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Ik ben verslaafd aan boeken. Hieronder kan je mijn volledige lijst vinden van gelezen fictie-boeken die in mijn boekenkast. Van sommige boeken kan je zelfs een korte bespreking vinden.
Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code

Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code

Auteur

Cecil Balmond

Eerste Uitgave

1998

Uitgave

1998

Uitgeverij

Prestel

Vorm

non-fictie

Taal

Engels

Bladzijden

232 bladzijden

Gelezen

2004-03-20

Score

7/10

Inhoud

Number 9 takes the reader into a mysterious realm, unlocking a secret world of numbers. On the surface of arithmetic, a million calculations confuse the eye, but underneath it all, there is method and order. We are introduced to Enjil, the boy mathematician who discovers a code and its hidden message when challenged by a spirit to solve the riddle, What is the fixed point in the wind? But like a detective story, the clues unravel, from the Corners of the Earth to the Four Precious Mirrors of arithmetic, through archetypes and myth to the symbols of nine - a trail leads to an astonishing truth.

Bespreking

Declaration of love for numbers

The least you can say about Number 9 is that it is a remarkable book for many reasons. Not a lot of non-fiction books have the guts to address mathematics in such a personal way. The author Cecil Balmond even creates the character of Enjil to accompany the reader during his search for the truth behind the number 9. The claim of the author that it reads as detective story is certainly true for the first half the book. But be warned, you will not get a definite answer to the questions posed. Although more than once the author claims that the riddles have been solved, she does not seem to be aware that her so called solution is actually a redefinition of the same questions. But then again, you can ask yourself if a real solution would have fitted together with the magical atmosphere nourished by this book.
The weakest point, without doubt, is the fact that Cecil completely ignores to place Number 9 in its true context. Never during the whole narrative does she mention that number 9 is only magical in a decimal system. For the same reasons that number 9 is special in a system with ten digits, 15 will be magical in a hexadecimal system. It is clear that this kind of information will diminish the magical power behind number 9, but that cannot be enough reason to just ignore the facts. From an academic point of view such a denial is unforgivable.

But maybe this book was never intended to be an academic thesis and must be perceived as a declaration of love to the exciting world of numbers. Cecil has definitely succeeded in putting her passion for the subject on paper. After reading Number 9, even the most ignorant soul will have difficulties in trying to deny that mathematics is truly the science of beauty.