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Customer Review

on May 26, 1998
I've read The Man Who Counted some 30/35 years ago in its original Brazilian edition. My book has desappeared long ago, but I've never forgotten its content. Last year, while vacationing in Rio, I was browsing through a book store and came across with a new edition of Tahan's book, also in the Portuguese language. Coming back home, I checked on Amazon.com and was delighted to learn that an English version of the Man Who Counted was available. I ordered a copy and gave it to my 9 year old son, who loved the book, as much as I did when I was about his age. Malba Tahan presents practical mathematical problems and curiosities by telling the story of Beremiz Samir, a man who lived in the ancient Arabia, and who had an incredible ability for counting and calculating. Beremiz was a simple and humble man that utilized his mathematical skills with remarkable fairness and common sense. Traveling from his hometown of Samarra to the ancient Baghdad, Beremiz, on his way, helps merchands, family members and friends to settle their personal disputes about money, properties, etc... Beremiz's mathematical wisdom spreads rapidly through the region, and soon he is invited to the Royal Palace to give advise to sheiks and to the King himself. The arithmrtic and calculations in The Man Who Counted are based in real problems ecountered by Beremiz and the people he meets on his way. Along with the mathematical curiosities, Tahan also teaches valuable lessons of life, all presented in a narrative which makes you read this book as a novel, and go back to parts of it once you're done. This book is specially recommended for young people. With its collection of curious practical problems, and great storytelling, The Man Who Counted will probably stir the attention even of those kids that "hate" math. The ones who appreciate math will definitely love this book and, very likely, will never forget it.
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