Customer Reviews for

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic

Fantastic book, though most definitely written by a mathematician. Very interesting and concise. Now to find a good biography of Pythagoras..

posted by Caleigh on February 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Choose another Zero book

The philosophy and history of the concept of "nothing" is an interesting one with a lot of repercussions. I can't really say that Seife did it justice, though. The writing is not as focused as it could be, some sections getting repetitive and his analogies don't quite w...
The philosophy and history of the concept of "nothing" is an interesting one with a lot of repercussions. I can't really say that Seife did it justice, though. The writing is not as focused as it could be, some sections getting repetitive and his analogies don't quite work. And, quite frankly, I don't know why anyone would spend time describing Pascal's Wager without pointing out how logically inconsistent and culturally biased it is. In short, not a bad book, just not really recommended. Especially since others have tackled the subject.

posted by Victor3000 on March 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2002

    Uneven and unfocused

    This book had a lot of potential, but falls woefully short. When the author stays within his own field of mathematics, the book is refreshingly informative. His sections, on the limit, integral calculus, L' Hopital's rule, etc. are worth taking a look at, certainly a good review for those of us who may've taken a course or two in calculus a while back but can hardly recognise Leibniz' differential today. But the book is very disappointing whenever it veers outside of mathematical teaching. The author should have simply left out the book's last 1/3, as the chapters on astronomy, cosmology, physics, and in general matters application-related, are poorly written and packed with distracting errors. And his discussion of history starts off interesting but then dissolves in an overflow of bloated writing and convoluted presntations. His sections on the ancient cultures seemed trite and off the mark, and he veers off on too many unrelated tangents as the book moves along.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2002

    Worth a skimming, if even that

    This book is utterly a labour to read. It is informative in some parts where it details the history of mathematics, but overall is so full of confusing and distended prose that it does not justify the effort put in. And the latter half of the book, with cosmological thought and physical theory, is awful. Worth perhaps skimming the sections on the curve-tangent problem and the history of the number from the middle ages onward, otherwise does not merit the effort.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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