Customer Reviews: Alex's Adventures in Numberland
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on January 6, 2012
I bought this book for my 11 year-old son who loves math. He was very excited to see it because last year he read a book by the same author entitled "Here's Looking at Euclid" and loved it. Entertaining, thought-provoking, thoroughly engaging. Then he started to read and it became apparent that "Alex's Adventures in Numberland" and "Here's Looking at Euclid" are the same book sold under two different titles. Buy one or the other and you won't be disappointed, just don't buy both.
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on May 23, 2011
This is an absolutely delightful and entertaining book. Great if you like math but intriguing even if math doesn't come easy. Each chapter takes you on a journey exploring worlds you may never knew existed. It is written in an engaging style that keeps you interested even when the math gets a bit overwhelming. Would recommend to anyone with average or above average intelligence and curiosity.
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on June 4, 2011
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes numbers, and maths. The book is, quite frankly, a delight to read. Alex starts with simple concepts in each chapter, and gradually takes you through more complex concepts. It is, at first glance, a simple book to read. However, it needs careful reading in order to fully understand all the concepts. The best part, however, is that you can come back to individual chapters and read them again.
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on November 16, 2014
It is as it says on the tin! This is a wide-ranging journey through some of the everyday situations that we see around us that have to do with numbers. These range through gambling (casino wheels, lotteries), Sudoku, abacus practitioners and Pythagoras triangles to the perfect shape for teeth. Add to this the meaning of infinity, and how one infinite number can be bigger than another, and you get the idea that this is a tour through some of the complexities and simplicities of numbers, number theory and how this impacts our life.

If you can get non-mathematicians (or rather non-number loving people) to read this book, and get say past the first 30 or 40 pages, they will learn something. The key may be getting them this far. However, Alex Bellos shows his enthusiasm shine through the pages. The real-life stories behind, for example, abacus whizz-kids may, just may promote similar excitement in readers. But this is not just surface froth – Bellos really does know what he is talking about, and the stories are a result of some extensive travelling.

Numbers and mathematics are not ‘boring’. Perhaps for too long it has been presented the wrong way in some of our schools and colleges. Pi, algebra, geometry and slide rules are not only explained by Bellos, but more to the point illustrated. This gives insight, but because of the explanation AND illustration, it also gives excitement.

Let me be clear. Reading this book will not make you a better Sudoku solver, or increase your winnings in a betting shop. However, it may open your eyes to the way in which mathematics invades everything in our lives, even areas that do not seem to be ‘mathematical’. What has a perfect smile got to do with maths? I’ll leave you to figure that out, guided by Bellos’ excellent book.

And as a final thought, followers of Lewis Carroll may be attracted to the book because of the deliberate pun in the title, alluding to the title of the mathematician Rev Charles Dodgson’s best known title – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
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on July 24, 2013
While the level of the book is relatively simple as books on math go there was still many interesting things to learn. It is a great book to pass on to friends and relatives that are not familiar with mathematics. In addition to some interesting math there are a some splendid stories. Highly recommended to all.
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on January 4, 2014
I purchased this book for my husband on December the 4th and it arrived (from Sweden) on December 30th. I was hoping it would be here for Christmas but i was aware it might not be. Despite that, my husband loves the book and is enjoying it! He has said it is a humorous book and I am sure it will be shared with a few people.
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on January 29, 2014
This is an essential book for all teachers of math or students off it. A wonderful explanation of the principals of math. I have completed a number of math papers at university and this explained probability better any of those.
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on March 2, 2016
This is one incredible book! It is so simple and interesting to read, and contains so many interesting information that I never heard before. I did not noticed, until now, that maths is so deeply integrated into our lives nad plays one very important role. Maths is basis for everything. Whatever we do maths is somewhere bihaind it waiting to be used.
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on January 10, 2015
This is a great great book. It deserves to be more popular than it probably will be. The chapter about the origins of zero is fantastic. "Arabic" numerals are actually Indian numerals. The Indians were the first to come up with zero, and it might have had something to do with Indian spiritual respect for nothingness, how about that? Now I know how to use a slide rule - its to do with how, to multiply something, you add the powers. And how can you crochet a surface that can not be expressed with a formula? Dunno. I'll just have to take the mathematicians' word for it.
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on February 18, 2015
I'm not sure what this book ultimately is, but what it is not is a book for non-math people, or kids, or math students in general, or whatever some of the other ridiculous reviews say. Stay away unless you are really in to math.
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