• The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

  • By: Simon Singh
  • Narrated by: William Neenan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 10-29-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (192 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

The brainy new book by the best-selling author of Fermat’s Enigma a must for anyone interested in numbers and mathematics as well as for the millions of Simpsons fans worldwide.
Simon Singh offers fascinating new insights into the celebrated television series The Simpsons: That the show drip-feeds morsels of number theory into the minds of its viewers - indeed, that there are so many mathematical references in the show, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course.
Recounting memorable episodes from “Bart the Genius” to “Homer3,” Singh brings alive intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts - ranging from the mathematics of pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers and the most profound outstanding problems that haunt today’s generation of mathematicians. In the process, he illuminates key moments in the history of mathematics, and introduces us to The Simpsons’ brilliant writing team - the likes of David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Stewart Burns, all of whom have various advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, and other sciences.
Based on interviews with the writers of The Simpsons and replete with images from the shows, facsimiles of scripts, paintings and drawings, and other imagery, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets will give anyone who reads it an entirely new mathematical insight into the most successful show in television history.
©2013 Simon Singh (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Vivek Goyal on 05-19-14

Print probably better than audio

If you could sum up The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets in three words, what would they be?

If you like mathematics, The Simpsons, and Futurama, you will likely enjoy this book -- but mathematics is not a good topic to convey through audio.

If you’ve listened to books by Simon Singh before, how does this one compare?

I have not listened to or read any other books by Simon Singh.

What three words best describe William Neenan’s performance?

British. Accented. Disconnected. I have written very few audible reviews, but I was motivated to do so mostly because I disliked aspects of the performance. I am not a nationalist or chauvinist, but I was taken aback by a book on American cultural products (The Simpsons and Futurama) being delivered in a British accent and by someone who apparently is not familiar with this source material. (I realize that the author is British, so it is questionable for me to object in this way.) It bothered me to hear Edna Krabappel's last name mispronounced. No fan of the show would do so. The author is a fan of the show, but the performer apparently is not. In addition, Euler and Knuth were mispronounced, so the performer is apparently not familiar with mathematics, either.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My main reaction to this book was that it was a terrible idea to listen to (rather than read) a book with so much mathematics.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By P. Adlfinger on 12-21-15

Please reference the downloadable PDF

A fine book, but any book that relies so heavily on the PDF should not be made into an audio book.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By A. Wood on 12-17-13

Good Book, Poor Audiobook

The book itself is very interesting. Simon Singh has a deep understand of maths and The Simpsons. Mathematical concepts are put across in an easy to understand and fun way. I learned a great deal about maths and The Simpsons from it.

But there are a couple of things that spoil it as an audiobook.

The biggest problem with the audiobook is William Neenan's flat and lifeless narration. He makes no attempt to convey the humour in the book. He reads the jokes with the same drone he uses to read through umpteen decimal places of pi. Also, beware if you're the sort of nitpicking Simpsons fan annoyed by the mispronunciation of "kwyjibo". It's a shame the book isn't narrated by Singh himself.

The other, more minor, problem is the need for a PDF. When I'm listening to an audiobook it's not usually convenient for me to read a PDF. Sometimes you don't lose anything by looking up a reference later. But other times the diagrams are completely necessary for understanding the book (such as the diagrams in the explanation of Archimedes' method of approximating pi).

By the way, for those of you who came here to the product page to download the PDF as the book told you: it's not here. It's on your "Library" page.

Overall, I'd recommend giving the audiobook a miss and reading the book instead.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Karen Cooke on 07-22-15

Poor narrator makes it a struggle

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator - the monotone was very off putting and made it a struggle to listen - even though I am very interested in the subject matter.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 06-08-17

Must buy for any hardcore Simpsons fan.

Excellent book, highly recommended for any fans of Simpsons and Futurama who also have an appreciation for the mathematical subtleties underlying both series. I walked away from this with a much deeper appreciation for the series and the writers. The author also does an excellent job in providing historical context and significance for each of the references.

However, I wish there were an easy way to download the accompanying pdf of book excerpts on my phone, since the narrator refers to these throughout the book. This of course is not an issue with thr book itself, but rather the App.

The narrator does a fine job, but occasionally butchers the pronunciation of some prominent names.

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5 out of 5 stars
By michelle on 08-07-16

Great read

Great read. Futurama stuff is good on the book. Narrator could have been more enthusiastic.

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