“The Infinte Book” by John D. Barrow

This wasn’t a book about the mathematics of the infinite (though there are some references to very basic infinities), or the science or history. While I’m not very well versed in the infinite, I’ve looked around and heard from some more immersed in it that this book doesn’t cover the complete nature of the infinite; it lingers on the huge and exciting. I’ve heard that what history of human concepts of the infinite it does include are flawed and a little misrepresentative.

So it’s not a book for historians, mathematicians, any form of astronomers, scientists or those fascinated with the infinite. But (apart from occasionally a historian), I wasn’t in those groups when I started reading. Now, of course, I care a great deal more about infinities. But for someone with limited access to tertiary mathematics and very little experience of the infinite, this book has been fun to read. Some phrases and glossings over of content have left me feeling a little wrong inside, and having read it I certainly wouldn’t buy myself a copy new, but I did have fun.

If you’re looking for an entry-level description of some infinities, or just light fluffy popular science, then this is a pretty good book. But if you care about endlessness enough to want a very finite book on it, I’d recommend that you look around and check out other books on this topic to get a more rounded and complete picture.


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