on 8 February 2004
Anyone intrigued by tricky scientific problems and their solutions will be amply satisfied by this clear account of the "small-world" phenomenon. We've all experienced it: perhaps while on holiday abroad you meet someone who lives on your street; or when travelling by train you sit next to someone who years ago knew your parents. Buchanan details how recent discoveries in various scientific fields show these not to be coincidences, but indications of a peculiar "underlying patterning" in the systems and networks that populate nature and civilisation. And although the opening chapters contain the most excitement, it is fascinating and readable throughout.