The Last Theorem

When Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for numbers, writes a three page proof of the coveted Last Theorem, which French mathematician Pierre de Fermat claimed to have discovered but never recorded in 1637, Ranjit s achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune But it also brings him to the attention of the National SecuritWhen Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for numbers, writes a three page proof of the coveted Last Theorem, which French mathematician Pierre de Fermat claimed to have discovered but never recorded in 1637, Ranjit s achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune But it also brings him to the attention of the National Security Agency and a shadowy United Nations outfit called Pax per Fidem or Peace Through Transparency whose secretive workings belie its name Suddenly Ranjit along with his family finds himself swept up in world shaking events, his genius for abstract mathematical thought put to uses that are both concrete and potentially deadly.
The Last Theorem When Ranjit Subramanian a Sri Lankan with a special gift for numbers writes a three page proof of the coveted Last Theorem which French mathematician Pierre de Fermat claimed to have discovered but

  • Title: The Last Theorem
  • Author: Arthur C. Clarke Frederik Pohl
  • ISBN: 9780007290024
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Last Theorem”

    1. Zapanjujuća knjiga! Fascinirala me je količina ideja fino utkanih u radnju romana, lepo doziranih i uklopljenih, tako da imate celovitu viziju, a ne nabacane koncepte. Doduše, ima problema u tempu romana, pretpostavljam da je zbog toga došlo do velikog broja nezadovoljnih čitalaca. Takođe, lično, problem mi je bio sa nepoznavanjem i nedostatkom interesovanja za brojne matematičke probleme (ali tu je već problem do mene, a ne do romana). Sve u svemu, potpuno sam zapanjena količinom kval [...]

    2. I like Frederik Pohl, or, at least, I like Gateway, the one book of his I've read, a whole lot. I have enjoyed most Arthur C. Clarke I have read. Reading a book by the two of them together sounded intriguing, at the very least. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly gripping, and frankly, is a bit of a mess. The characters stay resolutely far away from the plot, and large sections of it are badly paced and just boring.Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in policy a [...]

    3. I thought this was a good book. It was Clarke's last book (mainly authored by another sci-fi great, Fred Pohl, from 50 pages of Clarke's notes) and kind of stands as an homage to his work and ideas - it has a "skyhook" space elevator based on Sri Lanka (Fountains of Paradise), the Grand Galactics (aliens who resemble the Monolith aliens from 2001), his hope that mankind will outgrow religion (an unreasonable expectation given that mankind has always expressed religious thoughts and it answers qu [...]

    4. I'm a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke, but 3001 The Final Odyssey and now this have tested my loyalty. Both were written in the latter years of Sir Arthur's life (The Last Theorem was the last book published before his death) and both had good ideas that were poorly executed.The EM shockwave of Earth's nuclear tests spread into space and eventually reach a race of mega-beings, called the Grand Galactics who immediately dispatch one of their client races to eliminate this upstart race. Meanwhile, you [...]

    5. In many ways, it's appropriate that this was Arthur C. Clarke's final work. It's sort of a love letter to him and his career, magpieing ideas from his best works, from the all-seeing alien beings to his love of Sri Lanka. There's countless little nods to Clarke's work and its great fun to spot. The trouble is, this isn't really a very good book. It is essentially the life story of a Sri Lankan boy who is a remarkable mathematician and manages to once and for all conclusively solve Fermat's Theor [...]

    6. كتب محامي فرنسي في القرن السابع عشر على حاشية كتاب يقول:اكتشفت برهانًا رائعًا حقًا لهذه الفرضية، لكن الهامش لا يتسع.كان المحامي هو بيير دو فيرما، ولم ير أحد برهانه حتى الآن لهذه المسألة الشهيرة ( التي سنلقي عليها الضوء بعد قليل).ومن وقتها إلى الآن لم يتوصل أي رياضي لحل مقبول م [...]

    7. Overall, the word I'd use to describe this book is "shallow." Clarke and Pohl, two big names in SF, have managed to take two interesting concepts (Fermat's Last Theorem and alien sterilization of Earth) and turn them into a boring book. It's as if they said one day, "Well, we've succeeded at everything else in literature; now we have to succeed at writing a bad book!"My major problem with the book is the lack of any consequences, or really, any conflict at all. At points the story threatens to i [...]

    8. اشتريت النسخة العربية من مكتبة ألف. الرواية بدأها آرثر سي كلارك كاتب الخيال العلمي الكبير، ثم لم يتمكن من اتمامها، فأرسل بها الى الكاتب فريدريك بول ليكملها، فرحب بالفكرة. أسلوب الرواية رشيق يتسم بالحماسة والخفة والشغف بالخيال العلمي. هذه أول رواية أقرأها لآرثر سي كلارك وأول [...]

    9. I love both these guys. They're unquestionably masters of their craft, and two of the greatest luminaries of science fiction. Having said that, this book iswellry mediocre. I went on to find out if maybe something was going on during the development of the book, and it turns out that Arthur C Clarke was in the late stages of his life when he started this one. He owed his publisher a book, but hit a point where he felt like he just couldn't generate the ideas anymore. So, he reached out to his f [...]

    10. From the sublime to the not so. And it really pains me to say that. Arthur C Clarke died last year and it was a great loss indeed. It’s hard to imagine a more famous science fiction author and one who had such a prestigious career. So when ‘the final novel from SF grandmaster Arthur C Clarke’, as the shout line went across the cover of The Last Theorem, came through the letterbox, and I saw that Clarke had co-written it with Frederik Pohl, another significant talent, I though, ‘Wow, this [...]

    11. Why, when two great writers work together on a project, the result is so poor? Same happened with The Medusa Chronicles by Al Reynolds and Stephen Baxter. But this one is even worse. I expected some hard sci-fi and what I got was the story of a young man (obsessed with proving Fermat's Last Theorem), with a lot of useless details and digressions, which did nothing to shape the character or help the storyline in some way. And this was just one thread. The other is the story of some aliens, the Gr [...]

    12. This book was written by two great, but very old, authors.It shows. Half of the book is Clarke and Pohl,often ignoring the 4th Wall, telling the story of a young mathematician in the manner of two benevolent grandfathers who're trying to impress their grandkids by throwing random mathematical tricks (some of them pretty neat, tbh) and info in the plot.In the other half they're dreaming of a world where the UN, with Sri-Lanka as the vanguard (!!) can bring about world peace, where Clarke's dream [...]

    13. Poate fiindcă am citit-o în limba română, poate fiindcă am văzut de curând 2001: A Space Odyssey pe marele ecran şi mă aşteptam la o poveste cu aceeaşi rezonanţă psiho-intelectuală, sau poate fiindcă trec printr-o fază în care, poate în mod nedrept, nu consider simplitatea ca fiind o valoare – Ultima Teoremă mi s-a părut o carte prea uşoară în raport cu aşteptările mele. Nu mi-a trezit emoţii sau idei pe care nu le-am mai avut; nu a strălucit cu nimic. Personajele su [...]

    14. The book was, especially at the beginning, not at all what I expected. It was mostly a novel about a young man growing up, and not much mathematics, or science fiction in evidence. There is a second, smaller, storyline that is interwoven within this story which is very much sf. But in the end it was a very nice story, and I am happy to have read it. One thing I missed: the actual 5 page proof of the theorem. It would have been so nice to read that But given that the actual proof is 150 pages lon [...]

    15. From what I have read Frederick Pohl actually wrote this book based on a few notes from a dying Arthur Clarke. Pohl managed to turn this book into a tribute to Clarke's best known work including, but probably not limited to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood's End, and Fountain's of Paradise. There is an alien race in this novel called the One-Point-Fives which reminds me of the Daleks from Dr. Who. I'm not sure that Clarke was fan, but I do remember seeing a photo of him posing with a Dalek. Perh [...]

    16. The Last Theorem also known as ”Will the aliens EVER reach Earth?”(view spoiler)[What is the point of this book? What is the point of the main character? What is the point of the aliens?I had the feeling that Sir Clarke wanted another kind of Childhood's End, but, unfortunately, somewhere between his and Mr. Pohl's contribution, things got really lost. The first part was actually good. Between Ranjit's angsty teenage years, the kidnapping and solving Fermat's famous last theorem, it represen [...]

    17. I respect Mr. Clarke, I really do. And, I like some of his books. Unfortunately, not this one.The story line follows the travails of one Ranjit, a mathematical genius, from being a kid through his days of glory after solving "Fermat's Last Theorem", and his daughter's (ahem) alien abduction. I remember Mr. Asimov somewhere saying that a story for kids proceeds at breakneck pace, and adult fiction cannot do so. The story here finds the pace somewhere in that category. In summary:1. Ranjit does so [...]

    18. Merita di essere letto anche solo perchè è l'ultimo progetto a cui abbia lavorato Clarke. Per il resto, pur essendo sicuramente godibile e ben scritto, fa veramente fatica a decollare.La sensazione è che gli autori abbiano voluto un pà strafare, il contesto è da Space Opera, lo span temporale è di due generazioni, c'è un pò tutto l'armamentario classico della SF (operazione anche piacevole, innumerevoli le autocitazioni) ma per 300 pagine forse c'è un pò troppa carne al fuoco. Inoltre [...]

    19. Given how highly I've held both authors in regard, I was expecting an incredible read. Instead, I found a boring, insipid story about a South Asian family. I'd like to recommend this to South Asian friends and colleagues, but I cannot. Containing very little "science," the book reads like a regular fiction novel by an aspiring author. Fortunately (I guess) for Mr. Clarke, one of the postambles (there are 5!) suggested that Mr. Pohl did most of the writing, from Mr. Clarke's notes.The cover quote [...]

    20. Day 1:I began reading this book last night. I checked it out at the library a couple of weeks ago, remembering how much I enjoyed the Rama series when I was in college. I'm already hooked, only 20 or so pages in. Radar . . .

    21. Review from 2/8/2010; very spoilery; first paragraph is my reflection on how fanfiction has shaped my reading expectation.It is a story of two boys, Ranjit and Gamini, and their lives, essentially, with Pohl's love of number theory and Clarke's love of the Space Elevator idea thrown in as building blocks. I may have spoiled myself somewhat with all this fanfiction I read for the two months prior, because quite early on (first chapter) we discover that these two boys, best of friends, have experi [...]

    22. Enjoyed this book. The particulars that stood out for me: As a writer, I liked how the big story wrapped around the single character. I enjoyed the light-hearted descriptions of dangerous things--all just part of this adventure called 'life'. I enjoyed how the writers preambles offered insight into their mathematical interests and connected the reader to the personal value of the writing.I learned some cool math tricks that made me want to study and do more math. The way the aliens in the univer [...]

    23. I've read several reviews that didn't compliment this book, but I loved it. Reasons:1) it is relatable. Even though it focuses on societies and people I am not necessarily part of, there is a common humanism and joy of curiosity that just drew me in. The integrity of the central characters was also a big draw.2) it is very subtley sci-fi. Yes, aliens are absolutely sci-fi, but that is a very small part of it. The story of the main characters is largely independent of the alien part for much of t [...]

    24. The Last Theorem stands at the opposite end of the 'Earth under attack' spectrum to Independence Day. Several strands are weaved together, albeit discordantly initially, where character development is somewhat padded. The aliens are well conceptualized, portrayed in a distant manner, not meant to be understood. Humanity however is readily described; our failures all to apparent. We are self-destructive and Clarke and Pohl balance our quest for understanding against our desire to control. After t [...]

    25. If these two guys actually wrote this, they must have had a grand old time - aliens speeding from the other end of the galaxy to wipe out humanity and undergraduates battling to solve age old mathematical puzzles amid international domestic strife - I'm not giving anything away that isn't on the back of the dustjacket - in a style they would have recognised from their youth, while at the same time being very up to date on the pc front, respectful of all minorities and none. It lost its way a bit [...]

    26. Though it seems as if the final draft of this novel was actually written by Pohl (based on an extensive outline, notes, and discussions with an ailing Clarke), the novel includes many of the themes (a sort of compilation of themes) we have come to expect from so many of Clarke's past novels: often somewhat malevolent, supremely advanced aliens who seek to either destroy, harm, or perhaps influence and control humans, space elevators, solar sail technology, different kinds of virtual realities, i [...]

    27. Too much exposition, the writing style is aimed at a young audience, somewhere between patronizing and self-indulgent. The main plots are mostly unconnected, the ending is meh and unexplained. Several interesting scientific ideas but we've seen them before. One gets the feeling that Pohl took Clarke's notes and decided to just hash out a quick story and give it to the publisher instead of refining it further. A pity, because these authors are capable of much more, and Clarke deserved to end his [...]

    28. I hadn't read as much by Pohl as I had by Clarke, but I had high hopes for this book. The novel had its interesting aspects, but those (the mathematical tricks and the information about Fermat's Last Theorem) could have been handled in nonfiction essays.However, as fiction, this novel fell short. Generally, you expect to see a conflict affecting the protagonist. That protagonist struggles against the conflict (sometimes personified as an antagonist) until a resolution of some sort occurs--due to [...]

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