I loved this even if I glossed over about two-thirds of it, which were quotes or paraphrases from other texts way over my head. I think I'd be a Sibylla type of parent (only not as smart) which probably wouldn't be the healthiest. This is precocious young boy story done right. I hated that other one by Franzen, with Oscar. But I like Ludo/Steven/David. Even though he's superhumanly smart, he's still a little boy. The ending made my heart ache. I have to go back and reread this again some time, because there are things I might have missed. But what I picked up from it, I enjoyed. I liked listening in on Sibylla's thought processes. I had to laugh at the rationale of leaving behind a few pages of annotated Greek instead of a simple morning-after "It was fun, had to go" note. There a subtle touches of humor when the two smart characters are being perfectly serious but the ideas they get are so... They have the oddest ways of thinking, it makes me envious. Learning the language of the Eskimos just in case your explorer father needs you on an expedition. Brushing up on science to prove your genes to an astronomer father. And Sibylla's test: When you see what's bad about these things (a piece of music, an article, a painting) you will be ready.
I like that I also learned how to read Greek a bit and how to add consecutive numbers using the Gauss trick, which is pretty neat. I purposely skipped over the Japanese characters part so as not to mess up the Chinese in my head, but if you wanted to you could have also picked up a few kanji from this book. And also the best way to commit suicide.
Will watch Seven Samurai and maybe even more will start to make sense.