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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected masterpiece
Who could have expected this jewel?

A comic book about Mathematical Logic
Created by Greek Mathematicians and artists
Structured around the life of Bertrand Russell
Starring characters include Wittgenstein, Hilbert, Peano, Cantor
Explains logic in a non-patronising, lightweight, clear way (so hard to do) - you do not need to be a specialist...
Published on 16 Oct 2009 by Merlin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A change from typical graphic novels
This is a real change of pace from the average graphic novel fare, it fits few of the standard genres of heroics and critical responses to the same I can think of and it isnt exactly typical of the magical realism or mundane/everyday extraordinary reads either.

The story's open sequence introduces the artists and writers themselves as they go to meet one of...
Published 17 months ago by Lark


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected masterpiece, 16 Oct 2009
This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
Who could have expected this jewel?

A comic book about Mathematical Logic
Created by Greek Mathematicians and artists
Structured around the life of Bertrand Russell
Starring characters include Wittgenstein, Hilbert, Peano, Cantor
Explains logic in a non-patronising, lightweight, clear way (so hard to do) - you do not need to be a specialist to understand this
Witty, flippant, and human story full of self-references to the authors

The commercial success of this book demonstrates the powerful demand for clear explanation of Science. Science does not need to be dumbed down a la BBC Science, presented by dingbats who know not of what they speak (to paraphrase Wittgenstein).

Congratulations to the authors - lets have more!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem, 14 Oct 2009
By 
Richard P. Bentall (Bangor, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This is an astonishing book, an absolute gem. It kept me captivated from beginning to end, and reawoke a long dormant fascination with matters philosophical. A work of genius that will be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind (no prior knowledge of maths or philosophy required).
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Bertrand Russell and meta-mathematics, 5 Oct 2009
This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
I just finished reading Logicomix. At first, I was rather skeptical about whether a comic book would do justice to covering the life of Bertrand Russell and his contemporaries (including Alfred North Whitehead, Georg Cantor, Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, Kurt Godel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, et al.) as they sought to discover more rigorous foundations for mathematics via logic -- their epic search for truth. I'm happy to report that this comic book does an excellent job of doing that and more. The two main co-authors of this book are from maths related backgrounds and they have largely succeeded in their goal of making accessible Bertrand Russell's (and others' -- particularly Wittgenstein's) life-long goal of discovering they key to attaining unshakeable knowledge of 'truths' fundamental to the workings of the universe. That they failed (thanks to Kurt Godel and Alan Turing and, to some extent, Russell and Wittgenstein themselves) in their quest -- which the book points out -- is nothing to be ashamed of since -- as the Greek authors of the book may point out (drawing upon Aristotle) -- the journey toward knowledge is rewarding in it of itself. It's also worth noting that the 'failure' of their original goals actually gave birth to the creation of an important and wholly new field of endeavor: computer science.

Please don't let my egg-headed, solemn-toned praise of this book put you off if you feel intimidated by logic, philosophy, or maths. This is one of those rare books that will give anyone -- regardless of the background knowledge one may or may not bring to it -- the sense of having been intellectually enriched and smarter after reading it.

After reading the entire book in one sitting on a Sunday evening, I can say that one of the few things I can be certain of is that everyone who takes the time to read/look over this carefully crafted -- including graphically, in the choice of words, and the thoughts and planning put into it -- will enjoy it as much as I did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 20 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
I read it in just 2 days. Great work has gone into this comic which brings mathematics at the forefront with the most exciting way. Even if you're not into mathematics or philosophy you will certainly find it very interesting. The great thing is that one can be introduced into the basics of 20th century philosophy quite neatly and more importnantly in an understandable way. Definitely recommend this book to anyone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A "philosophical" novel in the form of "comics", 19 Jan 2010
By 
K. Chlouverakis "C.Chlouverakis" (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
This book is described as an innovative graphic novel based on the life of Bertrand Russel. In fact it uses Russel's life (though incomplete and often inaccurate as the authors admit) to expose the dramatic journey of mathematical logic and meta-mathematics during the twentieth century.
I must confess that I was disappointed when I received the book and saw that it was in a format of "comics" to which I am entirely unaccustomed and find it inappropriate and depthless to tackle such a serious project. It took me quite sometime and more than fifty plus pages through it to begin to enjoy it and even get excited by it.
One reason I suppose the authors used this format is that there are numerous books already on this subject starting with the "classic" by Douglas Hofstadter " Godel, Escher, Bach".
As the narrative progresses, the affinity of "set theory" to metaphyscs (Erret Bishop called it "God's Mathematics") becomes more and more obvious) and its consequent effect on its students-many of whom became either mad, depressed or committed suicide- is one of the most successful aspects of the book. As the authors state: "Put a man on the brink of the abyss and-in the unlike event that he doesn't fall into it- he will become either a mystic or a madman". I found inadequate the description of Wittgenstein's change between the "Tractacus" and the "Philosopical Investigations" but the overall narrative flowed naturally to the final message which is that the human journey for truth will always be incomplete and fated to remain forever uncharted.
The pictures are generally good, some pieces of the text are very clever (although some are superfluous and/or flat) but at the end of its reading the book was very satisfying and enjoyable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An original treat for the mind, 30 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. J. H. Horsler (Clacton,Essex,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
This book breaks new ground for the graphic novel. It's so refreshing to see this sort of material presented in such a fresh and fun way. I loved it from beginning to end and if you've struggled with the concepts dealt with by this work then by the time you've read it all the lights will be on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful mix of story and theory, 19 Feb 2010
By 
Daniel Bor (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
Logicomix is a semi-fictional graphic novel, depicting the logician and philosopher Bertrand Russell's struggle to discover the rigorous logical underpinnings of everything, especially mathematics. The important connections between the human and logical elements are wonderful set up from the start, as Russell is called upon in a lecture at the start of the second world war to explain how logic can answerwhether or not the USA should enter the war.

As originally and cleverly explained by the authors in interludes, part of this story is about Russell as a man with an emotionally barren upbringing, the spectre of madness nearby, and many personal and ideological struggles throughout his life. But the other part of this is the theoretical struggle itself, what it means to attempt to axiomatise the world, whether there can be a firm foundation to logic, how it relates to language, to truth, and to the world, and ultimately what the implications are for the catastrophic failure to build a complete logical edifice.

Some of these aims may sound dry, but the human element is always present, and magnified by the beautifully drawn colour graphics, so that the book is very readable, even exciting in places. The stories of Russell and other major mathematical figures of the time are told so well, with such delicacy that you can't help but be drawn in. The structure of the book, told mainly in flashback, works brililantly. But above all, the theoretical discussions are both very clear and most importantly almost always intimately connected with the world, that the book is both profound and fascinating. The take-home messages, that knowledge is inherently complex and incomplete, that dogma should be discouraged, and that there is a pathological bravery in famous intellectual giants are brought to life with such finesse that they will echo in my mind for many days to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read, 3 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
If you like comic books, philosophy, mathematics, and logic, then you'll love Logicomix. Ostensibly an illustrated biography of Bertrand Russell and his quest for an axiom-free logical foundation for mathematics, it's also a beautifully drawn story weaving in big themes as varied as pacifism, truth, madness, heroism and set theory and featuring the 20th century's biggest philosophical thinkers - like Wittgenstein, Poincare, Cantor and Godel. If that sounds dry and academic, it's really not. You do get some funny looks when you're reading a comic book on a plane or train though...
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly creative, 16 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
Just finish Logicomix. As others have commented, it is a courageous tale encompassing many of the key characters who helped define modern mathematical reasoning and thought. You don't have to be an expert of either mathematics or philosophy to enjoy it but I did find myself dipping into Wikipedia on a regular basis to discover more!!

The presence within the novel of not only the authors (Apostolos Doxiades and Christos Papdimitriou), but also the artists (Alecos Papadatos and Anne Di Donna - both of whom by the way have created one of the lushest and richly conceived graphic novels on a par with my all time heroine, Posy Simmonds) is a clever contrivence which works well and adds real humanity to the tail.

PLEASE can we have a follow up (as per the exchange betwen Alecos and Christos on page 306): "The story of computers"; "a full new book rather, to which this is but the prologue!"

Whatever, highly recommended. Hugely enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 10 Jan 2010
This review is from: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth (Paperback)
I never imagined that, as a - what'e the euphemism? - seasoned individual, I would sit completely engrossed in a comic. But that's what happened. I just wish that books like this one had been around when I was younger.

The search for mathematical certainties in the first half of the 20th century (centred on Bertrand Russell, and involving Whitehead, Wittgenstein, Godel and more) may sound like an unpromising topic for "a good read", but the authors and illustrators pull the trick off sensationally well. Logicomix is brilliant.
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Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Christos H. Papadimitriou (Paperback - 7 Sep 2009)
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