a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Tangled Tale (1886)
Lewis Carroll
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Highly Rated!

A collection of ten mathematical puzzles in story form by the famous author/mathematician Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).

Contributed by "Daniel"

"The reason I answered 3 for "Mathematical Content" is that all the math is implicit, in the form of puzzles concealed in the stories, as opposed to being "mentioned explicitly"; but those puzzles are the whole point of the work. The stories themselves are fairly amusing in the usual Carroll vein. His responses to the children who answered the puzzles (when the story first appeared in successive issues of a magazine) are arrogant and condescending and sometimes inaccurate, again in the usual Carroll vein."

Contributed by Sabine

Actually, A Tangled Tale is no work of fiction. It is a series of mathmatical problems (or, rather, puzzles) served in a more palatable form. Originally, it had been published in a periodical with readers being able to send in their solutions. In dealing with many of the less than perfect answers, Carroll gives readers something to smile about (not the ones having their solutions dismantled though...).

I enjoyed both reading and applying my mind in quest for the solutions.

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Works Similar to A Tangled Tale
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Euclid and His Modern Rivals by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll)
  2. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  3. The Princess Hoppy or the Tale of Labrador by Jacques Roubaud
  4. Math Patrol by TV Ontario
  5. Donald in Mathmagic Land by Hamilton Luske (director)
  6. Mathmakers by TV Ontario
  7. Odd Squad by Tim McKeon / Adam Peltzman
  8. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll
  9. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  10. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
Ratings for A Tangled Tale:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
4.14/5 (7 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.11/5 (9 votes)

GenreHumorous, Didactic, Children's Literature,
MediumShort Stories,

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)