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The Clockwork Universe Audiobook

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

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Publisher's Summary

The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

At the end of the 17th century, an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare's century, when the natural and the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws, a contradiction that tormented them and changed the course of history. The Clockwork Universe is the fascinating and compelling story of the bewildered geniuses of the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Edward Dolnick (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2047 )
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  •  
    Aosoxfan 12-05-15
    Aosoxfan 12-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost unfinishable"

    The narration was terrible in this performance and seriously detracted from the book itself. The history is interesting although the text is not particularly beautifully written. But the narration just killed it - patronizing and sometimes sneering tone. I would give the narration a zero if I could.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    2boyzmummy 11-27-15
    2boyzmummy 11-27-15 Listener Since 2008

    Audible Junkie, listen while driving everyday, look forward to the daily deal every morning just like my morning coffee

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
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    Story
    "A Daily Deal Treasure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! the content was extremely interesting. I picked it up on a daily deal and it was much more than I anticipated. I recommended it to my teenage son.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Clockwork Universe?

    How Descartes came up with the X Y Axis and changed our world for ever. I have told multiple people that story


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was excellent, his voice was perfect and his expression added to the content of the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James L. Fong Milton, Ontario Canada 11-25-15
    James L. Fong Milton, Ontario Canada 11-25-15 Member Since 2011
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    3
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    Story
    "How Newton's laws were discovered"
    Any additional comments?

    Students are taught the laws of physics in school, but this book brings a fresh perspective. This book shares the environment in which the laws we take for granted as truths were first explored and initially ridiculed. It shows the monumental challenge these "geniuses" faced in both uncovering the truths and then getting people to believe them. Overall, a fun, interesting way to review the basic laws of physics and astronomy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11-23-15
    David 11-23-15
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    "the narrator is good"

    When you listen to the narrator at first, it seems over overwrought and over done. by the first few chapters though, I was really enjoying it. He seems to enjoy the story, and even adds a chuckle when it is appropriate. The book is excellent, of course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harley Rosnow 11-18-15
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    Story
    "Back to the 17th century world"

    It's amazing how much we take for granted in our"modern" view. We deal with instantaneous speed, infinity, limits and a world where the hand of god is morale not operational. All these things are due to the extraordinary men who chose to pursue science with open minds at a time of plague and fire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    doug APPLETON, WI, United States 11-14-15
    doug APPLETON, WI, United States 11-14-15 Member Since 2016

    Just some dude.

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    "One of the best books in my collection!"

    if you love science and history and a good story combine with an wonderful excellent reader that brings the writing to life then you will love this book as I do!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TONASKET, WA, US 11-13-15
    Amazon Customer TONASKET, WA, US 11-13-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a romp through 17th century science."

    a fascinating overview of the changes in the worldview of science due to the new revelations brought in by the great minds of the era. I was amazed by how tightly even great minds hold to religious views that instead of abandoning the idea of a God they would modify their interpretation of him to fit the new ideas which in most cases flew in the face of the texts of the Bible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Mrowiec 11-11-15
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    "The first audiobook I've ever bailed on."
    Any additional comments?

    I'm really interested in the subject material and was excited to listen to this book, but after 3 hours I just can't do it anymore. The book is poorly organized and rambling. I made it through chapter 13 but I feel like I'm still waiting for it to get started. I could probably deal with that, but it feels like the narrator is the guy from Ancient Aliens - when he's not being massively over-dramatic he's chuckling condescendingly about those silly people who still believe in WITCHES! Imagine that! If you're interested in this time period, just read Neal Stephenson's System of the World series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nagy Barnabás Budapest, Hungary 11-07-15
    Nagy Barnabás Budapest, Hungary 11-07-15 Member Since 2013

    Aeroboogie

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    "Immensely entertaining medieval discoveries"

    This is one of the books that I found immensely entertaining, partially due to the narrator's presentation, and partially due to the content. When you learn about mathematics, physics and other sciences at school, The scientists behind the inventions are only mentioned by name, but this book does a great job on the detail about their living circumstances, and the era that they were part of. I would encourage to this book to read for high school students, when they learn about the basic scientific concepts written in the book. This could greatly add to their understanding, almost imagining these discoveries coming to life as in a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 11-06-15
    Emily 11-06-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it"

    I learned a ton about the history of many topics in math and physics that I have used many times without thinking about their origins before. The stories of these great men's lives were fascinating. The only negative for me was the belabored explanation of how calculus works. I'm not sure how easy it would be for someone to understand if they weren't already familiar with calc, but it got quite repetitive from my perspective. Despite that I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • dean
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "some really interesting bits, but jumped about"

    I am interested in this period in history and this book provided lots of interesting details. However, at times it seemed to jump about a bit and I was not so comfortable with this lack of a strong flowing narrative

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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