a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Ungal En Enna [Those Faulty Journeys] (2017)
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

When Ajay discovers that his wife is having an affair with his friend, he receives advice from a stranger who has a mathematical theory of romantic success. The mathematician character, whose name is Ram like the author's, spends a few pages talking about the power and importance of mathematics and the mathematical theory of relationships -- in which two numbers are assigned to each person and the ideal pairing is identified as a Nash equilibrium -- is explained in some detail. And the existence of this theory affects the course of the novel as Ajay follows Ram's advice.

If the mathematics was removed, there would not be much to this story. A husband discovers his wife's affair and he learns to deal with it. Perhaps that is an unusual plot-line in Tamil; maybe addressing questions of love and compatibility is itself unusual and would make this an interesting read to someone in India. But, in English literature, this is all "old hat".

So, presumably any interest in this books would lie in the mathematical theory of love that it proposes. Loosely put, the theory attaches a pair of numbers to each individual by identifying the number of needs that they have and the number that their current partner fills. It is claimed that a stable relationship is one in which the partner has the same values in reverse order. Justification for this theory is based in part on a stated belief that there is a divinely selected perfect mate for each individual and by reference to game theory. However, in the English translation I read (provided by the author) I'm afraid I did not find the mathematical theory of romance that this book promotes to be sufficiently interesting or believable.

I thank the author for bringing this work to my attention. This novel was published in India by Kavya in 2017. At one point the author notified me that an English language version was to be released in India by Emerald Publishers under the title "Those Faulty Journeys".

Contributed by Dr Neeraja M

How can you apply this to your own life ?

Contributed by Ilakiya

I recently came across this list while I was searching for reviews for this book. Honestly, this is an awesome collection of math fictions. Kudos Alex. But your review makes me to think, you have not understood some portions of the book. But, I also think it should most probably be the 'unconscious bias' when a Asian author tries to put forth his ideas in a language not native to him. Very unfortunate.

(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 Ungal En Enna [Those Faulty Journeys]
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
  2. MeT APP by Ramprasath
  3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  4. Do the Math: A Novel of the Inevitable by Philip Persinger
  5. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar / Akiva Goldsman
  6. Twisted Seduction by Dominique Adams (writer and director)
  7. Hickory Dickory Shock! The Tale of Techies by Sundip Gorai
  8. L.A. Math: Romance, Crime and Mathematics in the City of Angels by James D. Stein
  9. Lucy and David and the God Equation by Alan McKenzie
  10. Murder on the Einstein Express by Harun Šiljak
Ratings for Ungal En Enna [Those Faulty Journeys]:
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:
4.67/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
2.5/5 (2 votes)

GenreDidactic, Romance,
MotifMath as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, Romance,
TopicReal Mathematics,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)