Eric's Reviews > Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
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's review
Jun 22, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: science-fiction, science, poetry
Read in April, 1998

Synopsis: Two books, interwoven. The first is a series of comedic dialogues in which characters created by Lewis Carrol engage in friendly battles of wit and skill, or just conversations, each dialogue being modeled after music by Johann Sebastian Bach. The second is a prosaic exploration of the nature of artificial intelligence, self-reference, and free will. The two halves intertwine with eachother and refer to eachother.

This book was made with great care, and is a masterpiece. It is the most joyously creative written work I have ever encountered, overflowing with wit and wisdom. The ideas presented in this book, and the manner of their presentation, seems to always be present in my mind.

1. There is a lot of detailed discussion and demonstration of computer science and formal logic in this book, including many formulas and symbols. This can be off-putting for those without inclanations towards logic or math.

2. This is an epic book that covers an insane amount of ground. While Hofstadter covers that ground with astonishing clarity, it is still a long and winding journey, and requires quite a commitment. Not a light read.

3. This book will change the way you think about everything.
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