For a book that aimed to step through the periodic table, it was disjointed and scattered. There did not seem to be any real direction to the book.
I thought some of the anecdotes were very interesting and entertaining.
Definitely disappointment. I expected a more organized approach. The author hopped between elements, stories, and just had no real direction. It could have been so much better.
Didn't read the printed version
I didn't finish. Too technical
Not my cup of tea
i really wanted to like it, but i grew bored and dropped it. (and i generally love science books)
In, what I suspect is, an attempt to make the book the most readable to the most people, basic scientific words are morphed into everyday street vernacular. The awful effect being that meanings are changed and false statements ensue - the inescapable irony being the further muddling of understanding. Picture Monet with large color blocks instead of points of color.
The Book itself is great. For those who like this kind of thing, the book offers a good deal of detail without becoming pedantic. The narrator however leaves much to be desired. His voice is weak, his use of accents inconsistent and the delivery is, well, it detracts from the book.
I like to get into the book without being aware of the narrator - the best can do this, keep you engaged while never knowing they are there. This person is not one of the best.
So book - 4 stars. Narrator 2 stars. You do the math
Hello, This book makes good listening on many short trip. The stories are short and clean while maintaining a historical tread. The stories (life and times) of science's giant had me Googling them to know more. Over all a great book, a fun look at science, and it's history.
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
I've studied a good bit of chemistry. That said, I find this tome difficult to follow. The author seems to jump around a good bit, through time and from one subject line to another. I can only listen to short bits at any one time. There's a bunch of new info I never knew, and the author's inclusion of historical bits is good. Only dedicated listeners need apply!
Combining biographical anecdotes with hard science can work well: witness Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Disappearing Spoon has its moments, but I found most of the stories fairly boring. It's not a matter of genre but one of execution. For more interesting science writing, try David Quammen for starters. No personal vignettes or amusing biographical chestnuts-- just engaging writing. As for the narrator, his voice matched the slow pace of the prose -- uninspired is the word that comes to mind.
Just another book consisting of a long line of boring bibliographies attached to an interesting but sparsely covered topic. If you want to hear about character flaws, hurt feelings, fueds, and relationships between husbands and wives (somehow associated with the elements), the by all means give this a listen. If you want some real interesting technical detail, go elsewhere.
Dreary, monotonous, pointless, irritating, dull, painfully boring (if boring can be classified as causing pain rather than just stupor)