
A Tour of the Calculus
 Narrated by: Dennis Holland
 Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
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Publisher's summary
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
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 Kindle Customer
 052714
Top Poet among Mathemeticians
First of all: As long as this book says it is narrated by Dennis Holland, don't waste your money or credit.The narrator has NO concept of how to read mathematical formulae, and, thus, the book was confusing at best. It took me a few instances where the narrator spoke of "twox" to realize that he should be reading it as "xsquared" or "x to the second power". I find it hard to believe that an author would allow a narrator to so completely destroy his text; I further find it hard to believe that anyone educated would fail to understand the difference between 2x and xsquared. Come on, guys. It's an audiobook  the spoken language is all we have here. It needs to be precise, particularly in mathematics. I stopped listening out of frustration after only a couple of hours.
As for the book, the language is quite flowery. Perhaps if I could have persisted in listening to the book further, the language would have grown on me, but, alas, it just seems to be too much windowdressing for the subject. The analogies did not illumine the primary subject, but seemed stretched to give the illusion of literary skill.
I had high hopes for an interesting history of the calculus, but found only frustration.
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68 people found this helpful

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 Charles park
 041015
Ponderous, Meandering and Verbose.
What could have made this a 4 or 5star listening experience for you?
A book that covered the topic of Calculus.
Any additional comments?
As if David Berlinski hid 6 pages of information at random intervals within a thesaurus, "a tour of calculus" closely resembles a sophomore's expository writing assignment that desperately pads his under researched book with monotone landscapes and irrelevant details, in what only can be described as a half hearted attempt to fill the required number of pages.
Every chapter is a tedious forest of recycled clichés and tired metaphors lifted directly from his other books. Lacking all restraint, he launches himself shamelessly into excruciatingly long accounts of the furniture, the shape and size of professor's heads, the bridges in Prague, the gestures and emotions of people not present to hear his arguments, and the smells that may or may not have filled the rooms of various historical figures. "They shine like diamonds on a jeweler's black velvet cloth" to quote Berlinski from both "A Tour of Calculus" and "The Advent of the Algorithm"
I blame both the author and the editor for this extravagant waist of print space and my time.
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22 people found this helpful

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 Tate
 052217
Good, but not great for listening
The book was enjoyable, but I listened while also reading a paperback. There are some common mispronunciations that confused me even with the text in front of me. Subscripts were confused with exponents frequently. I really enjoyed the book, but I'm not sure how one would have grasped some of the functions without seeing them.
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10 people found this helpful

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 Nelson Alexander
 051414
A Tour of Incalculable Verbosity
I am about ten minutes into this, skipping ahead, and giving up for now, quite exasperated. I had hoped for a good overview and cultural description of calculus. This work is so wittily overwritten, so full of long, fanciful descriptions and soaring metaphor it is nearly impossible to remember what on earth we are talking about. The writing is actually good, but seems to have leapt the fence out its genre, striving to be Nabokov with little regard for the listener who just wants a bit of lucid mathematical explanation. I may try again later, but post this warning: you'll have to shovel aside heaps of colorful "prose" to get to anything about calculus.
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 ridgeway137
 010520
Absolutely fantastic for a math lover  The best really for listening
As a person naturally interested in mathematics this audio book is excellent. If you want an audio book that helps you to review calculus or to go along with learning calculus from a text you will not do any better than this audio. Of course if you are having a hard time learning calculus, listen to this book over and over. As someone who knows “the Calculus” well since I got my Bachelor of Science in math, I think this is a better tour than I realized could even be done in an audio form.
Calculus may appear boring at first before you understand it, but it becomes so beautiful and so useful to understanding science once you do.
I plan to listen to this over and over just to help me explain calculus better to others.
Also I read so some of the other less glowing reviews and obviously I disagree and only can say that it is true that the author is definitely verbose and is maybe a little bit of overly descriptive in some places, it is still simply an excellent alternative source for anyone studying calculus and also trying to work some problems. Great job I say to David Berlinski. I am in disbelief at some of the negative reviews I read after first posting my review so I added this last paragraph to counter the more critical reviews. It is so much easier to destroy than create.
Maybe people that don't understand it would have to listen more that once but I will listen more times just because it is so well done.
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4 people found this helpful

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 roland
 090316
Flowery prose and math do not mix
This author's goal seems to be to convince the reader he is a brilliant writer. The text confuses (a bad thing when your goal is to learn) by shifting randomly between first person and third person. He constantly describes how 'beautiful' different concepts are...even very simple concepts. The fact that he could spend two sentences describing the beauty of line is so distracting because the reader has to wonder why...its just a line. Its like drawing your attention to a picture frame when you just want to understand the painting. I read this book to 'get math'...to understand it. I have a slightly clearer understand. I think if it were written in plainer english, it would accomplish much more.
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4 people found this helpful

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 Amazon Customer
 102019
A Tour of The Calculus
Excellent book! Full of insight and knowledge! A great way to get introduced to calculus!
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2 people found this helpful

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 Christina
 040917
Not very informative weird side stories
Book seems to have been written for prepubescent boys the author regularly segways into tangential storys with descriptive language more apt for a graphic novel than a book on mathmatics.
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 Etoile NEOhio
 041620
Calc explained for the rest of us!
As a college freshman I was advised not to take any college level mathematics because my math entry scores were so bad. I heeded the advice and took my natural science requirements in astronomy and geology. For 40 years I believed I did not understand mathematics until I heard David Berlinski on NPR and thought I might give this book a try.
In spite of my family telling me that I use things like algebra every day when I cook or crochet, it was hard to believe that I could understand complicated concepts of mathematics. Having completed this book I am proud to say I understood most of it, although I could not repeat it, and I'm thrilled to be able to participate in conversations were terms like derivative and functions are peppered through.
I look forward to the next book in the series with great anticipation. Thank you so much for making the calculus come to life for someone who does not consider themselves logical or mathematical but rather verbal and spatial.
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 GH0
 090619
A Great topic, a convoluted way of delivery
The author provided, in twists and turns, a neopolitan Sunday if fascinating history, mathematical fluency, and self indulgent prose.
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 Carl
 040416
Boring
So far the worst I have heard. I think the problem is mostly the content of the book. It's meant to be about maths but the guy goes on like it is some sort of creative writing contest.
I don't want to listen to a 15 minute description about some guys probable room layout 400 years ago, or how he rubs his forehead thinking. Just get on with the damn topic.
If the author is so interested in creative writing why not go do a romantic novel and list it as such. Don't try pass it for maths.
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 SMR
 110718
Mathematics meets Philosophy...
Not your typical maths book. Listening to this book as a layman, I found it thorougly mentally stimulating, although it did send me off into a haze every now and then. I'll probably end up listening to it more than once. If you like David Berlinki's other works then you'll probably like this. Other Reviewers who didn't like this book might have been expecting a sort of Mathematics text book style work. If you are too, then this might not be your cup of tea. Listen to the sample and if you're not feeling it then maybe you might want to give this book a miss, imo
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Performance

Story
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves. Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.


Not written to be read aloud
 By A Reader in Maine on 022120
By: Steven Strogatz

One, Two, Three
 Absolutely Elementary Mathematics
 By: David Berlinski
 Narrated by: Byron Wagner
 Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Filled with illuminating historical anecdotes and asides on some of the most fascinating mathematicians through the ages, One, Two, Three is a captivating exploration of the foundation of mathematics: how it originated, who thought of it, and why it matters.


A combination of banal, confusing, and dull
 By Mr. Anonymous on 081311
By: David Berlinski

Change Is the Only Constant
 The Wisdom of Calculus in a Madcap World
 By: Ben Orlin
 Narrated by: Will Collyer
 Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Change Is the Only Constant is an engaging and eloquent exploration of the intersection between calculus and daily life, complete with Orlin's sly humor and wonderfully bad drawings.
By: Ben Orlin

Advent of the Algorithm
 The Idea that Rules the World
 By: David Berlinski
 Narrated by: Dennis Holland
 Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
 Unabridged

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Performance

Story
Simply put, an algorithm is a set of instructionsit's the code that makes computers run. A basic idea that proved elusive for hundreds of years and bent the minds of the greatest thinkers in the world, the algorithm is what made the modern world possible. Without the algorithm, there would have been no computer, no Internet, no virtual reality, no email, or any other technological advance that we rely on every day.


Self indulgent, slow and hackneyed infotainment.
 By Charles park on 041015
By: David Berlinski

The King of Infinite Space
 Euclid and His Elements
 By: David Berlinski
 Narrated by: Arthur Morey
 Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

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Story
Geometry defines the world around us, helping us make sense of everything from architecture to military science to fashion. And for over 2,000 years, geometry has been equated with Euclid's Elements, arguably the most influential book in the history of mathematics. In The King of Infinite Space, renowned mathematics writer David Berlinski provides a concise homage to this elusive mathematician and his staggering achievements.


Funniest Highest and Fullest math overview
 By Francisco Garcia on 121222
By: David Berlinski

A Most Elegant Equation
 Euler’s Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics
 By: David Stipp
 Narrated by: Sean Pratt
 Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.


Good treatment of the subject
 By Kindle Customer on 040918
By: David Stipp

Math Without Numbers
 By: Milo Beckman
 Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
 Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
This is an audiobook about math, but it contains no numbers. Math Without Numbers is a vivid, conversational, and wholly original guide to the three main branches of abstract math  topology, analysis, and algebra  which turn out to be surprisingly easy to grasp. This audiobook upends the conventional approach to math, inviting you to think creatively about shape and dimension, the infinite and infinitesimal, symmetries, proofs, and how these concepts all fit together. Join this freewheeling tour of the inimitable joys and unsolved mysteries of this curiously powerful subject.


please leave your politics at home
 By david malaguti on 092323
By: Milo Beckman

Thermodynamics: Four Laws That Move the Universe
 By: Jeffrey C. Grossman, The Great Courses
 Narrated by: Jeffrey C. Grossman
 Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
 Original Recording

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Performance

Story
Nothing has had a more profound impact on the development of modern civilization than thermodynamics. Thermodynamic processes are at the heart of everything that involves heat, energy, and work, making an understanding of the subject indispensable for careers in engineering, physical science, biology, meteorology, and even nutrition and culinary arts. Get an indepth tour of this vital and fascinating science in 24 enthralling lectures suitable for everyone from science novices to experts who wish to review elementary concepts and formulas.


Excellent Course; Particularly as Review
 By Qoheleth on 011219
By: Jeffrey C. Grossman, and others

Significant Figures
 The Lives and Work of Great Mathematicians
 By: Ian Stewart
 Narrated by: Roger Clark
 Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

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In Significant Figures, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of twentyfive great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics.