The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel: Book Review

Step into the world of mathematics with “The Man Who Knew Infinity” by Robert Kanigel, a captivating biography that illuminates the life of a prodigious mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Sneak Peak

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” follows the extraordinary journey of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematical genius from India whose groundbreaking theories and equations revolutionized the field of mathematics in the early 20th century. The book delves into Ramanujan’s humble beginnings, his struggles, his collaboration with British mathematician G. H. Hardy, and the significant contributions he made to the world of mathematics despite facing numerous challenges.

My Take

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” is a compelling biography that not only offers insight into the life of an exceptional mathematician but also delves deep into the personal struggles and societal obstacles Ramanujan had to overcome. Kanigel’s meticulous research and vivid storytelling bring Ramanujan’s journey to life, making it a gripping read for both mathematics enthusiasts and general readers alike. The dynamic between Ramanujan and Hardy is particularly engaging, showcasing the fusion of two brilliant minds working towards a common goal. However, at times, the intricate mathematical concepts discussed in the book may be challenging for readers unfamiliar with the subject.

What Makes the Book Unique

One of the standout features of “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is its ability to humanize complex mathematical theories and present them in a compelling narrative. Kanigel seamlessly weaves together Ramanujan’s personal struggles, his passion for mathematics, and the intellectual vigor of his collaborations, creating a multi-dimensional portrayal of a legendary figure. The book strikes a delicate balance between exploring the intricacies of Ramanujan’s work and painting a vivid picture of the man behind the theorems.


In conclusion, “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of genius, perseverance, and the beauty of mathematics. Kanigel’s masterful storytelling and thorough research make this biography a poignant tribute to Ramanujan’s enduring legacy. I highly recommend this book for its exploration of Ramanujan’s extraordinary mind and the enduring impact of his work.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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