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Pythagorean Crimes Paperback – Oct 20 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Parmenides Publishing (Oct. 20 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193097227X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930972278
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 13.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #621,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An unusual historical-math-fiction March 12 2009
By Grant Cairns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is folklore that Hippasus was drowned by Pythagorians for proving a fact that today we interpret as the irrationality of root 2. In this simple form, this often repeated myth is quite unbelievable. Michaelides' novel is a modern reformulation of the crime. The book is a well crafted piece of historical-math-fiction. However, its basic storyline is just as unbelievable as the original legend, and ultimately it resonates hollowly. The book has several other weaknesses. As a work of fiction, I found that the prose was rather flat and uninspired, though it's possible that the translation has detracted from the original. The mathematical topics that are woven into the text are reasonably well presented, but somewhat predictable; they are very much the tried and true standbys.

The main attractions of the book are its originality of concept, and the fact that considerable care has been taken with its design. The book is unusual in that it has several parallel strands, which are all presented with an historical perspective: in particular, apart from the mathematics, there is an artistic strand, built around Picasso, a fictional underworld/prostitution theme, and a depiction of a number of real political events. The integration of these strands has been well accomplished, and makes the book original and innovative. If you enjoy the fiction-math genre, it is certainly worth reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Rather historical Aug. 1 2009
By Nikolaos Vasiloglou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all I want to say that I enjoyed the novel. I think the author is influenced by Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession which is not a bad thing, since Doxiadis is a talented writer. The plot is not very exciting but the historical unfolding of mathematics mainly between 1850 to 1930 is very interesting. The author presents the history of math with a lot of unknown details through a group of young people in Paris. The idea to involve Picasso was also very brilliant. We also get the chance to know more about the Greek history between 1900-1930 which is interesting for Greeks like me, but I don't know how other nationalities will feel about.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Crime Thriller with Mathematics, Picasso and Logic March 21 2011
By Feanor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Being obvious is possibly the worst comment a reader can make on a crime novel, but what is obvious to one person may be opaque to another. In Tefcros Michaelides's Pythagorean Crimes, the twist at the end depends for its surprise entirely on whether the reader knows the history of mathematics or not. The plot is rather straightforward - a Greek mathematician is found murdered and his best friend (the narrator) looks back on his career, hoping to find clues to his death in his past. The description of this past is possibly the weakest part of the book: Michaelides evidently believes that describing the excitement and fervour of early 20th century mathematics is insufficient to drive the book forward, so he throws in a long section on the development of modern art in the back alleys of Paris, introducing Picasso and his coterie, and claiming that Picasso's art was much informed by his own fascination for the foundations of logic. The plot hinges on an important question on the underlying consistency of mathematics, but surely it defies logic that the resolution to this question should verily be a life-and-death matter? An OK read.
Pythagorean Crimes - 2006 April 21 2013
By Sam Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Plot Kernel - Two mathematics students bum around together during the 1900 Paris Second International Congress of Mathematics. Their conversations are on mathematics, designed to introduce the reader to the topics of discussion. At the convention, Hilbert gives his famous talk, where the focus for the story is on axiomatic systems and the proof or disproof of famous conjectures. This covers close to 100 pages of the approximately 230 page novel. The rest of the story revolves around the narrator's involvement with two women, his meeting with Picasso, and his returning friendship with the man with whom he talked mathematics while bumming around Paris in 1900. Greek politics of the period occasionally moves the story along. Throughout the novel, conversations turn to instructional presentations of bits of mathematics. There is a 39 page glossary at the end of the book that's a mini-encyclopedia of biographical and topical entries.

Comment - This book fails as a novel and as popular mathematics. It is atrocious as storytelling and insipid as an introduction to mathematical ideas.
the book April 11 2013
By sam smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The order took a really long time to get to me,but I guess that is what you get when you order an obscure book. Also the book itself is not very interesting because of the math in it. But hey if your a math enthusiast be my guest and get it.


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