Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Theorem” as Want to Read:
The Last Theorem
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Theorem

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,773 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
Two of science fiction’s most renowned writers join forces for a storytelling sensation. The historic collaboration between Frederik Pohl and his fellow founding father of the genre, Arthur C. Clarke, is both a momentous literary event and a fittingly grand farewell from the late, great visionary author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Last Theorem is a story of one man’s math
ebook, 321 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Del Rey (first published August 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Theorem, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Theorem

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 12, 2014 Tatjana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zapanjujuća knjiga! Fascinirala me je količina ideja fino utkanih u radnju romana, lepo doziranih i uklopljenih, tako da imate celovitu viziju, a ne nabacane koncepte. Doduše, ima problema u tempu romana, pretpostavljam da je zbog toga došlo do velikog broja nezadovoljnih čitalaca. Takođe, lično, problem mi je bio sa nepoznavanjem i nedostatkom interesovanja za brojne matematičke probleme (ali tu je već problem do mene, a ne do romana).
Sve u svemu, potpuno sam zapanjena količinom kvalitetnog ma
Megan Baxter
I like Frederik Pohl, or, at least, I like Gateway, the one book of his I've read, a whole lot. I have enjoyed most Arthur C. Clarke I have read. Reading a book by the two of them together sounded intriguing, at the very least. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly gripping, and frankly, is a bit of a mess. The characters stay resolutely far away from the plot, and large sections of it are badly paced and just boring.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads
Mar 16, 2009 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2010 Raj rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke, but 3001 The Final Odyssey and now this have tested my loyalty. Both were written in the latter years of Sir Arthur's life (The Last Theorem was the last book published before his death) and both had good ideas that were poorly executed.

The EM shockwave of Earth's nuclear tests spread into space and eventually reach a race of mega-beings, called the Grand Galactics who immediately dispatch one of their client races to eliminate this upstart race. Meanwhile, you
Mar 08, 2015 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
In many ways, it's appropriate that this was Arthur C. Clarke's final work. It's sort of a love letter to him and his career, magpieing ideas from his best works, from the all-seeing alien beings to his love of Sri Lanka. There's countless little nods to Clarke's work and its great fun to spot.

The trouble is, this isn't really a very good book. It is essentially the life story of a Sri Lankan boy who is a remarkable mathematician and manages to once and for all conclusively solve Fermat's Theor
Jan 23, 2014 Mohammad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, science
اشتريت النسخة العربية من مكتبة ألف. الرواية بدأها آرثر سي كلارك كاتب الخيال العلمي الكبير، ثم لم يتمكن من اتمامها، فأرسل بها الى الكاتب فريدريك بول ليكملها، فرحب بالفكرة. أسلوب الرواية رشيق يتسم بالحماسة والخفة والشغف بالخيال العلمي. هذه أول رواية أقرأها لآرثر سي كلارك وأول رواية خيال علمي أهتم بقراءتها، لذا فليس عندي اطار مرجعي أقيم على أساسه مدى جودة هذه الرواية. الرواية أعجبتني كثيرا واستمتعت بها من الغلاف الى الغلاف وأعطيتها خمسة نجوم، ولكن بنظرة سريعة على الريفيوز تجد أن أغلب - ان لم يكن كل ...more
Keith Stevenson
Jan 11, 2012 Keith Stevenson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From the sublime to the not so. And it really pains me to say that. Arthur C Clarke died last year and it was a great loss indeed. It’s hard to imagine a more famous science fiction author and one who had such a prestigious career. So when ‘the final novel from SF grandmaster Arthur C Clarke’, as the shout line went across the cover of The Last Theorem, came through the letterbox, and I saw that Clarke had co-written it with Frederik Pohl, another significant talent, I though, ‘Wow, this is goin ...more
Ben Babcock
Overall, the word I'd use to describe this book is "shallow." Clarke and Pohl, two big names in SF, have managed to take two interesting concepts (Fermat's Last Theorem and alien sterilization of Earth) and turn them into a boring book. It's as if they said one day, "Well, we've succeeded at everything else in literature; now we have to succeed at writing a bad book!"

My major problem with the book is the lack of any consequences, or really, any conflict at all. At points the story threatens to i
Jan 13, 2017 Claudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, z-to-a-clarke
Why, when two great writers work together on a project, the result is so poor? Same happened with The Medusa Chronicles by Al Reynolds and Stephen Baxter. But this one is even worse.

I expected some hard sci-fi and what I got was the story of a young man (obsessed with proving Fermat's Last Theorem), with a lot of useless details and digressions, which did nothing to shape the character or help the storyline in some way. And this was just one thread.

The other is the story of some aliens, the Gr
Sean Rourke
I love both these guys. They're unquestionably masters of their craft, and two of the greatest luminaries of science fiction. Having said that, this book is...well...very mediocre. I went on Wikipedia to find out if maybe something was going on during the development of the book, and it turns out that Arthur C Clarke was in the late stages of his life when he started this one. He owed his publisher a book, but hit a point where he felt like he just couldn't generate the ideas anymore. So, he rea ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was written by two great, but very old, authors.It shows. Half of the book is Clarke and Pohl,often ignoring the 4th Wall, telling the story of a young mathematician in the manner of two benevolent grandfathers who're trying to impress their grandkids by throwing random mathematical tricks (some of them pretty neat, tbh) and info in the plot.In the other half they're dreaming of a world where the UN, with Sri-Lanka as the vanguard (!!) can bring about world peace, where Clarke's dream ...more
May 23, 2012 Iulia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poate fiindcă am citit-o în limba română, poate fiindcă am văzut de curând 2001: A Space Odyssey pe marele ecran şi mă aşteptam la o poveste cu aceeaşi rezonanţă psiho-intelectuală, sau poate fiindcă trec printr-o fază în care, poate în mod nedrept, nu consider simplitatea ca fiind o valoare – Ultima Teoremă mi s-a părut o carte prea uşoară în raport cu aşteptările mele. Nu mi-a trezit emoţii sau idei pe care nu le-am mai avut; nu a strălucit cu nimic. Personajele sunt prea ideale ca să prindă c ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Elly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
The book was, especially at the beginning, not at all what I expected. It was mostly a novel about a young man growing up, and not much mathematics, or science fiction in evidence. There is a second, smaller, storyline that is interwoven within this story which is very much sf. But in the end it was a very nice story, and I am happy to have read it.
One thing I missed: the actual 5 page proof of the theorem. It would have been so nice to read that... But given that the actual proof is 150 pages
Dec 28, 2008 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
From what I have read Frederick Pohl actually wrote this book based on a few notes from a dying Arthur Clarke.

Pohl managed to turn this book into a tribute to Clarke's best known work including, but probably not limited to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood's End, and Fountain's of Paradise.

There is an alien race in this novel called the One-Point-Fives which reminds me of the Daleks from Dr. Who. I'm not sure that Clarke was fan, but I do remember seeing a photo of him posing with a Dalek. Perh
Dec 12, 2014 Iary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, just-ugh
The Last Theorem... also known as ”Will the aliens EVER reach Earth?”
(view spoiler)
Mar 23, 2012 Prashanth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I respect Mr. Clarke, I really do. And, I like some of his books. Unfortunately, not this one.

The story line follows the travails of one Ranjit, a mathematical genius, from being a kid through his days of glory after solving "Fermat's Last Theorem", and his daughter's (ahem) alien abduction. I remember Mr. Asimov somewhere saying that a story for kids proceeds at breakneck pace, and adult fiction cannot do so. The story here finds the pace somewhere in that category. In summary:
1. Ranjit does so
Andrea Bampi
Merita di essere letto anche solo perchè è l'ultimo progetto a cui abbia lavorato Clarke. Per il resto, pur essendo sicuramente godibile e ben scritto, fa veramente fatica a decollare.
La sensazione è che gli autori abbiano voluto un pà strafare, il contesto è da Space Opera, lo span temporale è di due generazioni, c'è un pò tutto l'armamentario classico della SF (operazione anche piacevole, innumerevoli le autocitazioni) ma per 300 pagine forse c'è un pò troppa carne al fuoco. Inoltre il vero di
May 23, 2012 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Given how highly I've held both authors in regard, I was expecting an incredible read. Instead, I found a boring, insipid story about a South Asian family. I'd like to recommend this to South Asian friends and colleagues, but I cannot. Containing very little "science," the book reads like a regular fiction novel by an aspiring author. Fortunately (I guess...) for Mr. Clarke, one of the postambles (there are 5!) suggested that Mr. Pohl did most of the writing, from Mr. Clarke's notes.

The cover qu
Day 1:
I began reading this book last night. I checked it out at the library a couple of weeks ago, remembering how much I enjoyed the Rama series when I was in college. I'm already hooked, only 20 or so pages in. Radar . . .
Ovidiu Neatu
A pleasant read but lacks depth.
Dec 28, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
نادر أسامة
فقط إكرامًا لآرثر سي كلارك هقول متوسطة.. لكنها في الحقيقة أقل من كدا بكتير. مبدئيا كلارك ما خلصش كتابة الرواية بنفسه، واللي كملها وأعاد صياغتها معاه فريدريك بول.. لكن الاتنين يتحملا نتيجة التخبط العشوائي سواء في السرد أو في الغاية من وراها.. دا فضلا عن جرعة المط والتطويل والملل غير المحتملة. تقريبًا الرواية بالكامل بتحكي عن حياة عادية ما بيحصلش فيها أي شيء جدير بالحكي.. وشق الخيال العلمي فيها جاء مقحم وهزلي إلى حد كبير. رواية بحجم 450 صفحة لكن بمذاق أكثر من 1000 صفحة.. و1000 صفحة من النوع العسير ...more
Apr 28, 2009 Douglas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2016 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction elements only came into play in the second half and was mostly a coming of age story set in Sri Lanka.
Why I read this book: I don't have "favorite authors", but if I did, Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl would certainly be on my shortlist. Both have books in my Top 6, and Clarke's Against the Fall of Night is pretty much the book that made me a lifetime reader of Science Fiction. Both have also done incredible short stories that I would rank among the very best in SF.

I also really like both of their writing styles, though in very different ways. I was concerned about the prospect of combining
Chi ha detto che la fantascienza tipica non ha più colpi in canna?
Poco tempo fa un tizio mi disse: - Non so come fai, ma io non riesco a leggere quei romanzi, scritti quaranta o sessant’anni fa, dove si parla di un futuro (magari anche lontano) del tutto superato da questo nostro 2013.
L’amico, a quanto pare, non aveva ben chiaro il concetto di classico. Persone come lui fanno fatica a calarsi nel puro fatto letterario che, come tutti sanno, interessa anche le opere cosiddette di genere, quelle,
Clay Brown
Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick Pohl are two of the Giants of Science Fiction. 2001 A Space Odyssey is one of Mr. Clarke’s works and Gateway by Frederick Pohl is one of my favorite books. I still remember when I was a youngster being blown away about Gateway.

So now these two fine creative men have joined together for the first time. That can be a good thing, yet it can be a bad thing as well, when two writers put heads together. Writers aren’t known for being ‘easy to get along with’, and collabo
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 2011.

This is the novel with which Clarke rounded off his lengthy and prolific career. Like much of his later work (later in this case basically meaning novels published after Clarke was eighty), The Last Theorem is a collaboration. While most genre collaborations are between established authors and newcomers, this is different, in that Frederik Pohl is one of the very few authors who could be considered one of Clarke's near equals for prestige in scie
Steve Walker
Jan 20, 2013 Steve Walker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 30, 2012 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
There are several interesting aspects to this short novel by Frederik Pohl and Arthur C. Clarke. One of which is that it takes place almost entirely in Sri Lanka, an unlikely location for a sci-fi novel, if I may say so. The main character Ranjit Subramanian grows up and attends university there. He loves math and astronomy but doesn't know exactly what to do with his life and is often in the shadow of his strict father, a wealthy man who retires and becomes a Buddhist priest. So he pursues teas ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sir Arthur C. Clarke 1 20 Nov 14, 2009 10:31PM  
  • The Accord
  • Phase Space
  • Nightflyers
  • Debatable Space
  • City at the End of Time
  • The Long Result
  • The Galaxy Primes
  • Principles of Angels
  • Galileo's Dream
  • Futures from Nature
  • The Gateway Trip (Heechee Saga, #5)
  • DAW 30th Anniversary Science Fiction
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection
  • Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection
  • Blind Lake
  • Peace and War (The Forever War Omnibus, #1-3)
Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Share This Book