Top positive review
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I never thought a book about Maths could be so good!
on 8 May 2003
I had never thought that the words 'Maths book' and 'page-turner' could possibly go together, but David Acheson's small book "1089 and All That" proved me totally wrong.
You don't need any more than an AS-Level knowledge of Maths (even GCSE Higher would do) to be able to understand this book, as Acheson starts from the basics. Concepts are explained rapidly and succintly, without all the boring mumbo-jumbo that made you hate Maths lessons at school.
The most amazing thing about this book is the way Acheson explains the concepts, showing us where all these formulas and mathematical functions came from, and, most amazing of all, where they can be found in nature.
Whether you liked or disliked Maths at school, this book will change your perception of Maths completely. I found myself either thinking or exclaiming aloud "Wow!" every few pages! This book will probably make you despise your old Maths teachers even more, as you'll find that the 'boring' equations and functions you were taught in school have another side (or can be explained in another way) which most teachers never mention - and which is much more interesting and relevant to real life.
What this book proves is that Maths is a science of discovery - it's not about weirdo geniuses making up complex equations to confuse everyone else. You'll learn that things like pi and e can be found in real life - and thereby realise that they were discovered, not invented. You'll also find that the "Indian Rope Trick" is actually possible, in the right conditions (I won't go further, as that'll spoil the book).
At the time of buying this book, I was undecided about what subject to do at university. Due to the way I had been taught Maths, I came to regard it as a 'boring but necessary' subject. This book left me in wonder - it changed my perception of Maths completely. By the time I had finished reading it I had decided that I was going to do Maths at university.
But don't let that scare you off! Whether you intend to study Maths or not, this book is a fascinating read. Buy it now - it's worth every penny and I guarantee you'll love it.