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The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures

Overview

Malba Tahan is the creation of a celebrated Brazilian mathematician who was looking for a way to bring some of the mysteries and delights of mathematics to a wider public. He turned out to be a born storyteller.

The adventures of Beremiz Samir, The Man Who Counted, take the reader on an exotic journey in which, time and again, he summons his extraordinary mathematical powers to settle disputes, give wise advice, overcome dangerous enemies, and win for himself fame, fortune, and ...

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Overview

Malba Tahan is the creation of a celebrated Brazilian mathematician who was looking for a way to bring some of the mysteries and delights of mathematics to a wider public. He turned out to be a born storyteller.

The adventures of Beremiz Samir, The Man Who Counted, take the reader on an exotic journey in which, time and again, he summons his extraordinary mathematical powers to settle disputes, give wise advice, overcome dangerous enemies, and win for himself fame, fortune, and rich rewards. As we accompany him, we learn much of the history of famous mathematicians who preceded him; we undergo a series of trials at the hands of the wise men of the day; and we come to admire the warm wisdom and patience that earn him the respect and affection of those whos problems he resolves so astutely. In the grace of their telling, these stories hold unusual delights for the reader.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Puzzle books can be tedious unless you like that sort of thing, but not this one. First published in Brazil in 1949 by the mathematician Julio de Melo e Sousa Tahan is the imaginary Arab author he claimed to have translated, it is a series of delightful ``Arabian nights''-style tales, with each story built around a classic mathematical puzzle. The puzzles fit into the stories so naturally that they are a necessary part of the fantasy. The hero is a Persian mathematician and mystic named Beremiz who uses his powers of calculation like a magic wand to amaze and entertain people, settle disputes, find justice and, finally, win the heart of a beautiful princess. Reading the stories is as much fun as trying to solve the puzzles. For adults and children.-- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.
Alex Bellos
“I love The Man Who Counted. The book transports you into a magical world of Bedouins, viziers, sheiks, princes, and kings, rich in references to Islamic traditions and locations in the Middle East. The math is gentle, accessible, and drives the stories.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393309348
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/17/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 130,469
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alastair Reid is a writer and poet who divides his time between New York and Latin America. He has translated several volumes of Neruda's poetry.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    Inspiring!

    I used this book to integrate literature into math curriculum with a group of gifted 4th graders. I've never seen a bunch of kids so eager to solve problems, explore computation, and extend their learning by doing math on the weekends (by their choice)! I'm so happy to have made this discovery!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2001

    Math can be great!

    The Man Who Counted is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read. It is a surprisingly simple book that illustrates how good people can be. It is a real romance on life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    No religious bias.

    Its a fiction book. Even though it speaks about religion and even recites portion of the Bible (I Corinthians 13)it doesnt endorse religion. The last reviewer must be one of those crazy American Christians that make me think that it would be so hard to accept Christianity if I was born here.
    *Im an Evangelical Christian by the way...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Not for public schools

    This book has to much religion in it. This book should be BANNED from all public schools. I for one am appauled when I saw that my childs teacher was reading this book to the class. As a christain and an American this book is very controversial and has no place in a classroom. To explain to children that Jesus was a prophet is so false. BAN THIS BOOK!!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    For anyone who ever hated math!

    How I wish I had read this book when I was struggling with algebra in high school. This is a wonderfully entertaining story using real world math applications. I always wondered why I should study math and what possible application it could have in my life as a homemaker. Better than knowing how to double a recipe or calculating miles per gallon, The Man Who Counted makes it clear how we can apply math in our daily lives, circumstances for the application and the creativity inherent in mathematical functions. If you¿ve struggled with math or know someone who is, this book is for you. I highly recommend it for any person, young or old. P.S. Highschool student 12/1/2005 should learn how to spell. I guess English is not their strong suit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    um...

    overall i think that this book is not that great at all, the only reason why i gave it 3 stars is because it must have been hard to write a book with mathematical problems and make it ino a story. I would only reccomend this book to soemone thst is intrested in it all on their own, but if you are forced to read this book or have dobts about it then no way! dotn even try to read this sucker!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    SIMPLY AMAZING!

    This book is great simply because of how unique it is. It is a mathematical adventure that you cannot put down from the moment you pick it up. Highly recommended, certainly gives you a worthwhile and different read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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