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The Book of Irrational Numbers (1999)
Michael Marshall Smith

Contributed by Craig Bauer

The protagonist of this short story views everything through the filter of numerology. His journal entries detail his considerations of digital roots, perfect numbers, irrational numbers, and even Wilson’s Theorem (first appearance in fiction?) among other mathematical topics. However, the reader soon learns that his greatest problem is psychological and it isn’t a problem for him alone…

There are some mathematical errors in the story, but I got a kick out the author even making the attempt!

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Works Similar to The Book of Irrational Numbers
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Midnighters (Series) by Scott Westerfield
  2. Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile by Vladimir Tasic
  3. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  4. Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils by David W. Edwards
  5. Pi by Darren Aronofsky (director)
  6. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
  7. The Object by Alex Kasman
  8. 21 Grams by Alejandro González Iñárritu
  9. Killing Time by Frank Tallis
  10. Excision by Richard Bates Jr (Director and Screenwriter)
Ratings for The Book of Irrational Numbers:
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TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)