An alternative to the comprehensive algorithm texts in the market. This text, extensively class-tested over a decade at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, explains the fundamentals of algorithms in a story line that makes the material enjoyable and easy to digest. Emphasis is placed on understanding the crisp mathematical idea behind each algorithm, in a manner that is intuitive and rigorous without being unduly formal. Features include: The use of boxes to strengthen the narrative: pieces that provide historical context, descriptions of how the algorithms are used in practice, and excursions for the mathematically sophisticated. Carefully chosen advanced topics that can be skipped in a standard one-semester course, but can be covered in an advanced algorithms course or in a more leisurely two-semester sequence. An accessible treatment of linear programming introduces students to one of the greatest achievements in algorithms. An optional chapter on the quantum algorithm for factoring provides a unique peephole into this exciting topic. "Algorithms" is an outstanding undergraduate text, equally informed by the historical roots and contemporary applications of its subject. Like a captivating novel, it is a joy to read.