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Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn's 11 fingers, or his many siblings, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person, and how we can make sense of those we love. Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about math and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.
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By Gary on 08-14-13
An Ode to Imagination
The book listens like a long poem and explains how our understanding of the world comes about through our imagination and understanding the maths that make up our world and is the key to understanding our place in the universe. As in any good poem it's probably best listened to by the author who wrote it. It did take me all of three minutes to realize that the author was a very good narrator and his speech patterns did take those three minutes for me to get used to. After that, I realize he was the best reader for the book.
The author really makes his work speak to me. For example, his explanation that Shakespeare at his core uses the "presence of the absence" makes me finally appreciate Shakespeare. Shakespeare was the first class of students in England to accept zero (cipher) and use Arabic numbers including zero. The existence of nothing (cipher) has consequences. Shakespeare helped make the world aware of that.
Another example, Abraham Lincoln loved Euclid's elements and in his debates with Douglas, say, would speak as if he was quoting from Euclid to make his points. Another example, the author states Pythagoras was the first to realize the power of the imaginary over tradition (myths and the empirical) and why that was so important for understanding our place in the universe.
The book is full of gems like the above examples. I never got lost while listening to the math stuff in the book, sometimes I would get lost on foreign words such as how the Icelandic use many different words for the smaller numbers.
Those who are not good with math and numbers will follow the major points. Imagination and how we use is understandable by all listeners.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Al on 11-07-13
One of those times the author shouldn't narrate.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The information was fun to listen to, but the narration was extremely hard. He has a British accent but lives in France. This makes him very hard to listen to and at times hard to understand.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Often times the narrator brings an energy to the book or an excitement for the content, in this case he was to hard to understand for that to come through. I spent most of the time trying to get past his accents.
Any additional comments?
I would recommend this book for someone to read but not listen to.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful