The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

  • by Simon Singh
  • Narrated by William Neenan
  • 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Vivek Goyal

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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- P. Adlfinger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-29-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury