MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

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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(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

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. The Princess Hoppy or the Tale of Labrador by Jacques Roubaud
  3. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  4. Math Patrol by TV Ontario
  5. Donald in Mathmagic Land by Hamilton Luske (director)
  6. Mathmakers by TV Ontario
  7. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll
  8. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  9. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  10. Magic Squares by Paul Calter
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)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Didactic, Children's Literature,
Motif
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)