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The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded
     

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded

by Jim Ottaviani
 

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Award winning authors Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis present a historically accurate graphic novel biography of English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) is credited with many of the foundational principles of contemporary computer science. The Imitation Game presents a

Overview

Award winning authors Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis present a historically accurate graphic novel biography of English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) is credited with many of the foundational principles of contemporary computer science. The Imitation Game presents a historically accurate graphic novel biography of Turing’s life, including his groundbreaking work on the fundamentals of cryptography and artificial intelligence. His code breaking efforts led to the cracking of the German Enigma during World War II, work that saved countless lives and accelerated the Allied defeat of the Nazis. While Turing’s achievements remain relevant decades after his death, the story of his life in post-war Europe continues to fascinate audiences today. Award-winning duo Jim Ottaviani (the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Feynman and Primates) and artist Leland Purvis (an Eisner and Ignatz Award nominee and occasional reviewer for the Comics Journal) present a factually detailed account of Turing’s life and groundbreaking research—as an unconventional genius who was arrested, tried, convicted, and punished for being openly gay, and whose innovative work still fuels the computing and communication systems that define our modern world. Computer science buffs, comics fans, and history aficionados will be captivated by this riveting and tragic story of one of the 20th century’s most unsung heroes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/01/2016
A powerful, sympathetic portrait of one of the 20th century’s great minds, this graphic biography of Alan Turing doesn’t play the usual game of establishing its hero as the only smart person in the room. Here, the great brain of Bletchley Park was just one of many odd geniuses (albeit possibly the most innovative) who helped crack the Nazis’ seemingly unbreakable Enigma code machine. Writer Ottaviani (Feynman) threads the particulars of Turing’s life, from school to top-secret wartime cryptography to postwar scandal. But the book’s thought-provoking core is Turing’s pursuit of his groundbreaking idea of the universal computer and using his imitation game (a method of telling artificial intelligence from the real thing) to plumb the corners of his own personality. Purvis’s sometimes-clunky art suggests a more juvenile volume than is actually delivered in this fully three-dimensional portrait of a man whose contributions—to the modern world as well as the war—was only recognized long after his tragic disgrace. (Mar.)
Forbidden Planet International Blog

“Ottaviani and Purvis’ new graphic biography looks utterly fascinating.”
Library Journal
05/15/2016
The secret that earned Alan Turing (1912–54) an Order of the British Empire—that his cryptographic assistance shortened World War II by years—couldn't be revealed during his lifetime. But the secret that brought his tragic disgrace—his homosexuality—he naïvely admitted to the British police, and it was publicized widely by the press. Ottaviani's (Feynman) three-dimensional portrait departs from the similarly titled film in painting Turing as a brilliantly eccentric yet social fellow, with friends and pastimes. His so-called "imitation game" turned on whether a man can be taken for a woman or vice versa—and whether a machine can be taken for a human. Voice-overs supply viewpoints from Turing himself and people who knew him, providing both technical and lay accounts of his accomplishments in mathematics, code breaking, and artificial intelligence. Purvis (Suspended in Language) excels with the numerous characters in a basic yet approachable style, depicting Turing's youth in lighter watercolorlike tones and his adulthood with more intense hues. VERDICT Those drawn to Turing's story through the movie as well as others curious about the history of computing will find this nuanced treatment compelling.—MCThe secret that earned Alan Turing (1912–54) an Order of the British Empire—that his cryptographic assistance shortened World War II by years—couldn't be revealed during his lifetime. But the secret that brought his tragic disgrace—his homosexuality—he naïvely admitted to the British police, and it was publicized widely by the press. Ottaviani's (Feynman) three-dimensional portrait departs from the similarly titled film in painting Turing as a brilliantly eccentric yet social fellow, with friends and pastimes. His so-called "imitation game" turned on whether a man can be taken for a woman or vice versa—and whether a machine can be taken for a human. Voice-overs supply viewpoints from Turing himself and people who knew him, providing both technical and lay accounts of his accomplishments in mathematics, code breaking, and artificial intelligence. Purvis (Suspended in Language) excels with the numerous characters in a basic yet approachable style, depicting Turing's youth in lighter watercolorlike tones and his adulthood with more intense hues. VERDICT Those drawn to Turing's story through the movie as well as others curious about the history of computing will find this nuanced treatment compelling.—MC
School Library Journal
10/01/2016
Much like he did in Feynman (SLJ's Best Adult Books 4 Teens title of 2011), Ottaviani delivers a substantial introduction of Alan Turing. Different parts of his life are introduced by family, friends, and colleagues who are being questioned by an unseen interrogator. These panels are in soft black-and-white, with the interviewer's words in pink boxes; the main action is depicted in full color, with Turing's own commentary in yellow. This structure may be initially confusing but works well once decoded. Starting with Turing's troubles at school—untidiness and a lack of desire for much beyond advanced mathematics—the book moves through his days at Cambridge, Princeton, and then code breaking at Bletchley Park. After World War II, Turing tried to find an academic home but was arrested in 1952 for homosexuality, forced to undergo hormone treatments, and committed suicide. Readers will be shocked to learn how homosexuality was a punishable crime in England and how secret his war work had to be for the rest of his life. This secrecy is played for comic effect in a job interview but is shown to be devastating at his trial, as character witnesses were unable to say anything about how many lives were saved due to Turing's efforts. Readers may not fully understand the explanations of Turing's mathematics and its applications, but they'll be in good company—most of the people to whom he explains his thought process in the book are equally confused, emphasizing how ahead of his time he was. VERDICT An excellent introduction to a long overlooked genius; a wonderful addition to graphic novel and biography collections.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781613129319
Publisher:
ABRAMS
Publication date:
03/22/2016
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,265,578
File size:
102 MB
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Meet the Author

Jim Ottaviani is the recipient of multiple Eisner and Ignatz Award nominations and was awarded a Xeric Foundation grant. His work has made Booklist’s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth list, YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, and has been selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Leland Purvis is an Eisner and Ignatz Award nominee and an occasional reviewer for the Comics Journal. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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