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3.7 out of 5 stars6
3.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 April 2008
If you have read the book, "Why do buses come in threes" many of the statistical quirks identified in this book will be known to you. There are however a number of humerous anecdotes in this book that make it a worthy purchase, especially the story about the frog! Some way into the book the author gets bogged down a bit in electoral statistics, but his stuff on gambling is surprisingly readable and will certainly keep me out of casinos for the forseeable future.
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on 3 November 2012
Struck by Lightning is a brief and entertaining mix of cases from the world of probabilities.

The book is written in an easily-understandable language and includes many examples of the role probability plays in our everyday lives. The book is easy and quick to read.

The reader doesn't need to have any preceding knowledge of probability theory to enjoy this book. The book will serve as a great introduction to anyone who wants to know the basic of probability theory and how this knowledge can be helpful in everyday situations.

Struck by Lightning is a pop-science book and people who are already familiar with probability theory may find this book too light, although the numerous examples of how probability theory applies to the real world may serve as a nice short break from more theoretic books.

The book briefly explains the fundamental probability behind various topics. Below is a list of some of the concepts explained in the book:

-Probability of dices and various games (e.g. Poker, Craps, Roulette etc.)
-Law of Large numbers
-Expected value
-Six degrees of separations
-The Birthday Problem (the chance of two people in a crowd sharing the same birthday)
-Poisson clumping
-The true probability of certain events (e.g. homicide, attack of terrorist, winning the lottery, airplane crashing etc.) as opposed to the view proposed by politicians, the media or your own mind.
-Utility functions (e.g. making choices by asserting a value to different outcomes and multiplying the probability of each outcome)
-The Monty Hall problem
-Spam filters

In short: Struck by Lightning contains lots of brief examples of how probability works in real life presented in an easy to understand language.
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on 26 January 2009
This book is probably OK for complete newcomers, but seems a bit lightweight if you were hoping for some new insight or research. What really spoils it though, is the embarrassing 'anecdotes'; silly little stories that illustrate a point about probability whereby the other characters are made to look stupid, while the author comes out of it as the 'winner' because he's so smart. Albeit smug, nerdy and very, very punchable :-)
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on 17 October 2013
This book is captivating and enlightening. It introduces several daily situations and problems and explains how probabilities are related to them in an easy way. As a teenager, it was a great thing how I finished the book eagerly without being bored.
The only disadvantage I'd say is the fact that all the maths behind it isn't explained in great detail, but it does give you enough to get the gist of it I suppose.
A great read, I recommend you get it. It's suitable for everyone :)
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on 1 April 2008
This book is great light reading into probability theory in an interesting way, such as your chances of winning the national lottery: if you bought one ticket a week... it would take 250,000 years to win!!!

Highly recommended, for all.
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on 9 September 2009
If probability has been a mystery to you, read this book! It is entertaining and enlightening.
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