Paperback review: Thinking in Numbers, By Daniel Tammet
A clever book about maths that just doesn't add up
Sunday 10 February 2013
This is a book about the unsuspected influence of mathematics on our lives, laws, language and literature.
There are chapters on Shakespeare's use of zero, on the maths of probability, and the likelihood of life elsewhere in the Universe, on all the different versions of Lolita which would result from rearranging Nabokov's index cards, and on the links between mathematical proofs and Ancient Greek rhetoric. Tammet certainly knows a lot; but, I am not sure why, the book failed to engage me. It reminded me a little of those irksome Post-modern critics who drag in every scrap of lore they happen to possess, and strain every sinew to pretend it's relevant.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Mike Read 'apologises unreservedly' for Ukip Calypso and withdraws it from sale
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'