the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Ian Stewart’ Category

Mathochist: Someone who sucks at math, and probably failed calculus a few times, yet voluntarily purchases and reads books about math, the history of math, fractals, etc, because it just feels so good.  i.e.: Me.

It’s a major faux pas to book-blog about a book you haven’t finished yet, isn’t it?  pfft. I’m a mathochist AND a faux pas blogger. And I have this sudden urge to listen to an old Tom Lehrer CD.

Which brings us in a very round about way to Ian Stewart’s Flatterland: like Flatland, but more so. You remember Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland, don’t you?  Came out like a hundred years ago, involves a 3-dimensional person who visits a 2-dimentional world called Flatland, and fails to explain to the flatlanders that there is a whole  new world out there?  It also involved much in the way of criticism and satire about Victorian England, all of which was lost on me. I was in it for the math.

So back to Stewart’s homage/sequel Flatterland: imagine if Richard Feynman’s seventh easy piece was written a la Alice in Wonderland, and every creature and or place taught you in the easiest language imaginable everything you ever wanted to know about math, the universe, and everything?  But as much as I love Feynman, he was never this witty.  All that, and I haven’t even finished reading the book yet!

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.