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A Little Book of Coincidence (Wooden Books) Hardcover – April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Wooden Books
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Walker & Company; First American Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780802713889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802713889
  • ASIN: 0802713882
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Martineau, an acclaimed geometer, is also the publisher of Wooden Books.

Customer Reviews

The pictures are beautiful.
James Owen
It clearly shows you that the support system called life is a very ordered affair and chaos is just a temporary transition between ordered states.
Mr. J. H. Allen
As usual Wooden books are clear and concise.
Sam Parker Artist Extraordinaire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Mark Samuels on July 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have been collecting this Walkers series and I have to say was not expecting anything like this little diamond. At face value it is a small guide to the solar system. But in fact my guess is that nothing even remotely like this book has ever appeared in print before. I predict people will look back on A Little Book of Coincidence as a defining moment in the story of man's understanding of what he is, what conscious life is, and where it appears in the universe.
The images are done in the style of old engravings, and indeed, as you enter the world as John Martineau presents it you feel as if you are reading some long lost magical text - each page is rich, precious, extraordinary and challenging. It becomes clear that Earth is much more special than simply being the right distance from the Sun. Martineau shows the Moon, Venus, Mars and Mercury as all manifesting simple relationships in time and space. These have all stayed with me and won't go away.
This is really a book about the ancient vision of the Harmony of the Spheres, and yet it is terrifyingly modern, bold, original and impossible to dismiss (as I keep trying to). It haunts one, initiates the reader and I still can't quite believe it actually exists!
An all time planet earth classic. How Plato or Kepler would have enjoyed this read.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Quite why there isn't more of a storm breaking over this elegant little book I can't work out. Brief, beautiful and to-the-point, it's been my top gift-book of 2004. Good original science wrapped up as magic, I'm still not sure where Martineau is exactly coming from, but there's no arguing with his data (which I have checked). A pity there is no statistical background to the findings he presents, but then this is not the kind of book for that anyway. For what it's worth I think he's probably right (although we won't know for another 100 years) - these kind of patterns may well be a signature of conscious life. I would kind of expect other solar systems with conscious life to also display phi and fibonacci-based relations around their primary 'conscious' planets. We know that liquid water takes an icosahedral structure. Martineau's ideas seem the next logical step. Ahead of its time. Recommended.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found the planet-centred pictures fascinating (even those involving the small planetoid Chiron which turns out to be highly harmonic/resonant with its neighbours). If I had one criticism of this book it would be that the author does not go into resonance as the likely explanation for many of the coincidences described, but hey, since most scientists don't want to talk about it either (it's not like they ever show the Earth-Venus pattern in their books) I can see why he goes for the Harry Potter style instead. This is a great book, leave it by the bed, read a little, and wake up more in tune with reality every day. Why has nobody noticed all this stuff before? Astrophysicists, wake up!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the statements on the ratios of planet diameters and orbits to be well presented and pretty straightforward but the "spirograph" images representing the relative motion of the planets in their orbits and the epicycles, which the author calls "kisses", left me a bit confused. The representation of epicycles on page 7 is clear and makes sense but from there the leap to the sort of creative rendition on page 23 appears to be pure artistry with only the smallest connection to observed reality.
Many comments are simply made with little or no explanation at all, e.g. on p.26, "Mercury also displays a harmonious calendar as its day is 2 of its years, a musical octave". OK. And about 365 earth days is one of its years, which probably isn't an octave. So what? Page after page had comments like this that simply left me wanting a more meaningful discussion.
Many of the "coincidences" presented were very intriguing indeed but I would caution the readers who are awestruck by this book to also read, "Numerology, or, What Pythagoras Wrought", by Dudley, Underwood for an enlightening evaluation of numerical 'coincidences'.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By James Owen on April 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a really great little book, a work of art. I like the way John Martineau leaves it to you, the reader, to make up your own mind over what these amazing coincidences mean. The pictures are beautiful. What an incredible place our solar system is. Why dont teachers teach us these things in school??
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By matthew Shortridge on January 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you turn each page, you are forced to ask, "How can that be?" And you have to just wondeer and reply, "It is." It is hard to really explain how this book rocks one's idea of how the cosmos seems to be put together, but if you really read it and pore over its concise drawings and explanations, you can't help but wonder how these ideas and observations are not taught, or at least entertained, in schools across the globe.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. DuBois on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I very much like the fact that this book isn't trying to state these coincidences are all part of a grander scheme. It lets us pose that question for ourselves.

The Spiro-graphic orbits - especially that of Venus / Earth are incredible. I must say though, a few of these coincidences are a stretch. Adding and subtracting whole numbers from phi allow many of these to occur, and I cannot see how this can be rationalized. Maybe I didn't understand it correctly, or I'm looking to deep into it.

This book is simple, and poses no views. In my opinion, look at it as interesting cosmic relations and planetary art - but don't look into it much further.
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A Little Book of Coincidence (Wooden Books)
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