When I take the hatchet to a book I’m usually happy if others offer a second opinion. After all, writing books is hard work and books are usually harmless artifacts at worst. In this instance I find myself in strong disagreement with the previous reviewer, though I can appreciate what he’s saying. The title is indeed misleading, and some parts of the book can strike you at first as pseudoscientific mumbling. But that is a mistaken assessment. This is not a book of science or explanation of quantum theory. It is best described as a series of philosophical essays on aspects of quantum theory with a distinctly phenomenological slant. The chief influence is the French existentialist Merleau-Ponty, along with some (largely unacknowledged) points from Husserl on music. This sounds unfathomable, but it is fairly straightforward. The best sections of the book explore the paradoxes of light and visibility, Goethe’s theory of color, and a very interesting, to me, discussion of the paradoxes entailed in geometric concepts of points and lines. It is true that the author can sound a tad cosmic here and there as he dwells on duality and the ineffable. At times he sounds like he is taking Western Science and Cold Cartesians to task. But many card-carrying quantum physicists and cosmologists are not far behind him in that respect. At its best the book can be (the pun seems inevitable) an illuminating discourse on the mysterious nature of light. I enjoyed most of it and have listened to a few sections over again with intellectual pleasure. It isn’t for everyone, as the other reviewer makes clear. But for those with a speculative bent, I recommend it as an interesting accompaniment to one of the standard audiobooks on quantum theory. The reading is easy on the ears, rather pleasantly quiet and meditative.
"Audio Publishers, Please Take Note!" First, I agree with others that this book is an excellent introduction to aspects of modern physics. Instead of beginning with relativity, it uses very interesting historical episodes to place Einstein's famous formula within the larger history of the science of energy and mass, which makes a lot of sense. But I am writing mainly to note the reading, which should be a model for other publishers. Far too many Audible books are read by professionals at top speed or with histrionic overacting. This casually paced, natural reading is a tremendous aid in comprehension. Today's "media professionals" simply do not trust the written word and feel they must "add value" with dramatic antics, youthful over-enthusiasm, and the highest possible number words per second. Like restaurants that insist on cranking up the music they are terrified that someone might get bored. Some topics require a bit of chewy comprehension and this reading sets an ideal standard for such.
If think it is fundamental here to say that this book is a biography of quantum physicists, not a lecture series explaining the problematic of quantum physics. As such I think it is rather good, quite detailed and very logically structured. Unfortunately I do not think the nature of the book is clearly understandable from the summary provided on the audible webpage. Thus to the people interested in the physicists and historical events connected to quantum revolution I very much recommend the book. The people who are searching for a deeper understanding of quantum phenomena I can only advise to search for another book.