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Ambitious, erudite and well-sourced, Leavitt's 12th work of fiction centers on the relationship between mathematicians G.H. Hardy (1877–1947) and Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920). In January of 1913, Cambridge-based Hardy receives a nine-page letter filled with prime number theorems from S. Ramanujan, a young accounts clerk in Madras. Intrigued, Hardy consults his colleague and collaborator, J.E. Littlewood; the two soon decide Ramanujan is a mathematical genius and that he should emigrate to Cambridge to work with them. Hardy recruits the young, eager don, Eric Neville, and his wife, Alice, to travel to India and expedite Ramanujan's arrival; Alice's changing affections, WWI and Ramanujan's enigmatic ailments add obstacles. Meanwhile, Hardy, a reclusive scholar and closeted homosexual, narrates a second story line cast as a series of 1936 Harvard lectures, some of them imagined. Ramanujan comes to renown as the the Hindu calculator discussions of mathematics and bits of Cambridge's often risqué academic culture (including D.H. Lawrence's 1915 visit) add authenticity. Hardy is hardly likable, however, and Leavitt (While England Sleeps, etc.) packs too much into the epic-length proceedings, at the expense of pace.(Sept.)
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ISBN-10:  1596910402
ISBN-13:  978-1596910409
Author:  David Leavitt
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA
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review by . May 11, 2008
Pros: Style, a sense of authenticity, easy to read but still challenging     Cons: Over doing some religious and homosexual themes     The Bottom Line: I recommend it for anyone, but if homosexual themes bother or if even a little math puts you off, then the novel will disappoint.     It has been a while since I’ve reviewed a book—this is mostly due to the fact that I haven’t felt compelled to finish a book recently.   …
review by . September 04, 2007
Leavitt, David. "The Indian Clerk", Bloomsbury, 2007.        David Leavitt, Once More and Better        Amos Lassen        David Leavitt has worked hard to earn his reputation as "one of our most respected writers" and he wears that title proudly with the publication of his brilliant new novel, "The Indian Clerk". He is the author of eleven works of fiction (including "The Lost …
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