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En busca de Klingsor (In Search of Klingsor) (1999)
Jorge Volpi

Contributed by Prof. Dr. José M. Pacheco

The story is highly mathematical, involving a German Character called Gustav Links, though the main character is a young American physicist called Francis Bacon (sounds good). The idea is that this last one is looking for a supposed scientific advisor of Hitler during World War II -maybe Links could be the person-, and a lot of Math is spread along the book, e.g. Gödel, Truth and more. There is an erroneous quotation (at least in the Spanish edition) of Einstein's basic paper of 1905, where "Thermodynamics" is written instead of "Electrodynamics". It is a real thriller, and deep too.

Contributed by how

If you are interested in the great physicists of the 20th century, Nazi Germany, detective fiction and sex, then this book is wonderful!

Contributed by Octavio

I disliked this novel a lot, from the mathematical viewpoint. It is implicitly stated that any mathematician lacking of talent becomes a physicist or prefer physics-related research. Being "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" the main source of the mathematical ideas of Volpi (at least for this book), there are some slips, that I would consider as minor except for the narrator is a mathematician!

Aside from this, the plot is interesting but I think it became an unnecessarily long book. Even some hints about plot are given too early, spoiling some chapters.

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Works Similar to En busca de Klingsor (In Search of Klingsor)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  2. Sebastian by David Greene (director)
  3. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
  4. The Company of Strangers by Robert Wilson
  5. The Eight by Katherine Neville
  6. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  7. Sekret Enigmy by Roman Wionczek
  8. Decoded by Mai Jia
  9. One Hundred Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin (Author) / Christiana Hills (Translator)
  10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Ratings for En busca de Klingsor (In Search of Klingsor):
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:
3/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifWar, Gödel,

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)