and winner of that country’s prestigious Premio Strega award.A prime number is inherently a solitary thing: it can only be divided by itself, or by one: it never truly fits with another. Al...

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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La solitude des nombres premiers
La solitude des nombres premiers

Mass Market Paperback|May 3 2010

$14.95

see all books by Paolo Giordano
Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.73 inPublished:October 4, 2011Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143177451

ISBN - 13:9780143177456

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Customer Reviews of The Solitude Of Prime Numbers

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad Yet Beautiful... The story centers around three main characters: Alice, Michela, and Mattia. Alice lives with her parents and has always defied them in some way. When she was younger she hated attending ski school and at age fifteen she wanted a tattoo but her father told her “no”, that when she turned eighteen and was paying her own way, she could then get a tattoo. Michela and Mattia are twins but Michela suffers from mental problems and is quite behind developmentally. One day Mattia and Michela are invited to a birthday party but Mattia is too embarrassed to take his sister with him so instead, he drops her off at the park and tells her not to move that he’d be back in half an hour to pick her up. When Mattia returns, Michela is gone! As Mattia and Alice grow they become friends but Pietro Balossino, Mattia’s father, is tired of trying to infiltrate his son’s strange and obscure world. He had spent many nights searching the house for sharp objects after seeing the scars on Mattia’s arms. Pietro thought so much about one day finding his son face down on a blood soaked pillow that he is already thinking of his son as non-existant. This is a coming-of-age story, a love story, a story of loneliness with a touch of melancholy and a depiction of damaged soul mates whose hearts are kindred spirits. This debut novel was a joy to read.
Date published: 2011-04-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Prime Let Down The reviews on this book were astounding....but me...i didn't get it. I found it tedious to read a book where the two main characters never seemed to age...at least emotionally. If i hadn't known what year it was, i would have guessed that Mattia and Alice were still in the prime of adolescence. Although they seemed to "find" themselves at the end of the book, each accepting of where they were in life, i expect that characters in books, like those of us in real life, grow in ways that are obvious. Perhaps it was the author's minimalist style of writing that prevented so much from coming through because, although the plot of two damaged people attempting to find refuge with each other only to find that they are better off as solitary "numbers" is a great plot idea...i needed a bit more to get Mattia and Alice from the beginning to the end. Phooey on this book!
Date published: 2010-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Giordano unflinchingly tells of the heartbreaking lives of Mattia and Alice, both marred by tragedy at a young age as these two lost souls deal with being outsiders both together and apart. The prose is beautiful in its simplicity as the story moves from childhood into adulthood lingering on the everyday rather than focusing on the tragedy that shaped it. Worthy of the high praise
Date published: 2010-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "He rejecting the world, and she feeling rejected by it" Solitude can manifest itself differently for two individuals: the boy imposes this upon himself, the girl is pushed aside to be on her own. When they cross paths, what will happen? Such is the story written by Italian author and physicist, Paolo Giordano. Spanning childhood to adulthood, Giordano explores what a decision made from a young age could have far-reaching consequences that would alter one's life forever. But this life-changing event is not what defines someone forever; it is what the individual does next to make the most out of the cards dealt. Then, a connection lost, a love stagnated; will they reconnect? Even with the time spent apart, you can tell Mattia and Alice are two similar solitary souls who need each other. The story caught my attention from the very beginning. It is a quick read, very character-driven. Admittedly, the interest did wane a little but this is a very good debut from a young promising author.
Date published: 2010-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amore!!! Please ... do not tell my husband, but I have been a having an affair these last few days. And, to make things even worse, I don't want it to end. I have just finished a love affair with The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. Honestly, run to your nearest bookstore and buy this story. My Mom has already asked to borrow my copy, but I don't know if I can part with it ... sometimes, I like to keep my true loves nearby at all times. Yes, I am aware that this is weird. The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a study of people, so the plot line takes a back seat. Which I LOVE. But that is not to say that there is no action or story at all, however it is not what will draw you in. Oh ... and, it's not a feel good, happy ending sort of story, either. Sounds great, doesn't it? Oh, but it is. Perhaps I am drawn to it for my own personal reasons ... I read this book as part of a challenge to read 100 books in one year. To check out all my thoughts on The Solitude of Prime Numbers, click on the link .. http://takenoutofcontext-jill.blogspot.com/2010/04/solitude-of-reading.html But know this ... if I could give this book 750 little maple leaves as a rating, I would!! I loved it and you will too!!!
Date published: 2010-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastico! This is a beautifully written bittersweet story about two people that are outsiders and the relationship that develops when they stumble upon one another. Paolo Giordano is a wonderful writer that has a maturity far beyond his young years. He writes with such grace about the minute details of life that you feel you are in the room with Alice and Mattia. I loved this book.
Date published: 2010-04-06