MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
The Fall of Man In Wilmslow (2009)
David Lagercrantz
...

Before he gained fame in the US as the Swedish author taking over the mystery series featuring the fictional heroine Lisbeth Sander, David Lagercrantz wrote this novel about the death of mathematician Alan Turing. The story follows not Turing himself but the detectives investigating his suicide.

As the detective character comes to better understand his society's unfair treatment of homosexuals, he also becomes obsessed with the role that the liar's paradox plays in Alan Turing's work. He eventually is able to work out Turing's role in the war, thereby getting himself into trouble. In a cheerful epilogue, we see the positive changes that this investigation have made in the detective's life and he speculates about how happy Turing would have been to know how it all turns out

The ingredients of this story are well-known to many by now: questions at the foundation of mathematical logic (e.g. computability), top secret programs to break the Nazi Enigma code, early digital computers, a brilliant and bluntly honest homosexual mathematician, and a homophobic British society. In this version, however, rather than being presented in a linear or chronological fashion, because the pieces are put together by a detective investigating Turing's suicide, they come out very slowly and in a strange order, mixed with occasional misinformation. I imagine that might work well for someone learning about Turing's life and achievements for the first time, but I am afraid I found it rather frustrating.

Published in Swedish in 2009. An English translation by George Goulding first appeared in 2016.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. Amazon.com logo
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to The Fall of Man In Wilmslow
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
  2. Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore (playwright)
  3. Enigma: La strana vita di Alan Turing by Tuono Pettinato / Francesca Riccioni
  4. Lovesong of the Electric Bear by Snoo Wilson (playwright)
  5. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  6. Pythagorean Crimes by Tefcros Michaelides
  7. A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin
  8. The Library Paradox by Catherine Shaw
  9. Evariste and Heloise by Marco Abate
  10. Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton by Philip Kerr
Ratings for The Fall of Man In Wilmslow:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
4/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Mystery,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Turing,
TopicComputers/Cryptography, Logic/Set Theory,
MediumNovels,

Home All New Browse Search About

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)