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on 10 May 2005
An absolutely fantastic book.
A great read even if you haven't read Flatland. This book takes you on a journey through the mathiverse and explains mathematics in ways which make it far easier to grasp some of the more difficult concepts. Although it can sometimes take some re-reading to fully understand some of the more challenging mathematical ideas, it is well worth it. Fab as a 'story book' or to learn about maths.
Highly recommended.
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on 9 March 2006
If it hadn't been for Stewart's overly politically correct approach to this sequel to "Flatland" by Edwin A Abbott (an obscure victorian satire portraying women as one dimensional lines who are inferior to men), I would have enjoyed this book emensely. Perhaps Stewart felt guilty about Edwin Abbott's commentary on the Victorian prejudices, or maybe he felt it would sell better by saying women are far superior to short-sighted men; either way it was annoying and wholly pointless.
Anyway, it introduces mathematical subjects like fractals and wormholes/time travel in a different and more interesting format to most popular science books. It was funny in parts, and both my mother (useless at maths) and I (taking A-level maths) understood and enjoyed this book. (Saying this, I thought he spent too long explaining some topics, then neglected to explain others thouroughly.)
A great book for those who are interested in widening their maths knowledge, written in a non-patronizing way, especially for a University professor - shame he had to spoil it with the ridiculously PC subplot.
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on 25 March 2003
Great book!
Does for physics/mathemetics/geometry what 'Sophies World' does for Philosophy, with elements of 'Hitch-Hikers Guide' 'Brief History Of Time' and some crazy bad puns.
Its one of those books you'll have to re-read to understand all the concepts but the story which runs aside it makes it all the more worth-while.
Loved it.
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on 25 April 2001
When I first struggled with the concepts of multi-dimensional space a friend recommended I read "Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbott. It was a best seller during the reign of Queen Victoria and I didn't expect to find it in a high street store. However, much to my delight, I found it in the mathematics section next to a book called "Does God Play Dice" by Ian Stewart. I bought them both and they had a profound effect on my choice of career. In "Flatterland" both my favourite subject and author have been combined in one book. Ian's style, both humourous and informative, brings the flatland characters into the context of this millennium and opens the readers mind to the rich complexity of the world of mathematics. The adventures of Victoria Line carries the reader through the book in an effortless ease. Ian is a winner of the Faraday Award, for the public understanding of science. His unique style carries the reader from chapter to chapter on a voyage that will enhance the readers understanding of some of the most challenging concepts and problems in mathematics. It may be a record for a sequel (over 100 years) but, having read it with the same enthusiastic delight as "Flatland" and "Does God Play Dice", it is not hard to picture a high street store 100 years from now with "Flatterland" still on the best seller list.
Dr. G. Keith Still (Head of Mathematical Modelling - Starlab, Brussels)
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on 9 October 2013
This book is dreadful. There's no proper narrative - it's a disconnected series of mathematical analogies through which the protagonist teleports with the help of a living Space Hopper.

Furthermore the author is addicted to puns, and possesses the awkward, naïve wit [stereo?]typical of an academic. Pummeling the reader relentlessly with groan-inducing puns page after page, such is Ian Stewart's addiction that superfluous characters (if I can call them that) are introduced solely on the supposed merit of the pun.
One example is the Mud Hutter (cf. Mad Hatter), which 'goes around making mud huts', with no bearing on the analogy at hand.

Eventually I surrendered and closed the book about halfway through, never to be opened again.
If you liked Flatland and want more of the same, check out Dionys Burger's sequel 'Sphereland', which is great.
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on 11 January 2005
Flatland by Edwin Abbott is fantastic - you absolutely MUST read this mind expanding book first. This sequel tries way too hard to follow Abbott's chatty style but misses in what I found to be an incredibly irritating way. Very disappointing as I am sure that the intentions behind this book were all good in updating Flatland with current scientific understanding. I am in no way detracting from the content, but the style may well prevent you from getting through Stewart's book. Possibly a popular science book too far!
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on 17 April 2001
I found this book very compelling... I'd thoroughly recommend this book, especially to the mathematically minded and those that enjoy having their imaginations stretched. The action starts with the descendants of the inhabitants of Flatland. Vicki, a teenage girl (one dimensional of course) stumbles across the secret of calling beings from outside her 2D world. Her subsequent trips take her through many strange worlds: multi-dimensional, fractional dimensional, and just plain weird. If you liked Ian Stewart's other books you'll like this one, but it's pretty different from the others as well. It's full of mathematical puns and is a really good way of manking you think about some of the strange spaces that exist in the relams of mathematics. If you've already discovered Flatland or Planiverse you'll just have to get this book.
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on 3 May 2001
Is there really need for more to be said about Flatland? The original book was excellent. This one seems a weak attempt to rewrite an old classic. I found the explanations poor, and the stories too cute for serious readers.
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on 10 May 2011
I have loved Edwin Abbott's book Flatland since I discovered it 40 years ago. It deals with some complex mathematical issues in a clear and entertaining way. I thought it said everything but I was wrong. Ian Stewart's Flatterland deals with even more complex issues in the same clear and entertaining manner. The heroine, Victoria Line, is engaging and the reader quickly becomes involved in her search. A masterpiece.
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on 19 April 2013
Flatterlands Some people might find the names of the characters a bit irritating but I found them -and the entire book more amusing than one could have ever thought that maths could ever be.

The music of Life. I was a bit disappointed in this book; it seemed that too many of the examples were taken from human physiology ; although bearing in mind the author's speciality I suppose that that was only to be expected. Maybe it was not the best title for the book.
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