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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Practical... but don't be fooled!
This book is exceptional in its ability to communicate difficult concepts in a light and entertaining manner. It seems to me that those who gave this book low ratings seem to think that the book should have magically imparted its knowledge upon them with no effort on their part.
Indeed, although Gonick presents the details via cartoons, that does not change the...
Published on 3 Aug. 1999

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing refresher but not for beginners!
I teach basic statistics as part of Lean Six Sigma courses, and I bought this book to see if it could help students understand basic concepts. I found it an amusing read, but I suspect a reader not already familiar with the topics would find this hard going.
Published on 28 Jun. 2009 by J. P. Attard


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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Practical... but don't be fooled!, 3 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
This book is exceptional in its ability to communicate difficult concepts in a light and entertaining manner. It seems to me that those who gave this book low ratings seem to think that the book should have magically imparted its knowledge upon them with no effort on their part.
Indeed, although Gonick presents the details via cartoons, that does not change the fact that "Sigma" is still "Sigma", and if you don't understand exactly what "Sigma" represents before moving on to the next concept, then you will not understand the subsequent lessons.
ie. Just because cartoons tell the tale, it doesn't mean that you will breeze through this book as you might a comic book. The individual concepts must be read and reread and perhaps even contemplated in order to truly understand each one before moving on to the next concept. If you do not do this, then, of course, nothing will make sense.
This is a book of statistics, not miracles...thus work will still be necessary in order to absorb the basic concepts within it.
Nevertheless, this book is far clearer and much more fun to read than any other stat book I've opened before. Very highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing way to learn stats, but don't expect it to be too easy., 28 July 2008
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
I got hold of this book because I was looking for a textbook I could recommend to colleauges who needed to boost their stats knowledge but who were definately not expert statisticians. I thought that the more amusing presentation might hold the interest of non-mathematicians better than most textbooks.

It's aimed at the kind of reader who needs to use statistics but has the attitude to them which one of my colleagues at an Economics department meeting at University once parodied by saying of the title of a stats course, "That'll sound to most students like 'Come and stick your hand in a bowl of piranha fish!'"

Well, this book does cover the material in an entertaining way, and the cartoons are both relevant and amusing.

But don't imagine that this will make statistics easy. It's a reasonably good presentation of the principles of statistical analysis, put together in a humorous way. My colleagues did find it easier to pick up and read. In that sense I would guardedly describe this as a success and I'd give it four stars.

While the book does make it easier to make the effort to apply yourself to the subject, it does not magically eliminate any requirement for that intellectual effort and never could have.

In fact, if you are looking for an applied statistics or Econometrics textbook which expresses the equations and what you need to do clearly and in relatively simple language, I have read one or two - Yeomans "Studies in Applied Statistics" or Maddala's "Econometrics" spring to mind - which are easier to follow.

My main minor irritation with this book is that it is printed in a font which looks like handwriting, presumably to match the cartoons, and I find this slightly harder to read than standard typescript.

Nevertheless, it's entertaining, the stats is sound, and if you want to a stats textbook for someone who would have difficulty making themselves even pick up the average maths book, never mind read it, this may be what you're looking for.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a refresher on Statistics, 31 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
I graduated with an Engineering Degree having taken three statistics classes in College, getting solid B's in each. Yet after being out of school for a while and needing to brush up, I picked up this book and found it very good at reminding me of the major concepts. Excellent book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing refresher but not for beginners!, 28 Jun. 2009
By 
J. P. Attard - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
I teach basic statistics as part of Lean Six Sigma courses, and I bought this book to see if it could help students understand basic concepts. I found it an amusing read, but I suspect a reader not already familiar with the topics would find this hard going.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Comforting Cartoon Therapy for the Statphobic, 8 Jun. 2011
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
This book was listed as an optional textbook for an introductory statistics class, placing it on a shelf in the campus bookstore next to a book I needed to buy. My eye was attracted by the cartoon cover and, after a quick scan, I decided to buy it. It was worth it.

Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith cover the same content as many introductory statistics books. The eleven core chapters cover basic statistical concepts, the nature of data, and the essentials of probability, random variables, distributions, sampling, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, comparing samples, designing experiments and regression. It is a lot of material that flows quickly. The final chapter introduces "a biased sample" of advanced statistical techniques. A bibliography--reasonably up-to-date when the book was published--points the reader on to further learning about statistics.

The book's title gives the fun part away. The authors use the panel-by-panel presentation style and humorous asides of cartoons as their primary mode of presentation. This works surprisingly well. It makes readers--particularly those intimidated by statistics--comfortable and ready to just read the panels. An instructionally useful side effect is the repeated use of graphical rather than textual definitions of statistical concepts. The tongue-in-cheek humor reinforces the relaxing experience of reading cartoons and eases the learning experience.

I have never required this book as a text for a statistics class. But I have listed it as an optional text and I have loaned it to a student or two. It is good therapy for those afraid of their first statistics class. And it's a fun read for those who have already passed this hurdle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice companion for the challenged, unleashed potential, 12 July 2009
By 
Benno Hansen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
Stating "technical reasons" for standard deviances of samples being calculated with n-1 in stead of n as with populations is not good enough. Isn't funny. Otherwise marvellous idea.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to follow, 9 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
Excellent idea but difficult to follow due to the presentation of material. I would not recommend this book for students who are having difficulty understanding basic statistics. Perhaps it would be useful to supplement learning for individuals who possess basic statistical knowledge.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, fun presentation of statistics, 6 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
Statistics is one of the things that everyone should know about, but no-one wants to learn. This book is a college-level, amazingly clear introduction to statistics. Another winner from the Gonick pen!
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3.0 out of 5 stars generally a good series, 12 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
I bought it to see if it would help me remember my 40 yr old stats, without the tedium of text books.

Not as good as Gonicks history series, or his chemistry/physics books.

Those I can show the kids but this is too deep. Nothing wrong with that but a different level of detail.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Cartoon Guide to Statistics, 25 Feb. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
While The Cartoon Guide to Statistics looked very promising to begin with, it soon became quite confusing. Ultimately and unfortunately, The Cartoon Guide to Statistics was of no real use, at least not for a beginer. In particular, the priciples were not explaind in enough detail. The authors tends to jump from one point to the next without adequate explaination. Although it is a cartoon guide, the cartoons often have little to do with the statistics and were only used for humerous effect. Speaking of humour, the book is amusing, but after a while, not being able to understand the statistics is too frustrating to enjoy the humour. All in all, this book is not really for the beginer.
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Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series)
Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) by Woollcott Smith (Paperback - 27 July 2000)
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