It's not for everyone, but scientific types will appreciate the in depth look at how the scientific greats made their discoveries.
No characters here, but very clear narration.
Everything about Newton had me riveted.
My favorite section was the last half. I love math, but only applied mathematics. I've always struggled with pure math for maths sake, but enjoyed it when it was involved in my other courses like chemistry and biology. The author describing the discovery of calculus and why it mattered I found fascinating.
The first half was a very general overview of the time period this book is centered around. It was interesting, and if someone hasn't already read dozens of general history books about this time period - then I think they'd really get a lot out of it.
I absolutely would and did recommend this book to some of my goodreads friends. This is a great introduction to this time period, and I found I learned a ton in the 2nd part especially.
I have not listened to him before, but I ABSOLUTELY would love to listen to another he has narrated.
The narrator had an absolutely splendid voice. I loved the gravitas he seemed to add to the whole thing.
The Clockwork Universe did a great job of putting you in shoes of the men that ushered in our modern world. I had to use Audible's 1.5x speed feature to get through it as the author read too slow for my liking.
Because this is a book set in Britain, the narrator should have been British, or at least an American with a somewhat lighter, less ponderous voice. The narrator's voice had such a slow, gritty quality, scraping over vowels like gravel rolling in a barrel and ending on strange high notes in odd places. I own more than 250 books, and this is the first one that I've ever had to actually stop listening to because the narrator's voice drove me crazy.
This is the more-nonfiction version of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That book is more historical fiction, and includes characters who live and work alongside Newton and Hook. (And it's narrated by a Brit)
Another narrator with a higher-pitched voice.
I only made it through the first hour. The content seemed pretty good, but the voice was definitely not matched to the content.
the content of this book was really inspiring. I found the reading performance smooth. I was able to concentrate on the content and never noticed any irritations with the reading. It made me want to study calculus. The content was pretty heady, but offered in an interesting story telling manner. I found it interesting to notice that the greatest minds of history had a deep belief in a judeo christian god. The author seems to discount this as an hinderance, however the greatest geniuses in science, music and politics seem to have emerged from these cultures. Was it simply the God they worshiped or the lifestyle of this society that gave us so many great thinkers.
Who knew Math had personality?
Ok,I admit I am a history junkie, especially when the story is told in an interesting, factual way. If my math teachers in High School and College has shared some the history in this book as background material for algebra and calculus, I would have certainly paid more attention and would have found the subject much more interesting.
This story makes the numbers on the page come alive, and they tell a fascinating story- rivals, feuds, discoveries, court intrigue, intelligence, jealousy- its all there.
The story is factual and informative, the pace is good, the length is just about right, and the reader is solid. The narrator has a nice voice, a 'math' voice and tells the story with a tone that keeps you interested in learning what is behind the next corner, or the next decimal.
If you like factual history, this is a story for you. If you like to know things like how ideas evolved, the struggles early inventors and mathematicians faced in revealing details like the earth revolving around the sun, which went against current beliefs (ever feel like taking on a Pope?) then this is an audio you will enjoy.
Is the book worth a credit? Yes and I would listen to this story again at the right time. This is also an audio I would use with my family on a short road trip, to spark their interest in math, physics and astronomy.
One deal breaker for me in audios is language and sex. Authors who use excessive profanity, in my mind lack imagination and loose something in their story telling. Same with sex scenes that are overly descriptive and drawn out.
Nothing like that in this story, it will stimulate your mind and your imagination.
I learned a lot of useful things from this book and was able to understand the scientists and the scientific method much better as a result. Great to understand the basis for the way research is conducted and I am grateful for the explanation throughout of what thinking and knowledge was like before the invention of science through observation and empirical evidence. I never realised and feel so silly for having never thought about why it is that we think the way we do today.
I liked learning about the personalities behind the history of science, great stories and an enhanced ability to contextualise their ideas and add interest to their contributions. I am also better able to remember their laws and contributions as a result of having known their stories.
A terrific and fun history. I wish I had listened to it years ago before tutoring 'world history' and teaching students about enlightenment.
This book drifts endlessly around the topic of 17th centruy physics, never really going anywhere. Never have such interesting characters (Gallileo, Newton, Descartes) seemed so lifeless and distant. God plays the biggest role, with the author speculating on what the characters thought of him and his great design -- with little documentation to back up the speculation.
Narration wasn't bad, but a bit too "academic". He probably did the best he could with such weeak material.
Not worth your time. At least, not worth mine.
It is difficult to imagine a target readership for this book. If you are not academically inclined, the subject matter will not be interesting. If you are, then the material is too basic to hold your attention. Maybe it is for teenage children; maybe it is for people who learn their history from cable TV.
The narrator over-acts and has a voice that is mismatched to the material: the performance sounds like a trailer for a movie about someone who has stolen money from the Mafia. Quotes from other writers are delivered in an ironic tone of voice, as though the words are somehow funny or quaint, even when the subject matter suggests otherwise.
There is an additional problem for British readers: while some American accents are pleasant and transparent, this one isn't. It set my teeth on edge.
Readers on both sides of the Atlantic should avoid this audio book; British readers should run away screaming.