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Uncle Petros and Goldbach\'s Conjecture

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

(1999)
A Novel of Mathematical Obsession
A novel by

 
"Every family has its black sheep--in ours it was Uncle Petros": the narrator of Apostles Doxiadis's novel Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture is the mystified nephew of the family's black sheep, unable to understand the reasons for his uncle's fall from grace. A kindly, gentle recluse devoted only to gardening and chess, Petros Papachristos exhibits no signs of dissolution or indolence: so why do his family hold him in such low esteem? One day, his father reveals all:
Your uncle, my son, committed the greatest of sins ... he took something holy and sacred and great, and shamelessly defiled it! The great, unique gift that God had blessed him with, his phenomenal, unprecedented mathematical talent! The miserable fool wasted it; he squandered it and threw it out with the garbage. Can you imagine it? The ungrateful bastard never did one day's useful work in mathematics. Never! Nothing! Zero!
Instead of being warned off, the nephew instead has his curiosity provoked, and what he eventually discovers is a story of obsession and frustration, of Uncle Petros's attempts at finding a proof for one of the great unsolved problems of mathematics--Goldbach's conjecture.

If this might initially seem undramatic material for a novel, readers of Fermat's Last Theorem, Simon Singh's gripping true-life account of Andrew Wiles's search for a proof for another of the great long-standing problems of mathematics, would surely disagree. What Doxiadis gives us is the fictional corollary of Singh's book: a beautifully imagined narrative that is both compelling as a story and highly revealing of a rarefied world of the intellect that few people will ever access. Without ever alienating the reader, he demonstrates the enchantments of mathematics as well as the ambition, envy and search for glory that permeate even this most abstract of pursuits. Balancing the narrator's own awkward move into adulthood with the painful memories of his brilliant uncle, Doxiadis shows how seductive the world of numbers can be, and how cruel a mistress. "Mathematicians are born, not made," Petros declares: an inheritance that proves to be both a curse and a gift.--Burhan Tufail

 
Used availability for Apostolos Doxiadis's Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

February 2000 : USA Hardback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
ISBN: 1-58234-067-6 / 978-1-58234-067-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 1999 : USA Hardback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture
Author(s): Apostolos K Doxiadis
ISBN: 1-58234-079-X / 978-1-58234-079-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (NY)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Paperback Editions

March 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
ISBN: 0-571-20511-9 / 978-0-571-20511-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2001 : USA Mass Market Paperback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
ISBN: 1-58234-128-1 / 978-1-58234-128-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

December 2000 : UK Perfect Paperback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture Edition: Reprint
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
ISBN: 0-571-20321-3 / 978-0-571-20321-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber / Distributed by Greece in Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2000 : UK Paperback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
ISBN: 0-571-20203-9 / 978-0-571-20203-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2000 : USA Paperback
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conject
Author(s): Doxiadis Apostolos
ISBN: 1-58234-095-1 / 978-1-58234-095-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

March 2013 : USA Audio edition
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

November 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

December 2010 : USA Kindle edition
Title: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession
Author(s): Apostolos Doxiadis
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Availability: Amazon   



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