The brainy new book by the best-selling author of Fermat’s Enigma a must for anyone interested in numbers and mathematics as well as for the millions of Simpsons fans worldwide.
Simon Singh offers fascinating new insights into the celebrated television series The Simpsons: That the show drip-feeds morsels of number theory into the minds of its viewers - indeed, that there are so many mathematical references in the show, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course.
Recounting memorable episodes from “Bart the Genius” to “Homer3,” Singh brings alive intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts - ranging from the mathematics of pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers and the most profound outstanding problems that haunt today’s generation of mathematicians. In the process, he illuminates key moments in the history of mathematics, and introduces us to The Simpsons’ brilliant writing team - the likes of David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Stewart Burns, all of whom have various advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, and other sciences.
Based on interviews with the writers of The Simpsons and replete with images from the shows, facsimiles of scripts, paintings and drawings, and other imagery, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets will give anyone who reads it an entirely new mathematical insight into the most successful show in television history.
©2013 Simon Singh (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
If you like mathematics, The Simpsons, and Futurama, you will likely enjoy this book -- but mathematics is not a good topic to convey through audio.
I have not listened to or read any other books by Simon Singh.
British. Accented. Disconnected. I have written very few audible reviews, but I was motivated to do so mostly because I disliked aspects of the performance. I am not a nationalist or chauvinist, but I was taken aback by a book on American cultural products (The Simpsons and Futurama) being delivered in a British accent and by someone who apparently is not familiar with this source material. (I realize that the author is British, so it is questionable for me to object in this way.) It bothered me to hear Edna Krabappel's last name mispronounced. No fan of the show would do so. The author is a fan of the show, but the performer apparently is not. In addition, Euler and Knuth were mispronounced, so the performer is apparently not familiar with mathematics, either.
My main reaction to this book was that it was a terrible idea to listen to (rather than read) a book with so much mathematics.
"Good Book, Poor Audiobook"
The book itself is very interesting. Simon Singh has a deep understand of maths and The Simpsons. Mathematical concepts are put across in an easy to understand and fun way. I learned a great deal about maths and The Simpsons from it.
But there are a couple of things that spoil it as an audiobook.
The biggest problem with the audiobook is William Neenan's flat and lifeless narration. He makes no attempt to convey the humour in the book. He reads the jokes with the same drone he uses to read through umpteen decimal places of pi. Also, beware if you're the sort of nitpicking Simpsons fan annoyed by the mispronunciation of "kwyjibo". It's a shame the book isn't narrated by Singh himself.
The other, more minor, problem is the need for a PDF. When I'm listening to an audiobook it's not usually convenient for me to read a PDF. Sometimes you don't lose anything by looking up a reference later. But other times the diagrams are completely necessary for understanding the book (such as the diagrams in the explanation of Archimedes' method of approximating pi).
By the way, for those of you who came here to the product page to download the PDF as the book told you: it's not here. It's on your "Library" page.
Overall, I'd recommend giving the audiobook a miss and reading the book instead.
"A fantastic and interesting read"
One time is just enough.
A fantastic and interesting read which was interesting from cover to cover.
This is not an easy book to narrate. And yet, the narrator did a very good job.
The Simpsons' theorem.
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