Alex Through the Looking Glass  by Alex Bellos
(Bloomsbury, 2014)

Alex Through the Looking Glass

by Alex Bellos

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to fractals, cones and curves, bestselling author Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit, engaging stories and limitless enthusiasm. As he narrates a series of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world, Alex demonstrates how numbers have come to be our friends, are fascinating and extremely accessible, and how they have changed our world.

He turns even the dreaded calculus into an easy-to-grasp mathematical exposition, and sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world’s favourite number. In Germany, he meets the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop, whilst in India he joins the world’s highly numerate community at the International Congress of Mathematicians. He explores the wonders behind the Game of Life program, and explains mathematical logic, growth and negative numbers. Stateside, he hangs out with a private detective in Oregon and meets the mathematician who looks for universes from his garage in Illinois.

Read this captivating book, and you won’t realise that you’re learning about complex concepts. Alex will get you hooked on maths as he delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, and proves just how much fun we can have with them.

Alex Through the Looking Glass is published by Simon and Schuster in the US, under the title, The Grapes of Math.

Reviews

See, numbers don't have to be scary. ”
- Evan Davis
Another sparkling romp through the world of numbers, with the inimitable Alex Bellos as your friendly, informed, and crystal-clear guide. A brilliant successor to Alex’s Adventures in Numberland. ”
- Ian Stewart
I loved this book! Fresh, fascinating and endlessly charming.”
- Tim Harford
Think of the best storyteller you know and the coolest teacher you ever had, and now you’ve got some idea of what Alex Bellos is like. His book taught me something new on every page. Better yet, it made me laugh and want to tell someone what I’d just read. Math has never been so much fun. ”
- Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics, Cornell University, and author of The Joy of x
‘Maths is never easy, but with Bellos it is significantly easier.’ ”
- The Times
‘To read Alex Through The Looking Glass is to have one’s mind quietly but continually blown with the knowledge that the world, so seemingly complex, is constantly conforming to patterns… Bright children, bored with the way maths is presented, will find plenty here to jolly up their calculus classes, while those with an in-depth mathematical education may still find a few gems.’”
- the Sunday Express