After reading a slew of classics I needed to mix it up with something lighter. This book did the trick. It was intelligent, somewhat depressing, but overall it was a quick and enjoyable read. The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a conceit of the idea that prime numbers are a lonely thing; it can only be divided by one and itself, never fully fitting with another. Taking this idea one step further, twin primes: "pairs of numbers that are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from touching." Alice and Mattie represent those twin primes, developing a life-long friendship, drawn together by their tragic pasts; two people isolated from the world, but destined to find each other.
If you have the patience to go on counting, you discover that these pairs gradually become rarer. You encounter increasingly isolated primes, lost in that silent, measured space made only of ciphers, and you develop a distressing presentiment that the pairs encountered up until that point were accidental, that solitude is the true destiny.The Solitude of Prime Numbers examines what it means to be lonely and the complexity of human relationships. While it's themes are heavy and on the depressing side, it's tone is compassionate and unassuming. It's not a life-changing, must-read book, but it's touching and engaging. If you are a human who has ever felt alone, you will be able to relate to this book.
Publisher: Penguin, 2008