The aim of this audiobook is to explain, carefully but not technically, the differences between advanced, research-level mathematics, and the sort of mathematics we learn at school. The most fundamental differences are philosophical, and listeners of this audiobook will emerge with a clearer understanding of paradoxical-sounding concepts such as infinity, curved space, and imaginary numbers. The first few chapters are about general aspects of mathematical thought. These are followed by discussions of more specific topics, and the book closes with a chapter answering common sociological questions about the mathematical community (such as "Is it true that mathematicians burn out at the age of 25?").
©2002 Timothy Gowers (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Hearing mathematics makes it difficult to interpret. It has to be seen (at least for me). It is fairly joyless to listen to a long number or equation being read, and it is almost impossible to follow.
I found the readers voice quite irritating too.
The book itself would have been interesting to read. It needs to be seen though. It simply doesn't work as an audiobook.
An English actor perhaps? Timothy Gowers is an English Mathematician. I had assumed it would be an English accent. There's no reason it should be, just my preference in this case. Had it been an American author, I would have preferred an American narrator.
"Overacting made it impossible to listen to"
Couldn't actually listen to it. The performance was so poor that I had to stop listening. No one actually speaks like that. I thought I was listening to "master thespian" from SNL not a history of mathematics. Ugh.
Only if someone else narrates.
"Disappointing as an audiobook"
More real world examples from every day life would have created a more realistic connection with the concepts covered in this audio book. Much of the information (for me) would have been easier to understand visually. Reading off long strings of numbers and equations doesn't work as well as seeing them on paper/computer screen.
His breathy ending to every sentence and, frankly, pretentious tone was incredibly distracting for such a detailed audio book.
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