MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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En busca de Klingsor (In Search of Klingsor) (1999)
Jorge Volpi
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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 Eight by Katherine Neville
  4. The Company of Strangers by Robert Wilson
  5. Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
  6. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  7. Sekret Enigmy by Roman Wionczek
  8. Decoded by Mai Jia
  9. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
  10. Oracle by Greg Egan
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)
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Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifWar, Gödel,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)