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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything for the aspiring 'Dandy' in the modern day world!
This book is really different - probably because it's written by two professors who apply mathematics to the principles of tying a tie, but it makes for a refreshing read. An invaluable resource for the modern day gentleman, this book tells you which knot suits a cutaway collar, etc etc, but it also provides a fascinating insight into the history of the neck tie (and its...
Published on 1 Jan 2002 by R. H. Griffiths

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3.0 out of 5 stars Tiny Tome, Big Bucks
First impression: This is a small book! With the prices posted for this little bood, I was under the impression that it would be more substantial. Second, the paper quality is that of a "bargain basement" book, with the exception of the color plates. Third, with an original retail price of 5.99 British Pounds ($10.22) the prices asked for this tome are...
Published 3 months ago by Russ Collins


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything for the aspiring 'Dandy' in the modern day world!, 1 Jan 2002
By 
R. H. Griffiths (North Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots (Paperback)
This book is really different - probably because it's written by two professors who apply mathematics to the principles of tying a tie, but it makes for a refreshing read. An invaluable resource for the modern day gentleman, this book tells you which knot suits a cutaway collar, etc etc, but it also provides a fascinating insight into the history of the neck tie (and its predecessors.) An excellent Christmas gift for Dad, I give this book 5 stars for entertainment, and value for money.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting read!, 15 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Leave it to mathematics to discover new ways to express an art form. As a passionate collector of fine neckwear ( I own several hundred ties ), I was very interested to see what these boys came up with. In addition to the four styles I knew previously, I can now boast four more practical methods of tying my beloved cravates. This is a very good book for anyone who feel as Oscar Wilde did: "One should either wear a work of art or be a work of art". I highly recommend it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from "The List" in the Guardian, 13 November 1999, 21 Jan 2000
By A Customer
As I recline weekly in velvet smoking jacket and exquisite cravat to dictate The List to my oiled, submissive stenographer, it is often given to me to muse on the science and aesthetics of tie knots. Happily, Messrs Fink and Mao have now systematized the study of this most indispensable of gentlemen's apparel. Our authors are Cambridge physicists, and they have devised a highly ingenious mathematical method of proving exactly how many different ways there are to tie a tie, given certain practical (tie length, volume of knot) and aesthetic (symmetry) constraints. Such an advance in our understanding is the fruit of knot theory, a branch of topology under which we can see that a tie is a random walk on a triangular lattice. This eminently desirable little volume also paints a deft history of the tie, with clear knotting diagrams for each of its sartorial results. A perfect seasonal gift for fathers who would like to enter the new millennium more sprightly of step, and more elegant of neck.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from Physics World, January 2000, 21 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Publishers seem to have hit on a winning formula for non-fiction books in recent years. Take a seemingly estoric subject, mix in lots of history, add plenty of anecdotes, keep it short, and print the book in a nice, compact form with expensive paper and lots of arty pictures. The best-selling Longitude by Dava Sobel led the way, and now her publishers - Fourth Estate - have repeated the magic with this book on the physics of tie knots.
It's a brilliant idea for a book. Thomas Fink and Yong Mao are condensed-matter theorists at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, and their work on tying knots made headlines around the world last year after it was published in Nature (1999, 398, 31). Using ideas from statistical mechanics, they worked out that there are 85 ways to tie a necktie. However, only 13 of these knots were deemed to be aesthetic on the grounds of "symmetry" and "balance". Three of these - the Windsor, the half-Windsor and the four-in-hand - were already widely known, whilst a fourth, dubbed the Nicky, was found to be a simpler version of the unaesthetic "Pratt", which was invented to much acclaim in 1989. This left nine brand new ways to tie a tie.
This book provides a full description of how to tie each of the 85 ties, with glossy pictures of the 13 aesthetic ties. There is a history of tie-wearing - the Duke of Windsor apparently did not invent the Windsor - and a brief discussion of the science of knots. There are also some (rather grainy) pictures of various celebrities wearing ties - Ernest Rutherford, it seems, favoured the four-in-hand.
So rather than publish what could have been a straightforward but possibly dull book about the science of knots, the authors have thought laterally to come up with an imaginative and clever book that must have had the publishers' marketing executives licking their lips. Other physicists who think they have a book inside them could do well to study this book's successful formula.
Martin Durrani, for Physics World.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre but very amusing, 7 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots (Paperback)
This book is absolutely bonkers but also very funny. I don't know if the authors intended it to be this way but it's a hoot. Perfect stocking filler!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book on tie knots to leave one in stitches, 21 Sep 1999
By A Customer
What might first appear to be a dry and yawn-inspiring work turns out in fact to be a rare and unusual treat: a carnival of mathematical acrobatics and (to coin a phrase) a "philosophy of style". The authors Fink and Mao pull off admirably this wonderful fusion of knot theory and the history of the humble tie knot, discussing both knots tried and true as well as introducing a few tricks of their own. A fine ornamentation piece for coffee tables and home libraries alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to get knotted by Cambridge boffins, 23 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This book is a sparkling new account of the history *and* future of tie knots. Having traced the origins of this obscure ornament, this pair of fashion-minded physicists also shape its future, by creating numerous more wierd and wonderful nooses. I could not put it down! I will certainly not content myself with my boring standard knot any more but will startle my colleagues with some of Fink and Mao's confections. Every man should have this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming addition to the shelves of any well dressed man, 4 April 2000
By A Customer
A well tied tie is a curious but undoubtedly essential part of any man's attire. Nonetheless until now, and despite the kind demonstrations of several associates, I have not been able to reach beyond the bounds of the humble four in hand. What I really needed was a clear set of instructions and better still a smorgasboard of possibilities to choose between as the occasion demanded. Imagine my delight therefore, when this charming book caught my eye last Christmas! Not only was I treated to my heart's desire (as far as the tying of ties is concerned), but a veritable feast of history, mathematics and science to boot. My congratulations to all concerned in the production of this little gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative book on ties, 14 Feb 2000
By A Customer
The book begins with a a fascinating history of ties and mens dress from the reign of Charles II to the present, with exerpts from Randle Holme in 1688 to Esquire in the 1950s. Chapter 2 discusses practical knots and knot theory and then applies it to ties. In Chapter 3 the authors present the 85 new knots. Many are interesting and are accompanied by historical anecdotes and advice (which in fact comprise some of the book's best material). A final 3 page table summarizes everything. For mathematicians, a technical derivation of the 85 ways to tie a tie is presented in an appendix, complete with equations. The text and illustrations are at times hilarious. It would be nice if it were longer though. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb and thrilling history and theory, 1 Mar 2001
By A Customer
The book begins with a history of ties from the reign of Charles II to the present. The next chapter shows a few practical knots and explains knot theory and then applies it to those ties. In Chapter 3 the book discusses the 85 new knots. Many are interesting and are accompanied by stories and advice (which is probably the book's strongest point). Then there is a brief summary of everything. Equations show the complete mathematical model for those technically inclined (like me). It might seem boring, but it really is at most times hilarious and witty. Suuper. Among the best books I have read in the past year. I would recomend it to anyone - scientiss and fashion designers - as it joins two seemingly seperate arts.
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