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Humble Pi

A Comedy of Maths Errors
Written by: Matt Parker
Narrated by: Matt Parker
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Humble Pi, written and read by Matt Parker. 

We would all be better off if everyone saw mathematics as a practical ally. Sadly, most of us fear maths and seek to avoid it. This is because mathematics doesn't have good 'people skills' - it never hesitates to bluntly point out when we are wrong. But it is only trying to help! Mathematics is a friend which can fill the gaps in what our brains can do naturally. 

Luckily, even though we don't like sharing our own mistakes, we love to listen to tales about what happens when maths errors make the everyday go horribly wrong. Matt Parker explores and explains near misses and mishaps with planes, bridges, the internet and big data as a way of showing us not only how important maths is but how we can use it to our advantage. This comedy of errors is a brilliantly told series of disaster stories with a happy ending.

©2019 Matt Parker (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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What listeners say about Humble Pi

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ok for un-engaging hearing.

Does not have the depth to engage much. Only a few incidents narrated have the intrigue much.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Funny... Well mostly... when people dont die

Must read/listen for anyone who knows or understands the references to any of the following:

Festival of the spoken nerd
Spreadsheets
The talk about spreadsheets in the festival of the spoken nerd
Helen Arny and Steve Mould
Pi -> not Tau
Numberphile and/or Brady
Maths in engineering... any engineering
Anyone whose spouse is a rocket scientist... anyone who is a rocket scientist themself
Students... especially students
Quirky British humour
Forced bad puns
Magic square -> Parker square
The one true parabola
Dates -> its not that simple


If you dont get the references, its ok, still read/listen to the book. anyone who has, even the slightest, predisposition towards curiosity should give it a shot. Math is fun... sometimes frustrating but fun... much like anything fun in life.

Hope you have a mild chuckle and an above average time.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just what you expect from Matt Parker

Brilliant, funny, full of humour and stories and the hardwork/effort put into making this book is just something you can't miss.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

Easily has become one of my favourites of all time. Well done, Matt. Great book.

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Interesting, Informative, Funny

Most of the facts in this book were a revelation to me. I was stunned to realize how even the smallest of overlooks lead to one of the biggest disasters. Also, goes on to show how inevitable human fallibility is.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good one for facts and math lovers

good one for facts and math lovers. Matt Parker explains world class destruction be simple and elagant way.

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Surprisingly engaging

I found Matt to be a very good narrator, with very attention captivating story telling skills. As a person who is not a mathematician, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17-10-19

Very enjoyable !

Very enjoyable book with great story's, both fun and educational. Matt's voice is unmatched.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 18-03-19

Loved it

Great selection of small stories about mistakes being a part of what it means to be a human. I really onjoyed the performance and the math.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sir
  • 14-03-19

The best Mat(t/hs) book this year

Wanted to give it 3, 1 and 4 stars. But it's just too good. So instead I give it 6.28 stars in each category, rounded to the nearest possible star rating. Great job Mat(t/hs)!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • joel
  • 14-12-19

_

if you've already watched his youtube material you will already have heard most of this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-04-20

Legendary book!

Such a good book and masterfully read! Please make an audiobook of Things To See And Do In The Fourth Dimension! Please!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David W
  • 20-04-20

Started a bit slowly but gets into its stride-

Started a bit slowly but gets into its stride - has some very interesting examples

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua Marcus
  • 10-03-20

Light and interesting read

Some of the stories are only interesting to a certain type of person, but Parker's excitement is infectious.

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  • Cliente Kindle
  • 07-03-20

So cool

loved it. learned a lot. had good laughs.
became a fan of author work at numberphile, royal institution, and other geeky places.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 24-02-20

Mathematical laughs

if you like funny stories of human mathematical and programming error, and if you'd like those stories told to you in causal manner by a mate. This might be for you.

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  • TH
  • 31-01-20

Funny, witty, and informative

Excellent book, great way to highlight the importance of maths. It's science comedy at its best.

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  • Gustavo Guida
  • 02-04-19

As if maths on its own wasn't funny enough!

Matt does it again! whether you know him from YouTube or not this author can bring a funny twist to everything mathematical, and that means that he can add a fun twist to everything. This eye opening book will make you reflect on the deepest thoughts with a smile on your face and a nice LoL from time to time!
Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-03-19

Fun insight into how maths impacts our lives!

Interesting and well paced subject matter. It is fascinating how many everyday things trace back to numbers and (mis)calculations. Mr Parker is a great narrator, you can tell he's done a lot speaking in his many seconds on this earth.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julian Griffin
  • 03-08-20

Ineptitude, idiocy, bad luck. All interestesting.

I am never ceased to be amazed that the blatantly obvious can so easily be missed. Just because a person is intelligent, doesn't mean they can not be blind on occasions. These, well written and well read stories, are a stark reminder to us of obviousness of the hubris at the centre of mankind.

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  • RRW
  • 31-07-20

Numerous take on mathematical mistakes

I’m no master in mathematics, far from it, I have a basic grasp of numbers, and the ability to make my bank account deteriorate quicker than a plane with no fuel. This book is written so well that complicated and sometimes absurd mathematics are made easy to understand without making you feel dumb in the process, quite the opposite, although I’m not sure education is at the forefront of this books agenda. Learning about the speed of light down cables, the Americans inability to conform to the rest of the worlds metric ways and how random isn’t all that random was both fascinating and educational. Great book, well read, well worth your time!

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  • D'Arcy
  • 03-07-20

Maths Entertainment

A great compendium and explanation of how, why and when maths went wrong. Read by the author, in his entertaining and engaging style, thoroughly enjoyable!

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  • Robert S.
  • 22-05-20

Interesting, educational, nerdy and funny

Lots of errors occur in every day life which need to happen for humans to learn. luckily we have experts on hand to deal with that. Very interesting book

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  • Comanche
  • 11-05-20

Came from YouTube. Loved it from start to finish.

Loved the narration solve by Matt himself. There are some glorious nuggets of verbal translation that would be lost to ask audio listener, and it's refreshing to have an audio book read as a verbal guide, rather than being read word for word verbatim.

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  • KT Zee
  • 07-05-20

Very accessible and interesting

A wonderfully interesting and lighthearted ramble through common errors in mathematics that create real-world consequences. Even if you're "not good at maths" or "not a numbers person" this is well worth a listen - there is little actual maths in it, and nowhere where you need to know anything beforehand. The only flaw is that some of the numbers listed in the physical book are a little difficult to follow in audiobook format - I occasionally found myself writing things out to gain a fuller understanding.

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  • Ryan Smith
  • 02-05-20

Great book to dip in and out of

Totally recommended. As an engineer I can definitely relate to lots of the problems in this book. Well written and well read by the author! Plus love watching him on numberphile!

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  • AliMcFally
  • 25-04-20

Entertaining and educational

I enjoyed the content but actually Matt Parker's delivery of it was very good. He embellishes the written word a bit by explaining some of the figures in the book. Great listen.

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  • Rajesh
  • 25-07-20

Very enjoyable

Excellent content, and narration. I listened to it on my walks in the park. It is an easy and enjoyable listen

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-20

Very entertaining.

The narration was almost on par with that of an Engineer.
Thanks Matt, well read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-19

awesomeness

I joined audible just to listen to this book, Matt you are awesome. we need more

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Kang
  • 22-08-19

Entertaining, definitely not a Parker Audiobook.

I was initially worried that I would have heard all the examples before as I follow Matt Parker on YouTube. I'm glad to report that there's plenty of new information so even if you've watched all of Matt's videos, you won't be disappointed. It's the same Matt Parker voice and intonation you know and love!

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  • Bob
  • 27-06-19

Matt is an engaging speaker and author

Well worth the time, even though it presents itself as a maths book there is little need to visualise formulas

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Thijs van Berkel
  • 14-05-19

too much repetition of YouTube channel

great stories but too much repetition of information that the author shared on his YouTube channel

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-03-19

Laughed the whole way through.

I'm always amazed by the dumb things Matt can find to talk about. Bloody brilliant.

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  • Tom Saleeba
  • 21-03-19

Thoroughly entertaining

If you enjoy Matt's YouTube videos, you'll also enjoy this book. Presented really well in Matt's usual nerdy, enthusiastic manner.