I am not a mathematician. I am not a scientist. I have studied a little of both but by and large my interest is a layman's one. I am, however, fascinated with history in all its forms, including the history of science, technology, medicine and - of course - mathematics.
'Beauty', 'elegance' and 'charm' are not words you would necessarily associate with this discipline but Marcus du Sautoy uses all of them and with great enthusiasm. I've thought of numbers and theories as many things but I'm not sure I'd ever considered that to a mathematician or scientist they could be beautiful. Yet I found it almost impossible not to get swept away on his love of numbers and how they can be used, manipulated and worked to bring almost miraculous advantages to our lives.
This was an excellent history of mathematics - short enough to remain fascinating to readers who don't want to explore the complexities of this area and simple enough for a layman to understand, without denigrating the hard work of the many talented and awe-inspiring geniuses mentioned within.