Literary The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
#1  sun surfer 07-15-2020, 06:25 AM
'A prime number can only be divided by itself or by oneĀ—it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both "primes," are misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit.

But the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, and the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface.'


There are two phases of discussion. The first begins immediately and may contain conversations about anything pre-completion of the selection including reading progress, section thoughts, outside info, etc. The second begins on the 1st and also includes anything post-completion. These are recommended to help us discuss things in a similar timeframe but anyone can discuss any part or aspect at any time.

This is the MR Literary Club selection for July 2020. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!

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#2  sun surfer 07-15-2020, 08:02 AM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I've got The Solitude of Prime Numbers from my library now, and I'm ready to start reading.
Bringing this over from the other thread; I bought the audiobook and am already over an hour in. There will come a day when I read the ebook or pbook of our monthly selection, but that day is not today, lol. If we choose a book not available in audio then I'll put my current ebook on hold but otherwise I'm focusing my ebook time solely on it; I've been tackling the ebook of The Conquest of the Incas, an old lit club selection that I didn't get to at the time. But I'm finding that even if I had, I would've taken a lot longer than a month to finish as I've been working on this thing for over three months now and am only a third of the way through so far. I may technically be farther along as I would think the supporting materials at the end will take up a very substantial chunk but I'm not looking ahead to see so that if the actual book does finish earlier then I'll be pleasantly surprised when I get there. But Kindle estimates the amount of time left to finish reading a book and, luckily for me, I only have about 22 hours left!

Annnnnyway, I'm enjoying the Giordano and saw when searching covers that there was a film made of it. Coincidentally whilst looking I was paused at the (first? only? I don't know yet) locker room scene on audio and the film poster is of a/the locker room scene.

I'd never heard of this book before it was nominated this month. I am wondering after seeing the cover with two apples and the cover with two peas in a pod if the point will eventually come up that two is a prime number as well.

#3  Bookworm_Girl 07-17-2020, 07:16 PM
I have started the book. I think it will be a fast read. I am about 20% complete so I’ve read the locker scene. I hadn’t seen the apple cover. I suppose it suggests the two protagonists are more alike (apples) than different (oranges).

It took me months to finish The Conquest of the Incas. It’s a very long book but quite interesting.

#4  sun surfer 07-22-2020, 04:27 PM
I've finished and definitely have some thoughts that I'll wait on until others are done too.

#5  Bookworm_Girl 07-23-2020, 12:03 AM
I finished too. This novel definitely fit the theme of distancing in many ways beyond the two protagonists. I wasn’t sure the first 20% or so (high school is brutal), but it grew on me more and more as I read. I’m ready to discuss.

#6  AnotherCat 07-23-2020, 07:06 PM
I also have finished.

Wasn't too convinced about the ending but maybe I missed something, however otherwise thought it a good read and was pleased to have been pointed to it.

#7  sun surfer 07-24-2020, 01:47 PM
I wasn't sure about it during the first part. I thought it may be a book about them getting together by the end and helping to solve each other's problems, which would've been a hard sell for me. In the end though I thought the author kept the book true to the characters' personalities and I really liked it.

Only vaguely, but it did remind me somewhat of the old lit club selection Remains of the Day with (spoiler alert if you haven't read both) the characters isolated lives and never being able to really come together despite their obvious connection and importance to one another.

#8  sun surfer 07-25-2020, 03:01 PM
Something I was wondering is if the name Alice is common in Italy. When the book first began I had a moment of wondering if the translator had changed her name, lol. I looked up the Italian-language Goodreads description to make sure it hadn't. The English-language narrator of course pronounced it as normal in English but I wonder how it's pronounced in Italian. I would guess Italians know the English pronunciation of the name but my mind automatically kept thinking of the name pronounced the Italian way which I'd guess would be something like ah-LEE-che. In writing this post I even thought to watch the Italian language trailer for the film to see if her name is said, and to see if there's an audiobook in the original Italian on Audible to listen to a sample of especially since the first chapter is about her. No luck on either.

#9  Bookworm_Girl 07-25-2020, 04:48 PM
I also wondered about her name. I found this info that shows the popularity of the name Alice.

#10  sun surfer 07-25-2020, 06:43 PM
I found something! I had the idea to search for author interviews on youtube in Italian and in this five minute clip I thought he might never say their names but he does around the three minute mark. Alice is pronounced ah-lee-che by the author.

Quote Bookworm_Girl
I also wondered about her name. I found this info that shows the popularity of the name Alice.
Thanks! The name is more popular in Italy than I would've thought.

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