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The Genius in My Basement by Alexander Masters

The Genius in My Basement

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

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Shortlisted for the Galaxy Biography of the Year Award 2011.

The Genius in my Basement is the grumpy, poignant, comical story -- more intimate than either the author or his subject intended -- about the frailty of brilliance, Britain's most uncooperative egghead, and a happy man.


The Genius in My Basement by Alexander Masters

An intimate portrait of an everyday genius. Alexander Masters tripped over his first subject on a Cambridge pavement, and the result was the multi-award-winning bestseller Stuart: A Life Backwards. The second, he's found under his floorboards. One of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century stomps around the basement in semi-darkness, dodging between stalagmites of bus timetables and engorged plastic bags. He eats tinned kippers stirred into packets of Bombay Mix. Simon is exploring a theoretical puzzle so complex and critical to our understanding of the universe, that it is known as the Monster. It looks like a sudoku table -- except a sudoku table has nine columns of numbers. The Monster has 808017424794512875886459904961710757005754368000000000. But Simon's also up to something else. What's inside the decaying sports bag he never lets out of his clutches? Why does he hurtle out of the house in the middle of the night? And -- Good God! -- what is that noxious smell that creeps up the stairwell


From the reviews of 'Stuart: A Life Backwards':

'Unique and wonderful
Daily Mail

'This is a very rare and haunting book ! A great first book' Andrew O'Hagan

'Good books like this appear about once every five years. It's been years since I've been so delighted by a book and so surprised by it ! When I'd finished I felt bereft, as if I'd lost an old friend'
Zadie Smith

'I feel so strongly about this strange, funny, sad book that I hardly know where to begin ! My enthusiasm feels almost limitless. A page-turner'

'Funny and original, a startling book...By the end I was doubled up in tears, but throughout I was often doubled up with laughter. It is dazzling'

'A remarkable biography. Unforgettably moving. A gripping read'
Tim Lott, Sunday Times

'With his first book, Alexander Masters has achieved something remarkable. He has, without patronising, given a voice to the underclass ; at the same time, without preaching, he shows us the value of even the most damaged of human lives...a powerful book, humane, instructive and entirely original'
Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Alexander Masters

Alexander Masters’ first book, Stuart: A Life Backwards, won the Guardian First Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Biography Prize. Eighteen different newspapers and popular magazines chose it as Book of the Year. It was turned into a BBC film starring Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Alexander lives in Sussex.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Alexander Masters

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Biography / Autobiography
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