I love learning about the universe and our place in it by listening to Audible.
It takes a mineral expert to understand the development of earth. I'm not a mineral expert and I don't play one on TV, but after listening to this book I feel like I'm a geologist in training.
I didn't think it was possible. The author makes minerals and its science interesting. He has an over arching theory that's best summarized as "the origin of (mineral) species".
For those of you who have a pet theory and have a deep understanding of the subject you'll probably find many things to criticize about this book and you'd probably be right. Either your theory is not covered at all or he doesn't cover it in the way you believe. Give the author a break, he's covering over 4 1/2 billion years of history.
I'll be awaiting further shows on Discovery covering this same topic, and maybe this time I'll be able to follow them.
I bought this book on the Kindle when it first came out, because I didn't think there was going to be an audio version. I had read 2/3 of the book on the Kindle and listened to the last 1/3 of the book on audible. The reader really made the book better. He has a way of making what he's reading as exciting as the subject matter deserves. I probably would not have finished the kindle, I much prefer to listen. Good book and even better listen.
This was not an easy book to understand and the particle zoo plays a large role in the discussion and often I would lose my way only because the material is sometimes hard to follow, but the book covers everything you always wanted to know about the Higgs Boson and its field, but were afraid to ask.
I absolutely loved the author's previous book, "From Eternity to Here", and couldn't wait for this book. He's such a good writer and explains better than almost anyone. There are enough good parts in this book to make the particle zoo part worth listening to.
There's one important theme that runs through the book that will make the book easier to understand. That is these five words: "not observed waves, observed particles". In the background of the universe is the Higgs field and it is the vibration of this field that gives particles their mass. The author explains this and relates it to possible solutions to dark matter and dark energy.
An amazingly written book. The author really know how to explain things well and tie it into an overriding narrative. If you have any interest in black holes and galaxy formation (and who among us doesn't!), this book is a must listen. You will become completely up to date in the subject.
Usually, I don't like it when the author does his own reading, but Mr. Scharf does an excellent job and makes the reading as exciting as the subject matter deserves.
I can't recommend this book strongly enough. He explains flawlessly. For example, he explained Einstein's gravitational equation in words in such a way that for the moment I was listening to it, I really understood what it meant. He is that good at explaining.
OK -- I'm a science nerd, and I was expecting a science nerd book: Another book about cosmology, quantum mechanics, string theory and whatnot to bring me to a closer understanding of things that you can't really understand without the math. (Which I don't have. Not a math nerd. Sigh.)
Instead, I got a very engaging story about scientists poking at the edges of reality, with actual plot, intrigue, politics, and drama. This was the life I had envisioned for myself in high school. After hearing this book, how I wish I hadn't switched gears! I coulda been in this story. I coulda been a contenda ...
Yeah -- this book actually makes scientists seem like rock stars. OK -- really peculiar rock stars. More peculiar than usual -- but still...
I think some layman's background in the topics (astronomy and particle physics) would be helpful, but you don't need to be a scientist to enjoy this book. And despite the fact that this is not really a science book, you will come away a pretty good understanding of what it's all about. Although I knew much of the science here, this book put things into perspective and gave me a deeper understanding of it all. A view from 30,000 feet is sometime what you need to have it all make sense.
I didn't give it five stars because this is not Stephen King, after all. But it's a really good listen.
The narrator deserves a lot of credit for making this a really good listen. He has a lively and energetic style, and I could hardly believe he had not lived the story.