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Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing way to learn stats, but don't expect it to be too easy., 28 July 2008
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This review is from: Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guide Series) (Paperback)
I got hold of this book because I was looking for a textbook I could recommend to colleauges who needed to boost their stats knowledge but who were definately not expert statisticians. I thought that the more amusing presentation might hold the interest of non-mathematicians better than most textbooks.

It's aimed at the kind of reader who needs to use statistics but has the attitude to them which one of my colleagues at an Economics department meeting at University once parodied by saying of the title of a stats course, "That'll sound to most students like 'Come and stick your hand in a bowl of piranha fish!'"

Well, this book does cover the material in an entertaining way, and the cartoons are both relevant and amusing.

But don't imagine that this will make statistics easy. It's a reasonably good presentation of the principles of statistical analysis, put together in a humorous way. My colleagues did find it easier to pick up and read. In that sense I would guardedly describe this as a success and I'd give it four stars.

While the book does make it easier to make the effort to apply yourself to the subject, it does not magically eliminate any requirement for that intellectual effort and never could have.

In fact, if you are looking for an applied statistics or Econometrics textbook which expresses the equations and what you need to do clearly and in relatively simple language, I have read one or two - Yeomans "Studies in Applied Statistics" or Maddala's "Econometrics" spring to mind - which are easier to follow.

My main minor irritation with this book is that it is printed in a font which looks like handwriting, presumably to match the cartoons, and I find this slightly harder to read than standard typescript.

Nevertheless, it's entertaining, the stats is sound, and if you want to a stats textbook for someone who would have difficulty making themselves even pick up the average maths book, never mind read it, this may be what you're looking for.
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