The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure, Hans Magnus Enzensberger

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This story is about Robert, a boy who hates math, meets a Number Devil. There are twelve dreams in this story and each dream tells the discovery of numbers: infinite numbers, prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers, numbers with triangles, and factorials. As we dream with Robert, we get to understand more about mathematical theory and other amazing things that numbers can do.

In this book, there are some shortcuts which taught us how to solve complex problems. How I wish I knew the existence of this book when I was young. My school life probably will be easier. I hate maths and as usual, students that hate math rarely do well in their exams. I failed in maths almost every term during the last two years in high school and to top up to that horrible experience, you can imagine when you fail your maths in every term in Science class or one of the classes with top students. Seriously, embarrassment is one thing and another thing is your classmates looking at you in a different way. Well, I guess I wasn’t that failure after I left my school and probably I’ve done far better than other top students who used to be in the same class with me.

Unfortunately, we can’t deny that Math is important and it’s something that we can’t live without no matter how much we hate it. I never good in Maths even until now. I remember that my parents were so worried about my future but I guess my life wasn’t that bad after school. My personal thought is no matter how much hatred you have for Maths, at least try your best instead of just giving up and most important, try your best to master the basic calculations. Some of the theories might not applicable in your future job or career but the cruel fact is basic Math is with you for the rest of your life. I wish there was Internet or specific TV channel for kids to learn Maths during my time. My learning stage will be much more fun and easier and not just keep memorizing things without knowing what is the reason behind of them.

This book is suitable for all ages and I suggest that it’s better to take a break after each chapter so that your mind can have a rest before learning the next problem. Please don’t try to quickly finish the book else you will easily get annoyed with the numbers. This book is not meant for quick reading even though the words in the book were easy but the content needs some thinking.

Rating: ★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Number Devil.

Chin Yee

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