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The Last Theorem

The Last Theorem [Kindle Edition]

Arthur C. Clarke , Frederik Pohl
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


‘Clarke is one of the greatest imaginative writers of hard science fiction’
New Scientist

‘Arthur Clarke is one of the true geniuses of our time’
Ray Bradbury

‘Arthur C. Clarke is the prophet of the space age’
The Times

‘A one-man literary Big Bang, Clarke has originated his own vast and teeming futurist universe’
Sunday Times

‘Arthur C. Clarke is blessed with one of the most astounding imaginations ever encountered in print’
New York Times

‘One of the truly prophetic figures of the space age… the colossus of science fiction’
New Yorker

‘The most consistently able writer science fiction has yet produced’ Kingsley Amis on Frederik Pohl

‘In his grasp of scientific and technological possibilities, Pohl ranks with Asimov and Clarke, but he has greater originality than either’ Sunday Times

‘I want to be remembered most as a writer - one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well’ Arthur C Clarke

Sunday Times

`A one-man literary Big Bang, Clarke has originated his own vast and teeming futurist universe'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (7 Dec 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9SJC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed - contractual obligation novel 8 July 2009
By zargb5
I am a long time SF reader. I picked this gem up for a mere £1 (for the hardback version) I think i paid too much for it to be honest. The bits which are obviously Clarke (about 33% of the novel) are the dullest parts. Pohl's contribution raises the bar a little. The only really interesting parts of the novel are the brief descriptions of math tricks and problems (of which there are too few to sustain the readers interest through the turgid conservative middle class dialogue and what passes for a plot.

The plot consists of old ideas patched together which were done far better in their original forms years previously. Pohl occasionally adds a bit of gritty realism (ie torture sequences) but these when contrasted against the grand absurd theme of the grand galactics just show the novel to be even more unbelievable and ridiculous.

The super intelligent aliens (the grand galactics)come across as ill thought out and would have been better portrayed as in a comic parody ala HGTTG.

The book is a disjointed affair, the last theorem has nothing at all to do with the main plot at all. The main plot is also not worth the ink or paper used to print it on.

Overall a sad ending to Clarke's brillant career and Pohl does little better. But he has't written anything decent for 20 years either.

Heaven forbid that any new readers to Clarke & Pohl get their hands on this travesty. Please new readers to these authors please check out Clarke's "2001:A Space Odyssey" "The City & The Stars" "Rendezvous with Rama" and Pohl's "Starchild Trilogy" "Man Plus" & "Gateway" to name just a few classics. They are way above the level of this monster.

I read all of this novel and by the time i got to the end i wished i had not wasted my time and had read something more worthy. The whole thing comes over as a contractual obligation exercise. Avoid at all costs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sad disappointment 15 May 2009
When I saw this, I thought it sounded promising with its talk of Alien invasion and the World being on the brink of nuclear war.
Instead of the exciting thriller that was expected, it delivered an insipid, at times downright boring tale during which I spent the entire time waiting for some decent plot development instead of lots of pointless little side stories that amounted to nothing.
One of the most frustrating things about this book, was the so called "Alien threat" Rather than the menacing invasion promised on the back cover, it was presented as an almost comedic event and dismissed in a really abrupt and unconvincing manner.
It would also have been nice if the main character solving Fermat's Last Theorem was somehow relevant to the rest of the story, but it just seemed like a red herring.
As a big science fiction fan, over the years I have read and enjoyed many of Clarke's classic stories. Sadly this was a real disappointment.
I'm just glad this isn't the book he will be remembered for.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The ninth billion name of god has been called 25 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is some sadness here, while the last of the three great science fiction writers from the so-called "Golden Age" has passed away. Of the Big Three (the other being Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov) Arthur C. Clarke was the more gentle writer, as such famous stories as "The Nine Billion Names of God" or "The Star" can attest to. His grand galactic and spiritual vision (obviously from the "school" of Olaf Stapledon's transhumanism) found its way in such novels as "The City and the Stars", "Childhood's End" and "2001: A Space Odyssey"; they belong to the best of science fiction of that period.

Clarke has cooperated with other writers, notably Stephen Baxter, and for this last novel, with Frederik Pohl, another well-known and respected science fiction writer.

The story of finding a contemporary solution of Fermat's Theorem (that is: with mathematics within the time-span of that mathematician), coupled with aliens knocking at our door, is written with obvious love of Sri Lanka and its people in the forefront. But, just as Asimov and Heinlein before him, he tried to twine the various strands of earlier novels and worlds, such as "Fountains of Paradise", "The City", "Childhood's End" and "2001" into this book. And, predictable, he (and/or Fred Pohl) failed to convince. The Great Galacticans, a glittering utopia hanging before our eyes, and world problems solved with the stroke of a paragraph, it is all a bit too much contrived. It is a 'feel good' book, with much empathy but not with much depth, and a rather plodding plot.

And that is sad. Was Shakespeare really the only one who got better with age? At any rate, Clarke has started his own odyssey into the unknown, and there is much written by him to be fondly remembered. But not this last theorem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible book 6 Aug 2010
By Varnor
Being something of a fan of Clarke's earlier books but not having read any of his later ones, I picked this up while on holiday from a service station, and I wish I'd left it there! As others have said the back of the book makes out the story of an alien invasion, of excitement and suspense, but although it's over a month later I've STILL failed to get to the end of it.

For every page of aliens there are about 75 pages of "storyline" about a Sri Lankan "boy" and his growing up with a love of math, and of his bisexual lovelife which has no relevence at all that I can see and is a bore to wade through

The writing style is also very poor, with the continual use of characters full names (No doubt to pad the book out)

£6.99 that could have been spent on a much better book, I will be avoiding any of Pahl's other books like the plague. And for a grandmaster this last book was the worst book I believe I've ever read attributed to Clarke, I imagine he's spinning in his grave
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Easy yet Pointless read
I haven't read much (any?) romantic fiction, but if I did I suspect it'd be like this. Firstly the main character's youthful exploratory friendship; secondly a bit of an... Read more
Published 3 months ago by RomseyDave
3.0 out of 5 stars My theory
I did enjoy reading this book ,but I have many reservations . It is exactly what you might expect from two different authors writing a book without any feedback from each other . Read more
Published 7 months ago by JohnMD
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Easy Going Novel
I was almost put off from reading this book when I read the reviews on it, but I'm glad I didn't. Having borrowed it from my local library, I found that it was a simple, easy going... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Luis Suarez
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire
I have very fond memories of Clarke's work and thought this might be of similar calibre. It isn't. Nothing like. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mark Iliff
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful
I couldn't put it down. This is a 'must read'. Mind you from two of the greats of SF would you expect any less? And they don't disappoint.
Published 15 months ago by S J Duckworth
1.0 out of 5 stars A Sad Ending
Agree with everything said here.
I must also add I have tried to read the Clarke/Baxter books which are just as bad.. but, Stephen Baxter on His own is absolutely brilliant. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Nj Walton
3.0 out of 5 stars Near future invasion
The Last Theorem stands at the opposite end of the 'Earth under attack' spectrum to Independence Day. Read more
Published on 20 July 2010 by Mr. G. Battle
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull from start to finish, read anything else
Picked this up in the airport and as others have already noted, the blurb on the back cover does a great job of making a mountain out of a molehill. Read more
Published on 29 April 2010 by Shannon
1.0 out of 5 stars more like "The last thorurm errm, what shall we write now'
I agree with 90% of people here, how could the old Grandmaster of Sci fiction turn out this mess. He wrote the Rama series!! a classic of its time. Read more
Published on 19 April 2010 by M. Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge let down ...
Having read and loved the "Rama" books, I was immediately drawn to this, evidently one of the great Mr Clarke's final novels. Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2009 by V Patel
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