The Parrot's Theorem: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 4, 2002 - Fiction - 360 pages
3 Reviews

Mr. Ruche, a Parisian bookseller, receives a bequest from a long lost friend in the Amazon of a vast library of math books, which propels him into a great exploration of the story of mathematics. Meanwhile Max, whose family lives with Mr. Ruche, takes in a voluble parrot who will discuss math with anyone. When Mr. Ruche learns of his friend's mysterious death in a Brazilian rainforest, he decides that with the parrot's help he will use these books to teach Max and his brother and sister the mysteries of Euclid's Elements, Pythagoras's Theorem and the countless other mathematical wonders. But soon it becomes clear that Mr. Ruche has inherited the library for reasons other than enlightenment, and before he knows it the household is racing to prevent the parrot and vital, new theorems from falling into the wrong hands.

An immediate bestseller when first published in France, The Parrot's Theorem charmingly combines a straightforward history of mathematics and a first-rate murder mystery.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shushokan - LibraryThing

An attempt to tell the history of mathematics from the Greeks to the present day in the guise of a novel...and not a very good novel at that. The mathematics is at times misunderstood and at times ... Read full review

THE PARROT'S THEOREM

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A bestseller in France (where the author teaches history of science), Guedj's first fiction is a charmer indeed—a history of mathematics offered up pretty as you please via a handful of likable ... Read full review

Contents

A Bird in the Hand
1
The Glass Pyramid
16
The Rainforest Library
44
Friends and Enemies
65
Just a Fraction
89
One Risotto and a Chicken Korma
118
Problems Problems Problems
132
The story of 0
151
Less is More
195
Between the Infinite and the Void
220
A Narrow Margin
240
The Proof of the Pudding
274
In Mathematics Nothing is Impossible
280
The Third Man
289
Less is More
304
Clear Blue Sky
327

The Fifth Postulate
165
Secrets and Lies
182
Stepping Stones
334
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Denis Guedj is Professor of the History of Science at Paris VIII University. He has spent many years devising courses and games to teach adults and children math. He is the author of Numbers: The Universal Language.

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