The NS Recommends

Logicomix: an Epic Search for Truth Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou

Two years ago, the theatre company Complicite celebrated the capacity of art to explore complex mathematics with a kaleidoscopic bricolage of original staging and technology it called A Disappearing Number. Logicomix (Bloomsbury, £16.99) is a startlingly successful attempt to do the same using pen and ink.

Taking as their point of departure the idea that Bertrand Russell was a hero "in search of great goals", just like Superman, Doxiadis and Papadimitriou search for the basis of his theories in his childhood and his love affairs.

With an ingenious meta-narrative (the authors make regular appearances throughout to express reservations about their project), precise artwork and a highly technical glossary, it manages to locate something in Russell's story that perhaps only a graphic novel could: the unmistakable stylishness of his work, which was as thrilling as its substance.

This article first appeared in the 05 October 2009 issue of the New Statesman, The tories/the people