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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bright ideas and decent novel, 9 Sep 2009
Angus Jenkinson "angusjenkinson" (Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery (Hardcover)
The premise of this novel is that Pythagoras' reincarnation is expected and a cult group are searching the world to find the Master helped by arcane clues from the puzzles and patterns of mathematics and Pythagoras' lore. It's Dan Brown in mathematical costume and a lure or turn-off (depending on your interest) of the book is the introduction to mathematical ideas that it embeds in the plot line. It is of course crucial that they discover him in time.

You might find this an exciting introduction or reminder about maths, you might enjoy the way the maths is used to fix the plot or it might add up to too much distraction from character and story for you. However Dan Brown has demonstrated that there is a huge interest in marginally good novels soaked in arcana so many will love this.

Pythagoras did believe in reincarnation so the story is logical - the man himself was not only an outstanding scientist and mathematician but the leader of one of the most important mystery cults of the ancient world - his science was in service to spritiual teaching and consiousness change. for example, the octave, one of the central themes of his study, expresses the lower and the higher self. We know that each of the intervals he mathematically studied represents in his vision a mode of the psyche reflecting archetypal soul patterns, ie the 'gods' (the analytical pattern-making mind of Zeus [Jupiter], the lover of beauty and order that is Aphrodite [Venus], the bold adventurous intrusive spirit of Ares [Mars] being respectively the 6th, 5th, 3rd).

However, since the evidence is that Pythagoras was a truly remarkable saint-like visionary personality of truly towering intellect, don't expect any novel to capture the reality. This is a book that aims to convey some maths and in an appealing and enjoyably puzzling way.
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Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery
Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli (Hardcover - 10 May 2009)
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