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Publisher's Summary

Imagine something small enough to fit in your head but too large to fit in the world - or even the universe. What would you call it? And what would it be? How about...infinity?

In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng answers this question by taking listeners on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert's hotel - the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don't mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night - she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Along the way she considers weighty questions like why some numbers are uncountable or why infinity plus one is not the same as one plus infinity. She finds insight in some unlikely examples: planning a dinner party for seven billion people using a chessboard, making a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough all tell you more about math than you could have imagined.

An irresistible book on the universe's biggest possible topic, Beyond Infinity will beguile and bewitch you and show all of us how one little symbol - ∞ - can hold the biggest idea of all.

©2017 Eugenia Cheng (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The idea of infinity is one of the most perplexing things in mathematics, and the most fun. Eugenia Cheng's Beyond Infinity is a spirited and friendly guide - appealingly down to earth about math that's extremely far out." (Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong and professor of mathematics at University of Wisconsin-Madison)

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  • Scott
  • Santa Clara, CA, United States
  • 04-13-17

Maybe for children, but not for me

Beyond Infinity features a lot of stories about the author, and several analogies regarding young children, but not a lot about infinity or mathematics.
The narration, while perky in the extreme, isn't so bad, but it's more appropriate for a young children's book. Actually, maybe that's exactly what this is—a book for young children.
The book is charming, but it's the mathematical ideas that I want access to, and this book is so cutesy that I'm going to return it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Overflowing With Needless Examples & Anecdotes

What did you like best about Beyond Infinity? What did you like least?

I liked the discussion of the development of calculus best. I deplored the author wasting my time by reciting all 375 digits in 200!, including the 49 zeros at the end. I also tired of the numerous needless examples to what small children think or do. The author often recited at least five elements of a sequence when three would have been sufficient. At least 90 minutes of this recording is needless fluff.

What other book might you compare Beyond Infinity to and why?

Is God A Mathematician by Livio due to its historical discussion of the development of mathematics.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Moira Quirk?

No.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Only if it were no more than two hours in length.

Any additional comments?

It is truly a shame that an author with such an insightful understanding of infinity found it necessary to swell the contents of her book with so much superfluous information.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beyond Infinity

Eugenia Cheng is becoming one of my favorite authors. I first learned of Eugenia when I came across her other book, "How to Bake Pi". This book and "How to Bake Pi" are truly for those who enjoy maths.