### Why did I love this book?

It provides an engaging description of the work that went into proving a famous result, first mentioned by the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat in the margin of a book.

The question was whether a sum of two nth powers of whole numbers could be the nth power of a whole number. It is certainly true for n = 2 but was not known for any n greater than 2. Fermat thought he had a proof that this was the case but later wrote proofs when n was 3 or 4, so his earlier claim was not taken seriously.

The general result turned out to be much harder than anyone imagined, and 350 years later, its truth was implied by another conjecture that was finally proved by Andrew Wiles, as this book explains. I admire the fact that the author distills some essential points from what turned out to be a very sophisticated modern proof.

1 author picked Fermat's Last Theorem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

'I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.'

It was with these words, written in the 1630s, that Pierre de Fermat intrigued and infuriated the mathematics community. For over 350 years, proving Fermat's Last Theorem was the most notorious unsolved mathematical problem, a puzzle whose basics most children could grasp but whose solution eluded the greatest minds in the world. In 1993, after years of secret toil, Englishman Andrew Wiles announced to an astounded audience that he had cracked Fermat's Last Theorem. He had no idea of the nightmare that lay…