31 May 2013



Julius Miles is a mathematical genius, but he is hefty of frame, awkward with the opposite sex and struggling to bring his existence into balance. When he stumbles across the girl next door naked and dead on her Victorian tiles, he starts to unravel the one equation that’s eluded him: that of his own life. And so it is that with the most unlikely of assistants – a transsexual Cupid with a penchant for drugs – he embarks on a quest to find the truth about love, death, family and how, ultimately, you make your numbers happy.

Witty, poignant, darkly comic, The Happy Numbers of Julius Miles is a triumph of linguistic inventiveness and a timely tale of personal relationships in a modern metropolis.
....... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): Some things change and some thing don't.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 136): "What? It doesn't mark me, it's not who I am, Aba. I am me, not the epilepsy. Why can't you see that?"

MY THOUGHTS: The story of professional statistician Julius Miles, an autistic savant/obsessive compulsive(?), with a profound capacity for figures who feels the need to boil his Jersey Royals for exactly 13 minutes and steam his French green beans for four, who, in an attempt to shy away from relationships, hides himself away in numbers.

Narrated by Felicity, nee Kevin (just one of a myriad of wonderfully quirky individuals), a somewhat drug-addled transsexual, cupid/fairy godmother type character, The Happy Numbers though essentially a story of relationships, of one man's search to find his happy numbers, combines a (sort of) detective story with a somewhat unusual romance set amidst the bustling multi-cultural melting pot that is London. 

Though ultimately an enjoyable read, thankfully Julius Miles did have more to offer than the one dimensional stereotype of the mathematical genius, I did however on occasion feel that the 'linguistic inventiveness' and the author's tendency to go off at a tangent came close to interrupting the flow of what was otherwise very good story telling.

Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the publisher, Alma Books,  I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Kelly said...

This sounds like it could be fun and quirky. It might grow stale, though, if part of a series.

Heather said...

That opening line goes with the saying 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks.

Gina R said...

Hmm. Interesting indeed. Hadn't heard of it before but the synopsis definitely threw me for a look. Sounds like it tried to balance everything out though with some level of success. Thanks for the share!

Suko said...

Excellent review, as always. This sounds pretty unique.

Cherie Reich said...

Sounds like a good book! Thanks for the review!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... too bad it didn't go more than one dimensional. It could have had so much more to say. At least you seemed to enjoy it.

Nikki-ann said...

I've not heard of this one, but I think I might just give it a go! :)

Kalyan said...

nice reading the review.

Brian Joseph said...

Sounds like a very different and innovative book.

The tangent thing is interesting. I tend to think that these are Ok if they are interesting and have a point to them.

Naida said...

That's a great opening line and I do like quirky characters.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't heard of this one- though I do enjoy quirky characters. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Beth said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I enjoy quirky characters when well-written.

Jinky said...

The blurb is inviting for the potential of a fun quirky read. Glad to hear it was ultimately an enjoyable read.

Betty Manousos said...

it sounds like a great read!
i'm definitely adding this one to my "to-read" list~
thank you.
big hugs!xx