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The Imitation Game
Cover of The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game
Alan Turing Decoded

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.

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.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 1, 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.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-British scientist and mathematician Alan Turing pioneered theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence during the first half of the 20th century. Like many geniuses, he was misunderstood by most of his peers, and he was eventually ostracized because of his sexuality. Regardless, his work was instrumental in ending World War II as well as in revolutionizing computer science. This adaptation uses a pastel palette of watercolors, strong black lines, and dynamic storytelling devices to bring Turing's tale to life. Multiple narratives, including those of Turing, his mother, and several of his colleagues and friends, weave in and out, following Turing from adolescence to the end of his short life. Readers not familiar with the man may be confused by the multiple narrators, who are not clearly identified. Others will enjoy the mystery and putting the puzzle pieces together until a clearer picture of Turing is formed. Teens with math or computer science bent will enjoy this slice of history and will learn about logic and algorithms along the way. Those who are interested in social justice and LBGTQ rights will also be engaged. VERDICT While this graphic novel will appeal to a broad range of readers, the technical language describing Turing's work may dissuade some. An additional, although worthwhile, purchase.-Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    May 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 naively 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

    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 naively 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

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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