This book is going to be big. She writes to Mattia, urging him to come home without telling him why. At age 28, the author won Italy's Strega literary award for this work, the youngest author to do so. You didn’t want anything good to happen to the. While all fiction emanates from the imagination it is rare that a work successfully mimics the language of dreams. This book is written by the 26 years old Italian paolo Giordano, who won the premio strega with his first book this year. No wonder this book was such a hit in it's native Italy and became an international bestseller. This page was last edited on 15 June 2020, at 00:54. Magnify those bumps in the road by the handicaps that these two individuals deal with and you have a relationship that is exponentially difficult to pull off. This relationship is compared to prime pairs: always together, but never touching. With Viola's encouragement, Alice meets Mattia. read it in two days and felt like I flew through it, didn't felt like putting it down and was constantly thinking to continue reading it. Compare people to numbers, compare the loneliness of people who don't know how to belong to the otherness of prime numbers, and thus imply that there could be resolution to their alienation because it's part of a logical pattern, and if they can't belong to everyone, at least they can belong to each other. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published The two characters orbit each other as they go through life without ever really connecting. This is a beauty! This is the sort of book I always hope to find while browsing at the library, something that I've never heard of before and end up loving. Amazon Price New from Alice and Mattia, two exceptional personalities but inadequate, synthesis of two lives in pain, two special people who travel on the same track, but are two worlds imploded, unable to open up to the world. Alice, on the other hand, is an awkward child who experiences cringe worthy embarrassments at the hands of her cruel peers. “The Solitude of Prime Numbers” is neither psychological drama nor plight-driven melodrama. Called “The Solitude of Prime Numbers,” it won Italy’s most coveted book prize, the Premio Strega. The Solitude of Prime Numbers Hardcover – 4 Jun. When he and his sister are invited to a classmate's birthday party, Mattia leaves Michela in a park so he can attend the party without her. The main characters, Alice and Mattia, are in a state of continual wonder both of the world that surrounds them and the nature of their own being. It takes a real talent to write with such emotional maturity and descriptive sophistication. The early days for a detached Mattia are spoiled by a tragedy he is responsible for. ... What listeners say about The Solitude of Prime Numbers. The Solitude of Prime Numbers comes as close to doing so as any novel I have read in recent memory. Complex and compelling, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is an unsettling look at how the effects of a single moment can reverberate through a lifetime. I was shocked and saddened by the ramifications a choice made as a child seemed to carry for him. The Solitude of Prime Numbers (original title: La solitudine dei numeri primi ) is a novel by the Italian author Paolo Giordano, published in 2008. “Choices are made in brief seconds and paid for in the time that remains.”, “People took what they wanted, they clutched at coincidences, the few there were, and made a life from them. Both are loners who are socially challenged and basically misfits. I found the style and feel very reminiscent of a lot of novels from the Netherlands and Scandinavia. No se habla nada de matemáticas, solo es una metáfora sobre la relación entre los protagonistas. The Solitude of Prime Numbers broke my heart multiple times, ruthlessly. However, an argument between them convinces Mattia that leaving is the right decision. Most impressive. The early days for a detached Mattia are spoiled by a tragedy he is responsible for. The two oddities are destined to meet and bond but the "... close, but not close enough to really touch each other'... becomes the theme of this novel. Giada Savarino, Federica and Giulia Mazzoldi Mirandi – Viola's friends with whom they form the group called "the four asses". It can only be divided by itself or by one, and it never truly fits with another. Each rejoices in the "differentness" of the other. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. When Alice's mother Fernanda is hospitalized for cancer treatment, Alice meets Fabio Rovelli, a young doctor who takes an interest in her. Elsewhere, Mattia is a successful mathematics professor at his foreign university. Isolated from the rest of his peers because of his uncomfortable sister, Mattia lives his childhood in solitude. From the moment we meet young [Alice and Mattia] we're engrossed by the way in which a dreadful combination of faulty brain wiring and rotten luck propels each child's future, like number sequences locking into place. The translation from Italian is really flawless, I did not see one sentence that seemed awkward. This was a an oddly stark book, melancholy in tone, but heartbreakingly beautiful. Upon his return to the park a few hours later, Michela has disappeared, perhaps drowned in a nearby pond, and is never found despite a police search and investigation. Both are outsiders, similar to how prime numbers are outsiders in relation to the other numbers. Marcello Crozza – the photographer with whom Alice works, and who considers Alice almost like a daughter. The title is singularly apt. Twin primes "are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number" that prevents them from truly touching." And The solitude of prime numbers, easy to say, broke my heart. Take two "damaged" stick figures, define each only in terms of their 'abnormality', surround them with the standard tableau of distant parents, cruel classmates. Her father decided she was going to … This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giardano, which tells the story of Alice, an anorexic teenager who is desperate to be accepted by the most popular girls in her school, and Mattia, an exceptionally gifted but socially isolated boy who finds refuge in mathematics. Alice and Mattia are both "primes"-misfits haunted by early tragedies. Directed by Saverio Costanzo, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. I read The Solitude of Prime Numbers last night, but I have a feeling I will be thinking about it for some time to come. When the two meet as teenagers, they recognize in each oth The incidents of the characters' lives are blended together by the young author, Paolo Giordano, in a way that suggests their lives exist, fictionally, on the edge of reality. It is a story of a lifelong, ambiguous but inescapable relationship between a intellectually gifted but socially awkward mathematical genius, and a conflicted, anorexic woman with a great sensibility but also with a chronic incapacity to deal with her own life in a positive manner. The dwelling upon pain is not recommended for those are in the midst of it. "The elegant and fiercely intelligent debut novel by 27-year-old physicist Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers revolves around Mattia and Alice, friends since high school-'twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other,' wherein resides the seductive enchantment of this singular love story." It narrates the quiet yet long-lasting bond between a boy (Mattia) and a girl (Alice). Fernanda – Alice's mother who, towards the end of the book, dies of breast cancer. After a long courtship showcasing all his security and confidence, he marries Alice, but they separate following a dispute about her anorexia. It was one of the most depressing books I have ever read, with no redemption and completely non-endearing self-involved characters who were either pathetic, sadistic, or both. Each rejoices in the "differentness" of the other. To describe this book as a love story would be kind of like describing Taj Mahal as a building, apt enough but terribly inadequate. A lovely novel by a gifted author. Try “The Flawless Skin of Ugly People” instead. The translation from Italian is really flawless, I did not see one sentence that seemed awkward. Ideas great, but completely destroyed in the execution. Except for some of the writing (maybe), this book had absolutely no redeeming feature. March 18th 2010 We’d love your help. The Solitude of Prime Numbers comes as close to doing so as any novel I have read in recent memory. The only experience that can rival reading a really great book is reading a really awful one and ripping it on goodreads; especially if, like this one, it comes with glowing recommendations. It's a bit dark and deeply sad. Alice and Mattia, both 'primes,' are misfits who seem destined to be alone. They are unique, like the mathematical concept of prime numbers, perhaps destined never to break out of their solitude. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. The title comes from Mattia's notion (he's a maths buff) that Alice and he are "twin primes", like 11 and 13, or 17 and 19, lonely individuals that are forever linked but forever separated. One thing I must add, I didn't like how the writer jumped from that tragedy to the future because I really wanted to know what happened in the. They hold their place in the infinite series of natural numbers, squashed, like all numbers, between two others, but one step further than the rest. It won the 2008 Strega Prize. The Solitude of Prime Numbers, is a novel by the Italian author Paolo Giordano, published in 2008. Nadia – a friend of Alberto's who is introduced to Mattia midway through the novel; Mattia spends the night with her. Maybe better the way it did end... Shit. To describe this book as a love story would be kind of like describing Taj Mahal as a building, apt enough but terribly inadequate. The title is singularly apt. Reading the stories of Alice and Mattia, the two damaged souls at the heart of this book, was a pleasure, but definitely not an escape. Mattia is difficult to get along with; he is not interested in social interactions and has an unhealthy tendency to cut himself. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano is a quiet book about two damaged people, Alice and Mattia. This was embarrassingly bad, and the news that it has met with broad critical acclaim is infinitely depressing. What follows is a story of joy and intimacy, pain and alienation, of missed opportunities, of deliberate choices over many years as their paths repeatedly cross. Learn how and when to remove this template message, Learn how and when to remove these template messages, http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2009/06/24/una-lunga-estate-sul-set.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Solitude_of_Prime_Numbers_(novel)&oldid=962601512, Articles needing additional references from September 2016, All articles needing additional references, Articles with too many examples from May 2017, Wikipedia articles with style issues from May 2017, Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention from May 2017, All Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. While he is debating whether to leave Italy and take the job, Mattia finally tells Alice about Michela, and the two kiss for the first time. That's basically the plot of this book. I think every person on earth, popular or not as a child, can remember at least one moment of being an outcast. One is a cutter and may have Asperger's syndrome. The melancholy that hangs over The Solitude of Prime Numbers is seductive and unnerving. It was one of the most depressing books I have ever read, with no redemption and completely non-endearing self-involved characters who were either pathetic, sadistic, or both. This is the sort of book I always hope to find while browsing at the library, something that I've never heard of before and end up loving. Readers who are only satisfied with an unadulterated "happy ending" should skip this one. Soledad Galienas – the Della Roccas' Ecuadorian maid. The Solitude of Prime Numbers To say Italian author Paolo Giordano is an overachiever is no exaggeration: this book, his debut novel, was written while he working on his thesis in physics. This novel carries the sad reality of the messiness some people carry that obstructs the path to love and happiness. While all fiction emanates from the imagination it is rare that a work successfully mimics the language of dreams. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens... A bestselling international literary sensation about whether a "prime number" can ever truly connect with someone else. The Solitude of Prime Numbers (Italian: La solitudine dei numeri primi) is a 2008 Italian novel by Paolo Giordano. Despite the glowing reviews, this book was too depressing for me. Refresh and try again. (A-) Emilia Ippolito, The Independent (UK) She shows a maternal affection towards Alice, who does not always reciprocate and blackmails Soledad to get a tattoo without her parents' permission. While there, she encounters an apparently retarded woman who looks a lot like Mattia, and Alice wonders if it could be Michela. When celebrating at Alberto's house, Mattia meets Alberto's friend Nadia, and spends the night with her. . Reading the stories of Alice and Mattia, the two damaged souls at the heart of this book, was a pleasure, but definitely not an escape. In spite of this, they both realize they cannot overcome the walls that separate them. The marriage between Fabio and Alice gradually disintegrates. See 2 questions about The Solitude of Prime Numbers…, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers(Caitlyn West), 36 of the Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021. During adolescence, Alice suffers from anorexia nervosa and is snubbed by boys as a cripple. The author’s use of the prime number analogy is beautiful and painful in its image. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. An initially closeted gay man, he feels a deep attraction to Mattia which fades with time. And accident also befalls her when skiing that makes her a bit of a social mess as well. It won the 2008 Strega Prize. Their relationship appears to have run its course, but circumstances bring them together again and while they clearly love each other, they are unable to express their emotions. . Welcome back. I often read to escape, to feel lighter, but The Solitude of Prime Numbers added weight to my heart, almost unbearably. He is described as an unlikable child, appearing to have invited the twins out of courtesy rather than real interest. The book, well worth a read, is translated from the Italian. Both are loners who are socially challenged and basically misfits. Alice and Mattia form an unusual friendship: each of them carries on with their own lives; however they return to look for one another. Even worse, I found much of the book highly contrived and was unable to suspend my disbelief. The idea is beautiful. With no social life, Alice draws the attention of Viola Bai, a popular but cruel girl in her class, who toys with Alice and briefly allows Alice into her circle of friends. It also describes the main characters of Alice and Mattia, two troubled and solitary figures who are drawn to each other but remain trapped in their own angst. As far as character studies go, these ones are superb and executed with great ca. The incidents of the characters' lives are blended together by the young author, Paolo Giordano, in a way that suggests their lives exist, fictionally, on the edge of reality. Fabio wants a child, but Alice, who hasn't menstruated for years because of anorexia, cannot get pregnant and refuses to change her eating habits. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I finished this book moments ago and find myself irritated instead of thoughtful. Romance is a rocky road for normal couples. One fully understands the feelings of the other, but is never able to express them out loud, in short, they are two prime numbers. Average Customer Ratings. Mattia accepts the invitation and returns to Italy. Although the setting is never mentioned explicitly, references to Gran Madre Church, the Basilica of Superga, the Maria Ausiliatrice hospital, and to Fraitève and Monte Fraiteve identify the locale as Turin. David Poirino – a classmate of Alice in eighth grade. . This book is a poignant story of characters who have experienced trauma and who long to have closeness but because of wounds of the past they lack the ability to draw near. Start by marking “The Solitude of Prime Numbers” as Want to Read: Error rating book. His ability to see the different characters perspectives and the “whys” of their behavior is beautiful. The couple separates and Alice falls into depression. There are measures of beauty, tenderness, delicacy with which every shining kindness and every crippling cruelty of the world is treated in Giordano writing that are absolutely awesome, particularly considering the author's young age. Mr Della Rocca – Alice's father, an attorney whose first name is never stated clearly. ABOUT PAOLO GIORDANO Paolo Giordano is an Italian writer who won Italy’s premier literary award, the Premio Strega, for The Solitude of Prime Numbers , his debut novel. The Solitude of Prime Numbers hints at the scientific background of its 27-year-old Italian author. Just as they never get their individual lives together, they can never get their romance together, even though it looks like they were made for each other. 9782806281036 26 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. Alice and Mattia, two exceptional personalities but inadequate, synthesis of two lives in pain, two special people who travel on the same track, but are two worlds imploded, unable to open up to the world. Take two special education kids, a boy and a girl. Viola introduces Alice to Mattia, and Alice gets a tattoo of a violet as tribute. This is a story of two lost and severely damaged by childhood traumas individuals who continuously struggle to fit in with the world and each other. I was shocked and saddened by the ramifications a choice made as a child seemed to carry for him. Yep ... a year later, still a solid 5 stars. - USA Today "The elegant and fiercely intelligent debut novel by 27-year-old physicist Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers revolves around Mattia and Alice, friends since high school-'twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other,' wherein resides the seductive enchantment of this singular love story." That's basically the plot of this book. This book is a poignant story of characters who have experienced trauma and who long to have closeness but because of wounds of the past they lack the ability to draw near. Later, Fernanda dies and Alice marries Fabio, while Mattia lives alone abroad. This was a an oddly stark book, melancholy in tone, but heartbreakingly beautiful. Viola soon ends their friendship, perhaps jealous of the closeness between Alice and Mattia. These events deeply affect the lives of both Alice and Mattia. Denis – a classmate of Mattia's and the closest person he has to a friend. One is a cutter and may have Asperger's syndrome. Make liberal use of facile, offensive stereotypes, for instance that the only conceivable career option for the emotionally retarded male basket case is to become a mathematician. Both Mattia and Alice are deeply stunted individuals that are impossible to connect with. Their lives and their search is made tragic by their solitude. The Italian award-winning Physicist author, Paolo Giordano, has a polished minimalist style that I admired, but the characters were, ultimately, so damaged, insular and cold that the book may well have been titled, "The Abject Loneliness of Dysfunctional People." ¿Es recomendable su lectura para yo que tengo conocimiento generales de matemáticas? I had imagined or hoped it would end different but maybe that would have been too easy. He writes with feeling and understanding of deep sorrow, compassion for the brokeness in us all. His ability to see the different characters perspectives and the “whys” of their behavior is beautiful. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel's plot, characters and main themes, including loneliness, the challenges of adolescence and the search for beauty and meaning in the world. Two brilliant misfits, marked by early childhood trauma, come together as adolescents. The Solitude of Prime Numbers NPR coverage of The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. The Solitude of Prime Numbers I was impressed at how the characters remained consistent despite the pull of sentimentality most authors would succumb to. You didn’t want anything good to happen to these people and, sure enough, nothing good ever did. They befriend each other, forming a special relationship – becoming very close but never romantic. To see what your friends thought of this book. The wonder of the novel is in the beautiful, even loving way that this is demonstrated. by Pamela Dorman Books. But, people still don't know that, people still haven't heard about Paolo Giordano and his brilliant, brilliant work called, 'The solitude of prime numbers'', which stands on the same magnificent title throne with Kundera’s, ''Unbearable lightness of being''. The two friends spend an afternoon together during which she kisses him and realizes that she's still in love with him. I read The Solitude of Prime Numbers last night, but I have a fe. Romance is a rocky road for normal couples. Except for some of the writing (maybe), this book had absolutely no redeeming feature. 2009 by Paolo Giordano (Author) › Visit Amazon's Paolo Giordano Page. Primes, Giordano writes, are "suspicious and solitary numbers," divisible only by one and by themselves. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. “The elegant and fiercely intelligent debut novel by 27-year-old physicist Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers revolves around Mattia and Alice, friends since high school-‘twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other,’ wherein resides the seductive enchantment of this singular love story.” One morning, Alice is separated from the rest of the group and falls off a cliff, sustaining serious injuries. Fabio Rovelli – the young doctor who treats Alice's mother. Serious dissapointment. I wanted to like the characters – I’m usually drawn to dysfunctional protagonists - but, despite a New York Times review stating that, “Mattia and Alice emerge like ice sculptures,” these young people mired in guilt and anger did not melt my heart. The situation of being alone in the world is a feeling common to us all in some kind of context. Make liberal use of facile, offensive stereotypes, for instance that the only conceivable career option for the emotionally retarded male basket case is to become a mathematician. I have read other reviews and many people enjoyed the first half best, as did I. I believe the reason being that our youth is bittersweet, even the horrors we suffer from it. I want to love this novel, it's unusual, bleak, as real and demanding as gum stuck to your shoe, but there is no payoff for my time spent with it. Peter and Adele Balossino – Mattia's parents, who struggle with Michela's mental disability, and whose relationship falls apart after Michela's disappearance. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in … He and Alberto, a colleague and fellow Italian, make an important discovery regarding algebraic topology. This article relates to The Solitude of Prime Numbers Prime numbers are apparently a big deal in the math world - a place I have visited but not inhabited often. He writes with feeling and understanding of deep sorrow, compassion for the brokeness in us all. search results for this author. The only experience that can rival reading a really great book is reading a really awful one and ripping it on goodreads; especially if, like this one, it comes with glowing recommendations. In 2008, Paolo Giordano, an Italian physicist in his mid-20s, published his first novel. Alice unwittingly gives her first kiss to him, after he has been dared by his friends. Paolo Giordano (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 193 ratings. Both attend a university, where Mattia studies mathematics, and where Alice drops-out to pursue her passion for photography. Two brilliant misfits, marked by early childhood trauma, come together as adolescents. It’s 7 in the morning, and I’ve woke up at 4 am because simply I wasn’t able to sleep leaving Mattia and Alice’ story suspended like that…. As a seven-year-old girl, Alice Della Rocca is forced by her father to take skiing lessons, although she hates the ski school and has no particular aptitude for the sport. Riccardo Pelotti – the child who invites Mattia, and, more reluctantly, Michela, to his party. This is a gem of a book. It's probably the kind of book you want to get back to, every now and then.