The subject seemed odd at first but became really believable with the careful presentation of arguments and supporting research. The narrator Kevin Pariseau was perfect for this book; I wish he had been the narrator of many of the other non-fiction books I've heard. The book gets a little slow in places and there is some repetition but overall it was a great listen.
This book is more entertaining and simply informative than the more scholarly book Predictably Irrational also written by Ariely. Ariely works clever stories and examples into the book making it a pleasant listen while still being fascinating and informative. The tongue-in-cheek humor in the book matches well the pleasantly aloof style of the narrator Simon Jones, his British voice is a perfect match for this book.
Each topic is drawn together really well. It provides a base of scientific principles that are repeatedly dismantled, rebuilt and still up in the air. The way it is presented did not leave me feeling abandoned in unanswered questions, instead I was fascinated by the course of events that got us here and the possibilities that remain.
The book shows science at its best and its worst. There is a mingling of history, dynamics of the scientific community, defeats, successes, pride and humiliation. But these elements do not cloud the presentation of the science. There is a healthy dose of technical science but a dash of drama and a pinch of dry humor keeps it from feeling like a heap of equations.
It is clear there is a lot we do not know, and the book does a good job of putting us firmly in our place. It portrays a scientific community of human beings that are collectively a little neurotic. But in spite of it all science has answered many unanswerable questions, and the unanswerable questions will continue to drive scientists forward.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the concepts in this book but it will be a lot easier if you have an interest in science and have already done some reading of popular scientific topics like relativity, quantum mechanics, particle accelerators, big bang, evolution, DNA, etc.
The narrator, James Adams is perfect for this book.
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