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37 Reviews
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
a well written and witty look at hundreds of mathematical puzzles, stories and jokes. I am a maths teacher and there is so much material here, it's amazing. I have already used a few of these with my classes and the puzzles have really caught their imagination. Highly recommended

although the solution to the problem on page 143 is wrong
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by Amazon Customer

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless as an ebook
So badly formatted for the Kindle its almost unreadable. Answers to problems are not linked so you have to guess the location. I just gave up it was so much hassle!
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by Bruce N


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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 22 Oct 2008
By 
a well written and witty look at hundreds of mathematical puzzles, stories and jokes. I am a maths teacher and there is so much material here, it's amazing. I have already used a few of these with my classes and the puzzles have really caught their imagination. Highly recommended

although the solution to the problem on page 143 is wrong
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for the lover of Puzzles and Logic, 22 Sep 2009
I picked this up to leaf through it the day it arrived, whilst already halfway through another book, AND I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!
Packed full of puzzles, and funny quirks of number patterns, this book is for readers of all abilities who have an interest in numerical gymnastics.
The other main component of the book is the history of mathematical research and development, in which Stewart gives an insight into the discovery of numerous maths theories and laws. And whilst this is -- at times -- heavy going, it's delivered in bite-size sections, interspersed throughout the book, which itself is given in tiny portions, allowing the reader to pick up and read at any time.
Brilliantly collected puzzles and stories with easy-to-understand solutions and explanations, Stewart's jovial delivery makes this book an unalloyed pleasure. 10/10!
Andy Gibson, 35, Fleet, Hampshire.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget about what you thought about math in school, 1 July 2009
By 
This book is full of little gems, it's a great little read.
Forget about what some of the other comments said, if your a average person with average abilities in mathematics you should easily understand this book just as I did, I'm no brain box. If your not too good at math then maybe give this a miss, otherwise pick this book up and give it a read.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless as an ebook, 24 Nov 2010
By 
Bruce N (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities (Kindle Edition)
So badly formatted for the Kindle its almost unreadable. Answers to problems are not linked so you have to guess the location. I just gave up it was so much hassle!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable and well-pitched, 27 July 2011
I'm a (new) maths teacher, and found this book really enjoyable and interesting, both for me and for my pupils. Stewart has a great style - very accessible and friendly. However, I don't think it would be accessible to anyone who didn't do reasonably well in GCSE maths etc (i.e. that level of knowledge and technique is presumed).
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent value., 27 Feb 2009
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this book is perhaps one of his best books yet. the puzzles are varied enough to allow you to read through the whole book and/or dip in at various intervals. the presentation of the information and puzzles is very clear and consise and often leads to reading another of his books. however, the only bad point is that some of the puzzles have been done before by other books. excellent value for money and it has a charming style. suitable for first timers and the experienced
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genius, 3 Feb 2009
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J. Burn (UK) - See all my reviews
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This book kept a brainy 17-year old engrossed for hours over Christmas. Worth every penny. I'll be looking out for more by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little original here, lots of rehashed stuff, 2 Nov 2010
By 
I expect more from Ian Stewart than this. There are too many books around with this subject matter and in order to stand out it has to have that something extra. This one doesn't.

There are so many hackneyed old puzzles in here that really need to be laid to rest. The wolf, the goat and the cabbage - again? That one was done to death in The Office, for goodness sake. Stewart himself has already covered this one in its entirety in one of his earlier books anyway.

That said, it's readable and passably entertaining. Just too short on real meat.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it got me interested in magic squares, 17 Nov 2008
By 
Andrew Salmon "andyfish" (leicestershire) - See all my reviews
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this book admittedly is not laid out in an obviously systematic way but i m not sure that matters. it got me interested in some things that i thought were rather boring, and on the whole though i haven t read it all through yet it does seem to the makings of a very good read, though inevitably some of the puzzles will be very familiar.

the version that i have has an incorrect printing of the 3x3 "nearly magic" square on p66, the first of the two examples. the fix is fairly easy though and provides a nice additional problem for anyone interested!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone interested in mathematics., 24 May 2010
By 
A. P. J. Jansen (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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Writing popular books on mathematics is a subtle balancing act. If you make things too simple, then there will be people that complain that the book is not challenging or even boring. If you make things too complicated, then you lose much of your readership. Ian Stewart generally gets it just right. Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities is somewhat lower level than his How to Cut a Cake and Math Hysteria, but it is still interesting even for people with a good mathematical background. This is because Stewart does write about complicated things, but manages to make understandable.

Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities more than 200 entries. Many are about mathematical problems and puzzles (some for the reader to solve; solution are given), but there are also entries about the history of mathematics. There are quite a few things you may have encountered before if you are already longer interested in mathematics (for example there are entries on the four-colour theorem, the bridges of Koenigsberg, Fermat's last theorem, magic squares, degrees of separation, space-filling curves, Fibonacci numbers, the Moebius band, chaos theory, the Goldbach conjecture, Hilbert's hotel, Euler's formula, Goedel's theorems, the game of life, and many others), but there is a lot that you will not have seen before.

Personally I like How to Cut a Cake and Math Hysteria better, because these book delve deeper in the problems that they discuss, but I still highly recommend Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities.
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