Skip to content

Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

Alex Bellos

In this entertaining and accessible book, Alex Bellos explodes the myth that maths is best left to the geeks. Covering subjects from adding to algebra, from set theory to statistics, and from logarithms to logical paradoxes, he explains how mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives. Bellos explains the surprising geometry of the 50p piece, and the strategy of how best to gamble it in a casino. He shines a light on the mathematical patterns in nature, and on the peculiar predictability of random behaviour. He eats a potato crisp whose revolutionary shape was unpalatable to the ancient Greeks, and he shows the deep connections between maths, religion and philosophy. An unlikely but exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and mathematical proofs, Alex's dispatches from ‘Numberland’ show the world of maths to be a much friendlier and more colourful place than you might have imagined.

First published:
Published by:
Hardcover 448 pages

About the author

Alex Bellos is a British writer and broadcaster and the author of books about Brazil and mathematics. He has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He worked for the Guardian in London and Rio de Janeiro, where he was the paper’s unusually numerate foreign correspondent. In 2002 he wrote Futebol: A Brazilian Way of Life, a critically acclaimed book about Brazilian football, and in 2006 ghostwrote Pelé’s autobiography, which was a number one bestseller. Alex’s Adventures in Numberland spent four months on The Sunday Times’ top ten bestsellers’ list and the Daily Telegraph described the book as a ‘mathematical wonder that will leave you hooked on numbers’.