Entertaining vignettes from Paulos's biography abound - ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, a grandmother's petty larceny, and his quite unintended role in getting George Bush elected president in 2000. These vignettes serve as springboards to many telling perspectives: Simple arithmetic puts lifelong habits in a dubious new light; higher-dimensional geometry helps us see that we're all rather peculiar; nonlinear dynamics explains the narcissism of small differences cascading into very different siblings; logarithms and exponentials yield insight on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and there are tricks and jokes, probability and coincidences, and much more.
For fans of Paulos or newcomers to his work, this witty commentary on his life - and yours - is fascinating listening.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Philo on 31-01-16
Nonlinear, nerdy, fun, mind-stretching
If that sounds good to you, go for it! This author is no pro narrator. But his nerdy voice perfectly fits the work. He must have been a real 5-star dweeb in school, which is perfect! Today I am simply wandering around on a cloudy Saturday listening to this, and it is beyond perfect. I am a storyteller (OK, teacher) by trade, and what is more compelling than considering the nature of stories, held up against some (seemingly) incongruous yardsticks of math and philosophy? It casts a trippy light back onto everything, my own narratives to/about myself included. So it sprawls across many subjects, psychology too, which is fine for me.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 26-02-16
Good stuff, but a professional narrator would help
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, but probably only to my math-educated friends.
What was one of the most memorable moments of A Numerate Life?
References to Bayes Theorem.
How could the performance have been better?
Grover Gardner, or other professional narrators, would have made the experience a lot better.
Any additional comments?
Paulos' "Innumeracy" was a catalyst in my career transition from high-tech development back to the teaching I enjoyed as as grad student. I love his writing style and insight. A mathematical meta-autobiography is wonderfully self-referential.
On the downside:
This might be a hard read for those without mathematics degrees, or at least engineering or similar STEM.
Also, this is a good example of why a professional narrator might just be a better choice than an author-narrator. Grover Gardner would have been a much better choice than Paulos.