The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever generator they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.
If you like this book, I highly recommend that you read it in the original binary. As with most translations, conversion from binary to decimal frequently causes a loss of information and, unfortunately, it's the most significant digits that are lost in the conversion.
After exploring the "Search Inside This Book" feature and snooping through a few of the embedded prose poems, I knew that this was a book I needed on my shelf. (Though I do admit I ordered it (ostensibly) for my girlfriend's birthday--and borrowed it when she was done!) I finished the tome in one enraptured sitting and, despite a limp third act denouement, the book was taut, well paced, and fresh.
I do, however, have one concern. I stumbled upon the book while looking up the ISBN number for Haynes' Owner Workshop Manual for Honda 2-valve Twins (1977 - 1985) -- and I got to thinking... Perhaps running across ISBN# 1 85010 359 3 in Rand's "A Million Random Digits" wasn't a coincidence -- perhaps some of the digits aren't that *random* at all. I don't mean to be an alarmist--and I certainly don't bandy about charges of plagiarism lightly--but if you will, please note this excerpt from the author's tender preface:
And after the embarrassment (we'd all rather forget) concerning Wm. T Metzger's otherwise breathtaking "Table of 10,000 square roots: Gives square roots up to 4 digits on the basis of the square roots arranged in consecutive order 1 to 10,000 and the numbers ranging from 1 to 100,000,000" the publishing world can't afford another snafu.
I took a class in statistics in college. I used this book to help me select random phone numbers for a poll I was conducting for my class project. (The most popular household cleanser in the greater Siouxland area is Bon Ami, by the way.) One of those phone calls was answered by the woman who is now my wife. We've been happily married for ten years! Thank you, RAND.