The Genius in my Basement

The Genius in my Basement

Alexander Masters

An intimate portrait of an everyday genius.

Alexander Master’s landlord, Simon, lives in the basement of their Cambridge house. Between teetering towers of outdated maps and slagheaps of plastic bags, Simon eats endless meals of tinned kippers and plans trips on the Cambridge public transport system.

But Simon was one of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century. He spends his time between train journeys working on a theoretical puzzle so complex and critical to our understanding of the universe that it is known as the Monster.

Poignant and comical, ‘Simon: The Genius in my Basement’ is about the frailty of brilliance and how genius matters very little in the search for happiness.

Reviews of The Genius in my Basement

    • 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’ Observer
    • ‘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’ Vogue
    • ‘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