The Solitude of Prime Numbers

26 Apr

Author: Paolo Giordano

Published: 2010

Date Finished Reading: April 25, 2011

The prime number theory was beautiful. The bigger the number grows, the farther apart the pair of consecutive prime numbers. Prime numbers were the metaphor of the two protagonists of the novel — supposedly unique, rare and extrapolated from the populace. The concept, indeed, was beautiful. I was excited to read it. However, I was merely faced with two extremely unlikable characters who were broken beyond repair. Amazon says it “follows  two scarred people whose lives intersect but can’t seem to join”, which puzzled me because hardly anything was said about  relationship nurtured between the two of them in depth. To me, it was more of a story of two children who reluctantly, unwillingly stuck with each other because the rest of the world just doesn’t get them.  In short, their relationship wasn’t special enough to earn the prime number metaphor. Each suffered in his/her own special kind of hell. Alice, anorexia…Mattia, semi-autism — each handicap expected to be rich in psychodynamics. But the novel really was such a dismal read. Their characters were stagnant, changing minutely from their young self-conscious/fragile little selves. What was the point of bearing witness to sustained mediocrity?  Not that psychologically disturbed people are mediocre, mind you, but fictional character inertia begets mediocrity. After I flipped the last page, I let out a puzzled, “Huh?” Coz really, what was Giordano’s point about the hold darn thing?


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