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Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter.

If you consider extravagance as noise, this book will have a terrible SNR. (I think it's nonetheless worth reading. It's basically an introduction to the theory of computation with fables and plenty of illustrating examples by Escher and Bach (both of which have unknowingly used important concepts from computation in their works). It is definitely much easier to read after having attended to a theory of computation I lecture.)

We have access to so much great work on the topic of computation today thanks to the internet, and especially because of work in computer languages and research over the last 20 years, but GEB was published in 1979. At the time it was ground-breaking, making work that really only a handful of people knew about and were interested in accessible to many.

Completely disagree. GEB is the opposite of what OP was asking for. It takes pages to make points that can be done far more economically and concisely.

That was my experience as well. Another poster mentioned Quantum Computing Since Democritus by Aaronson. The latter seems more technically difficult but I enjoye it more than GED. I haven't been able to "get into" GED in the last 3 times I have started reading it. It's just long and rambling (to me). I don't "get it", but maybe I will one day, the book's still on my bookshelf...

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