Usually Ships in 1-5 days Published:
Bloomsbury USA, 9/2008
Wowzers! This is a really good book. It even kept me from playing FarmVille. This book is a fictionalized account of the historic relationship between G. H. Hardy, one of the great British mathematicians of his age, and Ramanujan, a poor, badly educated Brahman clerk from a small provincial town in India, who turns out to be one of the greatest mathematicians ever. The novel is filled with rich and complex detail of the social, educational, physical and intellectual fabric of the period (early twentieth century), but the most compelling aspect of The Indian Clerk is juxtapostition of the interior lives of the characters, particularly that of Hardy, as the merely educated associate to Ramanujan, the true genius. The confusing, equivocal and messy world of human relationships is intertwined with the difficult, but not confusing, certain, but not mundane, and precise, but not stuffy, world of mathematical reasoning. Leavitt has created an account that allows the non-mathematical reader a glimpse of understanding of pure mathematics as a flight of soaring imagination rather than the painful plodding of strict rules and relationships. Rational thought and imaginative thought are proven here to be completely compatible. This is very satisfying.