Bookish: The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj


A quick review: When mr. Ruche, a reclusive Parisian bookseller, receives a letter from a long lost friend in the Amazon bequesting him a vast library of mathematical book, he is propelled into a great exploration of the story of maths. Meanwhile Max, a deaf boy whose dysfunctional family live with mr. Ruche, finds a voluble parrot in a local fleamarket. He turns out to be a bird who discusses maths with anyone who will listen. Therefore, mr. Ruche with the parrot's help will use these books to teach Max and his twin brother and sister the mysteries and wonders of numbers and shapes. However, when he learns about his friend's mysterious death in the rainforests of Brazil it becomes clear that he has inherited the library for reasons other than the pure pleasure of reading. He is convinced that from the brilliant Greek thinkers, such as Archimedes and Pythagoras, to the modern-day genius Fermat and Euler,  somewhere in these books lie the reasons about his friend's death. But soon  and before he knows it the whole household is caught up in a race to prevent vital theorems falling into the wrong hands. Oh this book was in my reading list for ages {opening brackets- 6 years ago, in high school, a little piece of paper with the name of this book slipped in my wallet. The mission was to read this book. The inspiration was my high- school's mathematician. He is Santa Claus' best replica and he's always surrounded by a haze made of his passion about maths, the stories behing the equations and astronomy stories. He will try to infuse all these directly in your brain and if you are smart enough to appreciate them you will be a happy person for the rest of your life.  

For the record, he could be the main hero of the book too.  Thanks so much for everything mr. D. D.! -closing brackets}  to read this book. and now that I'm done reading it, I wish there was more of it. You know, dat feeling

A fascinating tour within the territory of the crest of the sciences, combined harmonically with a crime/detective novel.  Maths unfold magically in front of your eyes, so that in the end you realize that what is really wonderful with numbers, is inside them. Such a beautiful and simple idea. Moreover Denis gives us the most apt explanation of a collector's-famous art thief's perversion, which art pieces can't be shown to anybody. So contrary to, the braggart castaway, who flounders on a small island with Cindy Crawford and has nobody to share this, the paranoid villain of the novel tells us that: "To possess something and keep it hidden is like... making love with the most beautiful girl in the village and meeting her the other day in the crowd and greeting her respectfully like she's a total stranger." As a collector of various things I find myself to be identified with him sometimes. The pleasure of owning something that nobody know is invaluable.

So, 5 stars from the tip of my heart since this book was so much than enternaining!  

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!