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on 29 July 2017
This is a great history of maths and mathematicians. I would have given it five stars if it had a bit more maths in it and a bit less history, but others may prefer it as is. The personalities and drama of the discoveries shone through. I didn't like the constant resource to metaphor for the riemann zeta function itself. Less sea level and points of the compass please. However, I couldn't put it down and I wasn't sure why. Entertaining...
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on 24 October 2017
This is a fascinating topic that is covered in a very readable style. You don't need to be a maths whizz to understand and enjoy it.
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on 5 May 2017
Wonderful
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on 16 September 2016
One of favourite maths book read it a few times. Highly recommend it.
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on 15 October 2017
Really enjoyed this book - du Sautoy is so good at getting the abstract maths across, I understood the Riemann Hypothesis it for a while.
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on 12 April 2017
A challenge at times, but worth the intellectual struggle for the resulting insights into the nature of the enigmatic Primes.
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on 26 July 2017
a very enjoyable read
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on 17 September 2017
One of the best books I've ever read. This is the book that got me into number theory. I am now starting a mathematics degree in a couple of weeks.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2007
Hi,

This book is a brilliant and beautifully balanced introductory way to first explore the topic of 'number theory'.

The book uses techniques that explore the topics without burying them in the details and to have them see the problem in their minds eye. From beginnings of estimating the distributions of primes, through covering the 'Zeta' function, and why its so well-known. For example, this book gives a first-rate in clarity explanation of 'R.S.A' cryptography and how it works. I have read 'techie' manuals which confuse the whole topic unnecessarily but this has is marvellous clarity.

This is a beautiful written book, which deserves to be given coverage in sixth forms to generate more interest in mathematics. It's been a privilege to read this book and great fun to read.
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on 25 November 2005
It was Singh's "Fermat's Last Theorem" that led me to look for another book on Number Theory, and I'm very pleased I stumbled upon "The Music of the Primes". I've read a lot of popular science books, but this is definitely my favourite.
It is incredibly easy to read, and the author gets the balance perfectly right between historical information, description of individuals and circumstances, and the maths itself. I'm pleased the maths isn't covered too thoroughly - I suspect it would have left me upset that I couldn't follow it, and negatively affected the overall story. If you do feel the need, it's simple to get any information you like on the maths involved from the web - I have a print out of a very good explanation of the zeta function now tucked in the back of the book.
The subject matter is mind-blowing, and I'm appalled that I hadn't heard about it properly before. I would love to have found out about this at a younger age, and will force my own children to read it as soon as possible!!
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