Lorrine Sampaio Sampaio itibaren 5043 Kapinovo, Bulgaristan
This is one of those books whose effect and remembered enjoyment has stayed with me, even though I read it over 15 years ago. I mainly remember being really really annoyed that the main narrator of the book married the useless sister when the awesome, strong, capable sister with personality to spare was overlooked AND THEN husband and sister-in-law teamed up to protect the wilting-flower-come useless-for-anything wife from life. I loved Collins technique of using written testimonies of the various eye witnesses and hence their different memories and points of view and particularly recall the idiosyncrasies of the Italian guy (whose role in the story escapes me).
It's a classic for a reason - Hofstadter has this idea burning a hole in his brain, and he lays it out for you over and over again throughout the novel, now with math, now with music, now with computer languages, now with neuroscience, now with Zen, now with visual art. His central thesis is that recursive loops - in all of these areas - are the foundational structures of consciousness. It's philosophy through math, perhaps the greatest work of philosophy through math, and it's a fascinating, absorbing read. Hofstadter does what he can to make the math and the concepts approachable - little dialogues between Achilles and the Tortoise illustrate each chapter's central theme or thesis (plus, they're funny and cute) and he breaks the math down to pretty basic levels, so as long as you're willing to read with a pencil and a pice of paper, you can follow long pretty well. The only thing is...it's really, really long, and by the time I got to the neuroscience/computer language section of the book, about three quarters through, I was sort of like...I get it, recursive loops, paradoxes, artificial intelligence, let's move on. Also, it took me months to read, partially because I kept picking it up and putting it down, but also because I occasionally got frustrated by the hard work it required (though your mileage may vary; I hadn't done any real math since high school. A course in symbolic logic might make the book smooth like silk.)
It was okay.
Got bored. Didn't finish.