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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 (2312 )
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4.2 (1927 )
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  •  
    Kindle Customer Palo Cedro, CA United States 04-10-16
    Kindle Customer Palo Cedro, CA United States 04-10-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A GREAT SUMMARY OF THE GREATEST SCIENTIFIC ERA"

    This is a really interesting history for non-scientists. I count myself as a non-scientist/mathematician but found this narrative easy to understand and quite interesting. It reads a lot like a really good thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Farris Altamont, KS, US 03-27-16
    Michael Farris Altamont, KS, US 03-27-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Poorly Written"

    Love the subject matter but did not enjoy this book. Reads with the literary maturity of a high school essay. Random and disjointed thoughts, odd references to modern times, heavy religious overtones, and squirrelly narration made this my least favorite audiobook to date (of nearly 100 titles).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mathew 03-23-16
    mathew 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Totally lived up to expectations and other reviews"
    If you could sum up The Clockwork Universe in three words, what would they be?

    A great review or restatement of information for a long time fan of the time period and historical people. .


    What other book might you compare The Clockwork Universe to and why?

    I first became interested in the royal society from reading Neal Stephenson's' Baroque cycle. An exquisitely researched and written historical fiction novel.


    What does Alan Sklar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    For the first chapter of the book I was really worried that his soft and melodic tone would cause me to fall asleep. He is however a great narrator and I found his performance and presentation to be interesting,energetic and done in an excellent tone that matched what he was reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but It was a great book to listen to bit by bit. Chapters are shortish about 12 minutes on average so it made picking up and or stopping very easy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shay 03-22-16
    Shay 03-22-16 Member Since 2014
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    "enjoyed it"

    unlike some other reviews I found the narration excellent. The story is a bit anecdotal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Citron 02-09-16
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    4
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    "Solid story, well told"

    If you like science and want some more science history; this is a nice choice. I don't finish a ton of books, but I made it all the way through in a relatively short period. Now on to some Einstein vs Bohr.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edie 02-04-16
    Edie 02-04-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A full picture of the times"
    What made the experience of listening to The Clockwork Universe the most enjoyable?

    I really liked the descriptions of how life was in this time. Very clear and accurate picture.


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

    Learning how paranoid newton was of his rivals


    Which character – as performed by Alan Sklar – was your favorite?

    Leibnitz was an amazing mathematician who never got his due because of newton and the way life unfolded for him....


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No - the story just stuck with me for days after finishing it


    Any additional comments?

    narrator was good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 01-23-16
    Elizabeth 01-23-16
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    56
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    "Required reading material"

    Enlightening
    Narrator kept it interesting if a bit condescending
    Will put I my short list of books to listen to again.
    Historical fiction had nothing on the history of our world view.
    I will recommend this book other science geeks,






    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry 01-21-16
    Henry 01-21-16 Member Since 2009
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    45
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    "Brilliant absolutely"

    This is quite simply an amazing exploration of the history of science and the great minds that drove it's unceasing progress. It made my top ten audiobooks (of of more than 200 over four years). This is science history brought to life and a good purchase for anyone with an interest in science or just needs a gripping narrative to draw them into the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam Dardanelle, AR, United States 01-20-16
    sam Dardanelle, AR, United States 01-20-16 Member Since 2008
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    "a decent, general overview"

    The book offers a decent, general overview of the changes at work in European intellectual life in the latter half of the 17th century. The book is for the general reader; anyone with much knowledge about the history of science or of European history in general is likely to find the first half of the book a little tedious, but the presentation is probably helpful for younger or less informed readers. The drawback is the 'characterful' (read Hammy) reader whose forced, overripe performance makes the book sound silly and superficial. The book deserved better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Spring Mills, PA, United States 01-18-16
    Joshua Spring Mills, PA, United States 01-18-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Enjoyable and full of good information"

    When I find myself eager to talk about the contents of a book I consider it to be an excellent read. This book caused me to annoy many friends. I hope I can find the time to listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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