What a wonderful, sprawling novel. It centers around the life of Milo Andret, a brilliant mathematician, from his childhood in the woods of Michigan throughout his life in academia and beyond. A significant portion of the plot relies on Andret's attempts to find proof for a certain mathematical formula (this, and several other mathematical theorems, as far as my limited research can tell, is a fictional creation). If that sounds somewhat dry, it's not. The book is not about math, but about Milo. And Milo is a fascinating character: brilliant, abrasive, anti-social, curmudgeonly, and seemingly incapable of maintaining a relationship with another human being. The writing is masterful, and while the reader may not like Milo as a person, I was very intrigued to find out what would happen to him next. About halfway through the novel, the viewpoint switches to Milo's son, whose life and problems feel a bit more typical and less interesting. I felt the plot line dragged a little at this point, but it quickly gets back to Milo. This was a wonderful, thick (at 550 pages) novel that seldom let me down. Easily 4 1/2 stars.