David Singmaster

Thinking Big

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless


Jonathan Cape 328pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Infinity is an awfully big subject, as Peter Pan might have said. Indeed there is not just one infinity, but infinitely many of them. Grappling with infinity is one of the main themes of mathematics, physics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. ‘The infinite! No other question has ever moved so profoundly the spirit of man,’ said the German mathematician David Hilbert. It has even driven men mad.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,