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This book was a complex and challenging read. It took me about eighty pages to really get into it, but once I had mastered the premise, I was hooked. Then later when I was looking up the real-life history on Wikipedia, I felt like I was reading about people I actually knew.
Robertson writes in a poetic, lyrical style. The back of the book says “History Suspense” but I wouldn’t describe it as genre. I found it to be more akin to a literary novel. For example, There’s a Faustian theme that I didn’t quite grasp until the end, that completely blew me away.
Part of what made An Elegant Solution so challenging is Robertson’s excellent use of world building. It’s almost like reading a fantasy book by Tolkien because Euler’s world was entirely different than our own. There were different customs, traditions, educational systems, and diction. After reading this book, I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on what life was like in 1700s Basel.
If you’re looking for a good beach novel, this isn’t it. But if you have the fortitude to handle James Michener, than you might really like Paul Robertson.
P.S. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
- Week 7: Euler’s Equation (math3402lornamiller.wordpress.com)
- An Elegant Solution by Paul Robertson (lifeofliterature.wordpress.com)