The Last Theorem

Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl wrote this novel together, the history of which is summarized nicely on the wikipedia here. I bought this a while back from Fictionwise (it’s an ebook version) but hadn’t had time to read it. (Luckily?) as I’m recovering from a recent surgery I’ve been able to do a lot more reading and finally finished it.

I have read little of either author in recent years, so I came into the novel with few expectations. And overall, I enjoyed it. I found the many excursions into mathematical theory entertaining and have been annoying my wife with a few of the parlor tricks described in it. I liked the characters and was interested in following their life stories. I do agree with many of the criticisms labeled against the novel — there are some contrived situations in the novel… refer to the above mentioned wikipedia article for more — but still found the novel fun and full of great ideas though towards the latter third I was less interested than in the first parts. I think this is because the narrative started to work on a faster time scale and it was harder to ‘connect’ with the events occurring in the book.

All in all The Last Theorem is a good read and it makes me want to dig into reading earlier work from both authors once I’ve gotten through the stacks of unread books, both physical and virtual, that I already own.

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