Around the World in 80 Games

Around the World in 80 Games
Genre : Popular Science
Published : 12 Oct 2023 - HarperCollins
Why do some games seem to be universal while others have a particular connection to the culture of the people playing them?

Around the World in 80 Games is about the mathematics of chance, game theory, gamification, gaming strategies and computer games. Traversing the globe, Marcus du Sautoy looks at the genesis of games new and old, explores how to invent a good game and explains the fascination of a popular lockdown game.

From the secrets of whist to hopscotch, Scrabble to Wordle. The most simple games endure: board games, card games and dice games have captivated us for centuries and the acclaimed mathematician and author of The Creativity Code (among many others) will once again bring mathematics to the fore with insight and aplomb in Around the World in 80 Games.


A complex package delivered in refreshingly simple and consistently entertaining terms.

Kirkus Reviews

A delightful and addictive celebration of Games. You’ll keeping wanting one more go.

Dara O'Briain

Whether your game is Go, Dungeons and Dragons, or Chocolate Chilli Roulette, you'll find this book adorable. It's lively, creative and humane – exactly as one would expect from Marcus du Sautoy.

Tim Harford, author of How To Make The World Add Up

The book encapsulates the very essence of human ingenuity and our intrinsic love for play and exploration. You do not need to be a seasoned player nor a skilled mathematician to relish in this enchanting read. However, this book may just encourage you to become the one or the other.

Reiner Knizia

A delightful global tour of how humans think and play, led by one of our finest mathematical storytellers.

Ben Orlin, author of Math Games with Bad Drawings

In this book, you will learn beautiful facts about games you have enjoyed all of your life as well as games that you have never played, but can provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Written by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, this book can be appreciated by game players of all mathematical backgrounds. Highly recommended!

Arthur T. Benjamin, author of The Magic of Math

This meticulous and deeply researched survey will appeal to math-lovers and history buffs alike.

Publishers Weekly

He really is a wonderful teacher: as conversant in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the poetry of Paul Valéry as he is, well, conversational. Du Sautoy has an easy, freewheeling style that helps you, his student, keep up. The maths lessons, such as they are, come almost by stealth.

Peter Hoskin, Prospect Magazine

A peach of a book by the incredible Marcus du Sautoy. What a wonderful read.

Peter Frankopan

The subject matter is fun and du Sautoy's enthusiasm is infectious.

The Times

This meticulous and deeply researched survey will appeal to math-lovers and history buffs alike.

Publishers Weekly

A Verne-inspired and idiosyncratic tour of ‘the many crazy, fantastic, addictive games that our species has created.’

John J. Miller, The Wall Street Journal

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