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The Parrot's Theorem

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,459 ratings  ·  121 reviews
`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 m

Hardcover, 344 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1998)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,459 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Marie Delos Reyes
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Cosmas Ioannidis-lemonidis
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The best book to make anyone love mathematics!
Kostas Skourtis
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story of mathematics with a novel touch.
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
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fr, myst-thril, z_2015
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.

Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ernsthaft
This the perfect book for sb you loves math and the perfect book for sb who dont.
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.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book should be a compulsory read for every child approaching mathematics for the first time. It really shows the interesting/funny side of maths which suddenly make sense! I wish I had read this when I was 11, my life would have been different.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
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
Jose Moa
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dincay Akcoren
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
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 for me to highlight that it's not a low quality bad book. By the way, the mathematics history is told in a very creative way. If you like historical book and maths that's the way to go!
Nicholas Whyte
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it

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.
Katherine Psy
Nice book but hard to keep on reading because of the complex writing and lot of mathematics that could be more easily explained...
Despina | inwhirlofinspiration
May 16, 2012 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
Mehmet Dinç
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 28, 2008 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 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
if you love maths like i do then you are bound to love it..its a great pleasure to read about almost every mathematician and his life,his ambitions and what he has discovered..however,if you find that maths are boring then dont even give it a try,you wil hate it
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.
Brian Baker
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
As 'Sophie's World' is to philosophy so is this to mathematics, and the relative popularity of these two subjects is perhaps the reason for the disparity in fame between the two works. Deserves to be better known.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be a compulsory read for every child approaching mathematics for the first time. It really shows the interesting/funny side of maths which suddenly make sense! I wish I had read this when I was 11, my life would have been different.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
A nice book if you would like to learn some things about the history of mathematics. I can't say that I was impressed by neither the plot or the the way the book was written, but I can say that it was interesting and a fine summer reading.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this story slightly hard to read, maybe because of the translation. But it had some pretty interesting content about the history maths.
Eduardo Cruz
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What can I say... I love math and reading - and so any book that combines both well makes it to the top of my list.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most fantastic gift from my grandfather ever! Great to read when you should be studying.
Rodanthi Pi
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my very fanourite books!!!
Mar 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Sophie's World in mathematics. And although I love philosophy more than I will ever love maths, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I ever will Sophie's World.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Parrot and Math [s] 4 47 Jul 14, 2009 09:49AM  

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