Simon: The Genius in my Basement

Alexander Masters

From the author of ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’; a warm and witty portrait of a harmless, eccentric, bona fide 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 Between teetering towers of outdated maps and slagheaps of plastic bags, Simon eats endless meals of tinned kippers and plans trips on the Cambridge public transport system.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 Simon: The Genius in my Basement

    • ‘Masters has managed to convey something of the beauty and mystery not just of mathematics but of the human spirit’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Pick of the Paperbacks’ in the Sunday Times; ‘Astonishingly good… gloriously funny and surprising’
    • ‘This book is a complete success … By the end we have come just about to love [Simon]’ Evening Standard
    • ‘Astonishingly good … a glorious book: funny, surprising and completely sui generis’ Sunday Times
    • ‘A wonderful book which shows you don’t have to be ‘normal’ to be happy.’ Daily Mail
    • ‘New and open and risky and humane … much is delightful – the bloggy, scrapbooky aspect, the kipple and backchat and disgusting food… ’ Guardian
    • ‘Wholly original’ Mail on Sunday, Book of the Week
    • ‘Exuberant and compelling…This is both a happy and funny book. It is decorated with Masters’ elegant cartoons and his language is lyrical’ FT
    • ‘An absorbing read, with Masters’ deft pen and idiosyncratic style once again in evidence’ The Times, Book of the Week
    • ‘A comically tender portrait’ Observer, Book of the Week
    • ‘A wonderful book which shows you don’t have to be ‘normal’ to be happy’ Daily Mail