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The MANIAC (Hardback)Benjamín Labatut (author)
The International Booker-shortlisted author of When We Cease to Understand the World deftly intertwines fact and fiction in this captivating reimagining of the life of the Hungarian-American polymath.
From the author of When We Cease to Understand the World: a dazzling, kaleidoscopic book about the destructive chaos lurking in the history of computing and AI Johnny von Neumann was an enigma.
As a young man, he stunned those around him with his monomaniacal pursuit of the unshakeable foundations of mathematics. But when his faith in this all-encompassing system crumbled, he began to put his prodigious intellect to use for those in power.
As he designed unfathomable computer systems and aided the development of the atomic bomb, his work pushed increasingly into areas that were beyond human comprehension and control - and that threatened human destruction.
In The MANIAC, Benjamin Labatut braids fact with fiction in a scintillating journey to the very fringes of rational thought, right to the point where it tips over into chaos.
Stretching back to early twentieth-century conflict over contradictions in physics and up to advances in artificial intelligence that outpace the human, this is a mind-bending story of the mad dreams of reason.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
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“A masterpiece of historical ventriloquism and a philosophical treatise on the birth of modern computing”
Benjamin Labatut's first novel written in English is a fictionalised biography of John von Neumann - the Hungarian emigre polymath who devised the architecture underpinning all modern computing, invented the... More
“From the Nazis to ChatGPT”
When We Cease to Understand the World instantly became one of my all time favourite books in 2020 and I have been impatiently awaiting this next installment ever since. The MANIAC very lightly fictionalises advances... More
“Walking the tightrope between genius and madness”
For two days after reading just the opening paragraph, this novel lived in my mind.
This is the kind of book I love; when I'm not reading it, I'm still thinking about reading it. And when I am reading it, I... More
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