Isaac Swift is a mathematics professor that has come up with no meaningful proofs during his tenure. He's feeling lost. His girlfriend tries to lure him away from constant sessions of math but eventually gives up and leaves him. Isaac is depressed, which sinks him further in to long sessions of math in the middle of the night. Issac finds inspiration in an unlikely source and thinks he has come up with a solution for the wild numbers. He is quickly accused of plagiarism but he doesn't think it's true.
Isaac is a pretty depressing guy to read about. We learn how he got in to math as a way to escape as a kid and that what Isaac really needs is some counselling. And that's pretty much the theme of this book: Isaac needs help. He never gets help though, and has to fail to success (sort of?). It's not the funnest read in the world because of how depressing it is but it's ok.
First Line: "Five plus three equals eight."