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9 Reviews
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleasurable introduction to phi/golden ratio/golden spiral/Fibonacci
This book was formerly called "Divine Proportion" and I am not sure why it needed to be renamed, the cover art is the same as before, for instance.

It is a good introduction to phi, its importance in mathematical, scientific, and aesthetic theories and how it has been used through the ages. The numerous illustrations are delightful but it's true that there is...
Published on 13 Feb 2009 by D&D

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but awkward
There is some fascinating stuff in this book which I've really enjoyed reading. The layout is rather annoying though as there is not just one main bulk of text but lots of side columns of texts and snippets of information. This makes it rather awkward to read as you either have to interrupt what you are reading in the main bulk, to read the other bits, or just carry on...
Published 18 months ago by anon


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleasurable introduction to phi/golden ratio/golden spiral/Fibonacci, 13 Feb 2009
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D&D - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
This book was formerly called "Divine Proportion" and I am not sure why it needed to be renamed, the cover art is the same as before, for instance.

It is a good introduction to phi, its importance in mathematical, scientific, and aesthetic theories and how it has been used through the ages. The numerous illustrations are delightful but it's true that there is little depth in the actual text, much of which seems to provide brief biographies of various famous people who used the divine proportion.

The author uses very little space explaining the actual use of the number but nevertheless the book is a pleasure to read: chapters cover basics of phi in design, architecture, art, music, nature, science and mysticism. Overall, it provides a good introduction to this magical geometry, found throughout nature, our world and the universe.

For a much more thorough book that covers all the numbers from 1 to 10 and including phi, I suggest "A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe" by M. S. Schneider. "Patterns of Eternity", quite complex, is dedicated to the starcut diagram, which the author believes, and shows quite convincingly, lies at the heart of sacred art and architecture throughout the ages and across diverse cultures. Although simpler, I also liked "Sacred Geometry" by Stephen Skinner enough to buy it after I had borrowed it twice from the library.

For anyone wanting to use phi in design work, "Geometry of Design" by Elam would be a more helpful book: it covers almost all you need to know about geometry and proportions on design and also shows how to develop all kind of proportional rectangles, triangles, etc, and how to divide them.

"Universal Principles of Design" by Lidwell, Holden and Butler is also excellent: an overview of the most abstract design principles that can then be applied to everyday life. The authors articulate design fundamentals clearly and supply concrete examples (on the facing page). The organisation, examples and presentation are excellent. For the non-designer, a wonderful reference and primer on classic design principals and why they matter.

[Later note: "Source Field Investigations" by Wilcock includes some amazing new scientific information about sacred (or quantum) geometry.]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but awkward, 6 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
There is some fascinating stuff in this book which I've really enjoyed reading. The layout is rather annoying though as there is not just one main bulk of text but lots of side columns of texts and snippets of information. This makes it rather awkward to read as you either have to interrupt what you are reading in the main bulk, to read the other bits, or just carry on and then turn back once you are finished. This would've worked alright if the information was grouped into pages better. This may sound like a minor detail but it changes the feel of the whole book from that of one with a start and finish to that of a mish-mash encyclopedia about one thing. This may not bother some people though.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars golden ratio, 5 May 2012
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Dee (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
This is an excellent and simple book which beautifully covers the subject. There are a lot of rubbishy books out there on this subject but I am delighted to have, at last, found this one. Highly recommend to anyone wanting a simple explanation of a complex subject. Beautifully presented in a quality book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't fulfill its promise., 12 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
This book is beautifully presented with a gorgeous cover, sumptuous thick pages and fascinating illustrations. However, the promise of these first impressions isn't fulfilled. Whilst the illustrations are beautiful, many bare little relation to the text and seem to have been placed there purely to make the book look more `coffee table'.
The text is frequently interrupted with panels or pages of different data, interrupting the flow of an already confusing book! I chose this book because I wanted a better understanding of the Fibonacci sequence and the Divine Proportion - but I am even more confused now... The book starts out well and the reader feels that all will be explained in the following pages, but it never is!
I feel the author, Priya Hemingway, tried too hard to be `all things to all people'. I have read other work of hers during my studies and her interest in religion does appear here. Frequent references are made to different beliefs, often in illustrations, yet her point leads nowhere and often has little true connection to the `secret code' itself.
Weirdly, despite not understanding much of it, I did enjoy reading it - hence the 3 stars!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed with the plain English and easy explainations, 9 Dec 2011
By 
Lin Goodwin (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
I have issues with maths in any form but as an artist interested in allegory, mythology and symbolism it is imperitive that I learn to understand things like Fibonacci Spirals and the Golden Mean, Ratio etc. I have read other books and sections of books that even had diagrams but left me none the wiser. Not only does this book explain the history and concepts of these important formulae but helps one to obtain an understanding. The diagrams and formulations are so simple even I could 'get' them and the explanations comprehensive. I feel it has really enhanced my understanding so much that with a little practice I would now feel confident using these concepts in my art. It also explains many geometric shapes and the philosophy behind them.
Excellent! I also love the cover and the design and readability and the artwork. A lovely book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 3 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
This is a wonderfully well written book which explains Phi in an extremely informative and easy-to-understand way.

I never knew how influencial the devine proportion of the number 1.6180.. was until I learned about the golden section; from DNA to weather patterns and from art and music to mysticism.

A great starting point in order to get a better understanding of the world around us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
What a beautiful and intriguing book, written by someone who clearly loves her subject. It is a book which ascribes mysteries to the divine and makes for great thinking and pondering. Nice photographs throughout.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously let down, 4 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
When I opened the package I felt a rush of anticipation ,the book was clearly well made, with thick pages, rich colour and heavy printing. On reading, Disenchantment was quick to come. The illustrations are fine, though bearing little relevence to the subject. The main text is waffle. Padding pretending to be profound insight. The panes dedicated to the actual divine no are written by someone who clearly knows his subject, but assumes the reader is au fait with the math, little being explained in detail.

If you want to have a nice coffee table book that says'I am really clever and interesting' buy this book. If not, don't
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Code: The mysterious formula that rules art, nature and science, 16 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula That Rules Art, Nature, and Science (Hardcover)
I was pleasantly surprised when the book arrived, it is hard backed, pleasing to look at and of excellent quality paper. The contents of the book contain all that I wish to know (at my level) of the Divine Proportion and Fibonacci. It is very easy to read and with many coloured illustrations to enhance the text. A book you can dip in and out of or read in one go.
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