"Simon Norton won a gold medal at the International Math Olympiad at the age of 15 and again at 16; folks said he was the greatest English mathematician since Sir Isaac Newton. A Daily Mail headline from July 4, 1967, says of Norton, 'SEATED, SECOND FROM RIGHT: A GENIUS.' Norton had just scored 195 out of 200 on the infamous British Math Olympiad for Schools, saying of the International Olympiad to which he now aspired, 'I've seen papers from previous years and I must say they don't seem too difficult.' And yet, with such promise, Norton always flirted with a darker life, and in this searing biography/memoir of him, Alexander Masters reveals just what happened to Norton to make him eschew regular math -- he was a star at Cambridge as an undergrad and post-grad student -- for a paranoid and difficult life obsessively spent taking bus rides all over England. And what happened is that Norton became fixated on The Monster, a set of numbers so vast that its discovery was hailed by the Mathematical Association of America as 'one of the most spectacular and mysterious achievements of the last fifty years.' And like Stuart, in The Genius in My Basement we read the biography of a non-famous person, an unknown who is yet extraordinary, someone we might pass by as an oddball, but who is, in fact, one of the great minds of this, or any, century"-- Provided by publisher.