Publication Date: 31/03/2022 ISBN: 9781788169721 Category:

The Geometer Lobachevsky

Adrian Duncan

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date: 31/03/2022 ISBN: 9781788169721 Category:




‘When I was sent by the Soviet state to London to further my studies in calculus, knowing I would never become a great mathematician, I strayed instead into the foothills of anthropology …’

It is 1950 and Nikolai Lobachevsky, great-grandson of his illustrious namesake, is surveying a bog in the Irish Midlands, where he studies the locals, the land and their ways. One afternoon, soon after he arrives, he receives a telegram calling him back to Leningrad for a ‘special appointment’.

Lobachevsky may not be a great genius but he is not foolish: he recognises a death sentence when he sees one and leaves to go into hiding on a small island in the Shannon estuary, where the island families harvest seaweed and struggle to split rocks. Here Lobachevsky must think about death, how to avoid it and whether he will ever see his home again

Publisher Review

He brings a mixture of the exact and the visionary . . . an original voice, a writer who has come to recreate the world on his own terms. -- Colm Toibin One of the most interesting Irish writers at work today. Those who have read his novels, Love Notes from a German Building Site and A Sabbatical in Leipzig, will remember the peculiar way his protagonists see the world and the unusual shapes his narratives take as a result. It is as if the text is teaching you how to read anew * Irish Independent * With elegance and precision, this beautiful book shows the forces which act on the structures of buildings and those which impact on relationships. -- Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Home Not a huge number of literary novels tackle the world of work. Out of this rather unusual material Adrian Duncan has crafted a quiet, beautifully written, intellectually provocative and compelling story, an assured blend of mastery and mystery. -- Enda O'Doherty * Dublin Review of Books * Love Notes from a German Building Site is a strange, oblique, haunted work of quiet meditative intelligence. Adrian Duncan evokes the building of cities and the dislocated, phantasmic lives that unfold amid their looming geometries. His debut novel contains some of the finest writing on love I've read in recent memory. -- Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

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