The MANIAC

The MANIAC

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 07/09/2023
RRP £20.00
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Bookseller Reviews

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The MANIAC
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 architec... READ MORE
John Wilson
The MANIAC
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 installmen... READ MORE
Emma Southon
The MANIAC
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 th... READ MORE
Aaron Myles

Synopsis

Exploring the genius and madness of John von Neumann: the man who pushed the frontiers of technology and computing, and unleashed the full destructive potential of science upon humankind. The MANIAC is a kaleidoscopic journey through intellectual worlds, a chilling and ominous portrait of an era, and a triangulation of a man some thought might be the next step in human evolution.

Shortlisted for Foyles Book of the Year 2023

Synopsis

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
  • ISBN: 9781782279815
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm

Customer Reviews

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The MANIAC
Exploring the Life, Work, and Legacy of John von Neumann
One of the central themes explored in The Maniac is the very limit of human understanding. Through the experiences and narratives of family members, friend... READ MORE
Lavinia