Say something about yourself!
Not necessarily better... different. It's brilliantly written but the narration has to be the best reading I have ever heard in ANY genre.
As a student of Professor Susskind I already know how good a teacher he is but this book affirms his bone fides as a storyteller as well Again, Ray Porter's reading is brilliant!
Talmudic law on whether or not it's OK to fill a toilet paper holder on the Sabbath :-)
A physics book? Ummm... no.
Say something about yourself!
I knew nothing about black holes, quantum mechanics/physics, string theory. I'm not saying I'm now an expert but I'm no long totally clueless. This was a very entertaining and compelling read.
Susskind's personal dispute with Stephen Hawking over the seemingly esoteric question of whether information is lost at the event horizon of a black hole could easily have been a yawn-filled, mind-numbing listen. But it wasn't. He carries the reader through the decades-long dispute with a number of very personal annecdotes -- some funny, some heart-warming. And along the way, he teaches the reader about quantum mechanics, string threory and the nature of the sub-atomic universe in all its glorious nine dimensions.
In truth, while this book claims to be the simple little story of a debate between theoritical physicists, it is actually a layman's textbook on sub-atomic physics. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing, masquerading as a story book. Susskind wrote this book knowing that his audience wouldn't put up with the hyper-dimensional mathematics required to fully understand his brand of physics and instead finds ways to present the concepts in digestible, non-mathematical metaphors. Over time he builds within the listener the confidence that they can grasp at least a piece of his very complex scientific world.
Richard writes in a conversational and often blunt style that works very well in an audiobook format. I would warn that he pulls no punches about who he is or what he thinks. Listeners of a religious bent (like me) may be offended by some of his comments, but as this book is a presented as a personal journey, it shouldn't detract from the overall content.
Ray Porter's narration is an excellent complement to Susskind's text. It is obvious that he understands and enjoys the subject matter and, as a result, is able to inject into his narration the same passion and humor that Richard intended. Indeed, if I didn't know better to begin with, I would have thought the book was being read by the author. The reading is clean, well-paced and enjoyable to listen to.
The author, Leonard Susskind, is one of the most articulate physicists in the world today. He takes the most complex issues and contemplations of the universe and its workings and makes them accessible to the average person. Ray Porter narrates it perfectly. Easily the best physics book I have ever come across, and it is worth multiple listens to 'grock' all the amazing thinking he explains. It is a beautiful piece of work.
It is possible for anyone who has an interest in Science to get something out of this audio. Naturally, those with a background in Quantum physics will understand best.
I enjoyed the ways in which Leonard Susskind acquaints us with the eccentric personalities foremost involved in this research along with his attempt to offer layman's terms as best he could.
However, I must say that my mind began to wander more than a few times some place between boredom and the farthest reaches of my mind. Not that this is a negative reflection. As Susskind relates, even the most adept in this field have a hard time fully understanding the theories involve. I suggest listener's prepare themselves for this intellectual challenge.
This is a fascinating book, well written and well narrated. The material is not easy to explain and hence the author should be congratulated for the fine job he has done in making it possible for readers / listeners to get a sense of the reasoning by which physicists reach the extraordinary conclusions that he describes in this book. The only point which I found difficult to follow was how entropy as hidden information is related to thermodynamic entropy. And given the nature of the topics that are covered, this only proves the point that a lot of thought has gone into making the material accessible to lay readers. Before, I purchased this book, I had come across a review that said Susskind had included Hawking's name on the cover, to get his book to sell. I want to say that the book is very good and does not require anything else to increase sales. I would strongly recommend this book to other readers interested in learning about current research in Physics.
This is a great tale of astronomy and the search to defend the understanding of physics in light of new discovery. A worthy listen and fun. I highly recommend it.
A trivial man
Absolutely spellbinding. The science is great, but the characters are absolutely mesmerizing. In this story, we see the petty side of science and the heroic side, often in the same scientist. Sure, the story is a little dated, now, but even though science has moved on to the next war (or the next war after that) it's still awesome to get behind the scenes of what top of the pyramid scientist are up to. What Tom Wolfe's "Right Stuff" was for astronauts, this book is for physicists.
I listened to this after reading Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time. Hawking's book was good but lost me at the end. What I liked about Susskind's book was that he gives a very good history of many aspects of physics and makes it all easy to follow and understand. He finally leads you to the conclusion that information entering a black hole is not lost, which is contrary to what Hawking thought. I like the theoretical, imagine if you will, examples that physicists use to figure things out. Pretty cool.
GREAT audiobook. I learned a lot about about information theory, entropy, and astronomy. The narrator presents the story well, even the very technical bits. Highly recommended!