All reviews are written by members of The H2G2 Bookworm's Club. We hope this review is helpful, and that we'll see you airing your views at the Club soon.
The Parrot's Theorem, Denis Guedj
I've never been particularly fond of Maths. Algebra was okay, I always felt I'd achieved something when I'd solved an equation, but in general I couldn't wait to finish the GCSE. I found that it took me a while to work out how to do something, and this frustrated me. So you might think that a book concerning mathematical theorems would be left on the library shelf, but I like learning new things, and assumed the theorems would be mentioned in passing.
I was wrong. The Parrot's Theorem is set in Paris. 84 year old bookshop owner Mr Ruche is sent a library of rare mathematical tomes by an old friend. He hears that the friend has died in suspicious circumstances after claiming to have found the proofs for Goldbach's Conjecture and Fermat's Last Theorem. Mr Ruche and the family who live with him, Perrette and her children Jon, Lea and Max try to find out who is responsible for Grosrouve's death, as well as the identity of the mysterious friend who has memorised the proofs.
Meanwhile, Max rescues a parrot from supposed animal traffickers in a flea market. The parrot, Sidney, helps the family to sift through the library looking for clues to Grosrouve's death. In doing so, they learn about the history of mathematics and try to decipher lots of mathematical problems. As they learn, so does the reader. There are lots of diagrams in the book, illustrating the various theorems, and the novel turns into an exciting and educational thriller.
I found the theorems to be explained in a detailed and reasonably easy to understand way. The storyline made the novel a fun and useful way to learn Maths. I would recommend The Parrot's Theorem to anyone wishing to study Maths above GCSE standard, as I'm sure it would provide an excellent and interesting starting point to their studies. However, if like me, you tend to avoid Maths as much as possible, still give this book a try. I think you'll find it more rewarding than you'd first think.
Review written by Pinwheel Pearl