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Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Paperback – 5 February 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,266 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Basic Books; 1st edition (5 February 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 824 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0465026567
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0465026562
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.51 x 4.83 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,266 ratings

Product description

Review

Winner of the National Book Award in Science

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

Godel, Escher, Bach was a triumphantly successful presentation of quite difficult concepts for a popular audience. There has been nothing like it in computer science before or since.--Ernest Davis, IEEE Expert

A brilliant, creative, and very personal synthesis without precedent or peer in modern literature.--The American Mathematical Monthly

A huge, sprawling literary marvel, a philosophy book disguised as a book of entertainment disguised as a book of instruction.--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A triumph of cleverness, bravura performance.--Parabola

A wondrous book that unites and explains, in a very entertaining way, many of the important ideas of recent intellectual history.--Commonweal

Every few decades an unknown author brings out a book of such depth, clarity, range, wit, beauty and originality that it is recognized at once as a major literary event. This is such a work.--Martin Gardner, Scientific American

I have never seen anything quite like this book. It has a youthful vitality and a wonderful brilliance, and I think that it may become something of a classic.--Jeremy Bernstein

In some ways, Godel, Escher, Bach is an entire humanistic education between the covers of a single book. So, for my next visit to a desert island, give me sun, sand, water and GEB, and I'll live happily ever after.--John L. Casti, Nature

Book Description

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll

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Arran
2.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual daddy issues meets an asparagus for an editor
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 July 2020
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9 people found this helpful
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bragboy
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly METAllic experience!
Reviewed in India on 31 December 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly METAllic experience!
Reviewed in India on 31 December 2016
What a wonderful book! This is the biggest one I’ve read and I think it will remain so for many years to come. This book is pure genius, it was like watching one of those Christopher Nolan’s movie. No wonder Nolan himself was inspired from some of the Art inspired from Escher. It has taken 5 months for me to complete this book, wondering how long it would have taken Hofstadter to complete this beast. It is not just some random scribbling, it has a detailed structure and the blending on Music, Mathematics, and Art which also happens to be my most favorite subjects.

Written in the 70s the concepts presented in this book are timeless. There are lots of things I would want to highlight that has stuck with me after reading this.
Formal systems: The concept of formalizing anything into boundaries. This is the heart of any scientific advancement we have seen as a human civilization since our species started to calculate. The beauty of trying to formalize anything is that you cannot formalize anything. The strange paradox keeps looping in again and again in all sorts of subjects and Hofstadter has asked a lot of interesting questions around this area that directly correlates Science and Philosophy.
Artificial Intelligence: Hofstadter lays all the building blocks needed to clone the human intelligence and what it really takes to completely replicate how a human thinks. Obviously, he himself did not find a solution or gathered one. However, the challenges that face straight on for moving the field of AI forward are clearly laid out. Not just laid out, his attempts to “formalize” them and the difficulties that are faced only suggest that Human species and our “life” is one of the rarest things that ever could have happened and makes us think how many of our limited days we are wasting in hatred, guilt, jealousy, greed. That is why this book gets super interesting when you dive deep into ‘formalising’ anything.
Since the book could get dry at few places, he tells some of the wonderful stories with some fantasical characters that have no least relationships with each other: Achilles, Tortoise, Crab being the main recurring characters. You also get to meet Sloth, Anteater, Author Himself, Charles Babbage, and Alan Turing. A story or a narration takes place between these characters which are highly intriguing in themselves and then is followed by theoretical/mathematical approach towards the subject that was just discussed.
This review is just an attempt and it is impossible to capture all the meta-nuances that this book covers. One thing guaranteed is that you are bound to enjoy the concepts in this book given you have basics of Music and a decent understanding of Mathematics. Since I am in the Engineering field, this book was an amazing journey. Digest it slowly, you will definitely cherish it!
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N. Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-Expanding. It's like a good workout for your brain that keeps on giving...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 May 2017
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13 people found this helpful
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Galada
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother to read it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2019
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4 people found this helpful
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BernieM
5.0 out of 5 stars Big book, big read, big challenge!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 May 2019
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