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The Parrot's Theorem
by
`Superb
a beautiful book glorying in great adventures of the human mind
' Le Point
When Mr Ruche, a reclusive Parisian bookseller, receives a letter from a long lost friend in the Amazon bequesting him a vast library of mathematical book, he is propelled into a great exploration of the story of maths, from brilliant Greek thinkers, such as Archimedes and Pythagoras, to the
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Hardcover, 344 pages
Published
January 1st 2001
by St. Martin's Press
(first published 1998)
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Community Reviews
Showing 1-30
Start your review of The Parrot's Theorem
I've started reading this last year, and finally, I'm done with it. Not that the book is not good at all, I was just "too busy" with school stuff.
Well, it really was a very informative experience reading this one. I enjoyed reading the history of maths; the author succeeded in making a rather boring topic into such a humorous, interesting piece that can easily be understood. I wish I had read this earlier, probably when I was still in high school. I might be able to appreciate more our math sub ...more
Well, it really was a very informative experience reading this one. I enjoyed reading the history of maths; the author succeeded in making a rather boring topic into such a humorous, interesting piece that can easily be understood. I wish I had read this earlier, probably when I was still in high school. I might be able to appreciate more our math sub ...more
Mar 24, 2008
Stephanie
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition
Shelves:
intellectually-interesting
I have a million different feelings about this book, so I'm just going to dump them here, all sort of stream of consciousness (hopefully my friends will forgive me). 1) The translation to English seemed very poor, even taking into account that it's been translated into very English, English. 2) A lot of this seemed to be taken verbatim from Professor Guedj's lecture notes. I wonder if I could turn my lecture notes into an international best seller? It appears from the liner notes that Guedj actu
...more
This book was quite informative but after some time reading it I got bored — that explains why it took me maybe a month to read it — cause most of the time they were talking about mathematics and the plot is only a small percentage of the whole book. I think it's important to highlight that it's not a low quality book. By the way the mathematics history is told in a very creative way and sometimes even interesting. If you like historical books and maths that's the way to go!
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2824398.html
A fictional Sophie's World type of story about three children and a retired bookseller discovering the history of mathematics. There is a rather ridiculous plot involving Fermat's Last Theorem and gangsters who operate between Brazil and Sicily. It possibly reads better in the original French. ...more
A fictional Sophie's World type of story about three children and a retired bookseller discovering the history of mathematics. There is a rather ridiculous plot involving Fermat's Last Theorem and gangsters who operate between Brazil and Sicily. It possibly reads better in the original French. ...more
This is not the first story I read that revolves around mathematics, but this is surely the first one that goes that deep into the history. The style is nice and easy to read, the presentation concise and efficient, it is a really pleasure to read.
A star was removed for the ending. I think the author could have done a better job in the conclusion.
Overall, pleasant book to read, a good introduction to the vast history of math for people who don't know it yet.
A star was removed for the ending. I think the author could have done a better job in the conclusion.
Overall, pleasant book to read, a good introduction to the vast history of math for people who don't know it yet.
This the perfect book for sb you loves math and the perfect book for sb who don´t.
The characters are so different and lovable that reading through this history of math compendium is done in the blink of an eye.
Really outstanding topic and the story is just the frame for more and more and more smaller stories.
One of the best books I ever read.
The characters are so different and lovable that reading through this history of math compendium is done in the blink of an eye.
Really outstanding topic and the story is just the frame for more and more and more smaller stories.
One of the best books I ever read.
Mixed opinion. I would have given one star to the main story (so many clichés, coincidences...) but the history of mathematics was interesting (3 or 4 stars).
Au point de vue fiction, c'était mauvais, ce qui explique pourquoi j'ai de nombreuses fois hésité à l'abandonner. Toutefois, la partie instructive, c-à-d la partie "histoire des mathématiques" était intéressante.
Au point de vue fiction, c'était mauvais, ce qui explique pourquoi j'ai de nombreuses fois hésité à l'abandonner. Toutefois, la partie instructive, c-à-d la partie "histoire des mathématiques" était intéressante.
I'd give even less stars than 1 if I could. It's horrible. It says in the blurb: for people who hate maths but love reading - and I have to say I probably shouldn't have read the book since I love maths and reading too.
1) The story isn't written well. It irked from the beginning that the reader isn't told from the beginning that the boy and the old man are in the same household, for example. Or that after G's letter everybody with a half brain can find out who that someone is who knows the theor ...more
1) The story isn't written well. It irked from the beginning that the reader isn't told from the beginning that the boy and the old man are in the same household, for example. Or that after G's letter everybody with a half brain can find out who that someone is who knows the theor ...more
There are few novels where the plot is about mathematics,i only know two : The uncle Petros and the Goldbach Conjecture ad this one.
This is a rather fun novel, where a parisien Ruche a old book seller with a odd family receive a big old histhoric books library from a friend in Manaos and a strange parrot.Arround this a series of facts happen ,and this all is used as a pretext for to expose several mathematical concepts and develop a histhory of mathematics,from egiptians and babilonians till the ...more
This is a rather fun novel, where a parisien Ruche a old book seller with a odd family receive a big old histhoric books library from a friend in Manaos and a strange parrot.Arround this a series of facts happen ,and this all is used as a pretext for to expose several mathematical concepts and develop a histhory of mathematics,from egiptians and babilonians till the ...more
This is a hard book to review. Ostensibly a history of mathematics inserted in a mild mystery, it is hard to pigeonhole. The mathematics discussions seem authentic enough (I.e. I couldn't follow most of them. The main characters are almost comic bookish. They alternate between silly, wise ass dialogs that kids would find charming along.w technical.discussions way above my ability. The characters were mostly displayed in the weirdest qualities. I could never figure out who the author is taking to
...more
THE MATHEMATICS CONCEPTS in this book were very easy to understand, even though I haven't studied all of them. At that, the author really did a great job in allowing any reader to study, comprehend and understand the basics of the most important questions and actors in the history of mathematics. It also helped that I'm interested in it and that I find science fascinating, but I'm positive anyone could enjoy this novel, no matter how awful their past history with mathematics...
This will definite ...more
This will definite ...more
A book explaining history of mathematics through a story taking place in modern days.
High school mathematics is more than enough to follow the mathematical terms and concepts in the book. The story is not sophisticated but there are some twists and mysteries that keep the excitement high. Philosophical discussions about mathematics are also good.
The mathematics of Ancient Greece are discussed in detail however as years increase mathematics get more complicated and only concepts and headlines are ...more
High school mathematics is more than enough to follow the mathematical terms and concepts in the book. The story is not sophisticated but there are some twists and mysteries that keep the excitement high. Philosophical discussions about mathematics are also good.
The mathematics of Ancient Greece are discussed in detail however as years increase mathematics get more complicated and only concepts and headlines are ...more
3/5 actually...
The idea of combining math history with a mystery is excellent. I agree with those who say that "Parrot's theorem" is for maths what "Sophie's world" is for philosophy. Both are books full of references that motivate the reader to search more and expand his/her/its horizons. Also, the descriptions of places in Paris are enjoyable. All in all, I believe that the writer had a nice initial idea but he sacrificed characters' depth and plot building for math history.
The idea of combining math history with a mystery is excellent. I agree with those who say that "Parrot's theorem" is for maths what "Sophie's world" is for philosophy. Both are books full of references that motivate the reader to search more and expand his/her/its horizons. Also, the descriptions of places in Paris are enjoyable. All in all, I believe that the writer had a nice initial idea but he sacrificed characters' depth and plot building for math history.
A truly unique and wonderful reading experience. Of course, it helps to have a bit of math background (which I do not) or at least interest. This is a history of mathematics set up through a whodunit structure, an insoluble mystery perhaps, but with some very charming characters and locale. The English translation seems to zip along smoothly.
May 16, 2012
Despina | inwhirlofinspiration
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition
Recommends it for:
math lovers, math haters
Oh this book was in my reading list for ages {opening brackets- 6 years ago, in high school, a little piece of paper with the name of this book slipped in my wallet. The mission was to read this book. The inspiration was my high- school's mathematician. He is Santa Claus' best replica and he's always surrounded by a haze made of his passion about maths, the stories behing the equations and astronomy stories. He will try to infuse all these directly in your brain and if you are smart enough to ap
...more
I would have given 3.5 for that book. 4 is much and 3 is not enough considering the informative story line.
To split this book into 2 pieces:
1-History of science starting from ancient greek. 4 points
2-Construction of fiction. 3 points
It's always better to learn history while enjoying it but that book might be a bit tiresome. Story could have been unpredictable to keep reader more passionate.
To split this book into 2 pieces:
1-History of science starting from ancient greek. 4 points
2-Construction of fiction. 3 points
It's always better to learn history while enjoying it but that book might be a bit tiresome. Story could have been unpredictable to keep reader more passionate.
Mar 28, 2008
Dave
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition
Recommends it for:
anyone
Recommended to Dave by:
A good friends
A fabulous book combining intrigue, philosophy and highlights of the history of mathematics. I read this book out loud to my family, who all enjoyed it. Great characters, an engaging mysterious plot and exciting anecdotes on the history of maths.
Feb 05, 2013
Julian
rated it
it was ok
·
review of another edition
Shelves:
mathematics,
pedagogical
Basically a thin veneer of fiction on top of a recapitulation of the history of mathematics. I wanted to like this more than I did, but it wasn't bad. Maybe someone who hasn't heard all the same anecdotes a hundred times would get more out of it.
topics | posts | views | last activity | |
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Parrot and History of Mathematics [s] | 6 | 25 | Jul 18, 2010 09:02AM | |
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