Monday, November 25, 2013

"An Elegant Solution" by Paul Robertson

Set in the time of Euler and Bernoulli, this book follows the complex life of intellectuals.  As each character vies for a spot in the Basel University, sparks fly.  Things get even more intense as murder and the plague emerge.  Is a professor killed so his job is open, or was he merely a victim of the plague?  Such questions abound.  The writing style of Robertson really puts readers back in time.  The problem is that modern readers are not used to the style.  This book is a great read, but it is a slow read.  The old style of speaking can be choppy and takes some time.  Still, there are nice intricacies in this story that make it interesting.  Architecture, theology, trade work, societal norms, fashion, and more are discussed.  The way mathematics and physics ties in is fascinating.  There is enough detail to follow along but not so much detail as to confuse readers.

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