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The Magic of Reality Audiobook

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective. Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day?
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Publisher's Summary

Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective.

Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day? The myths that address these questions are beautiful, but in every case their beauty is exceeded by the scientific truth.

With characteristic clarity and verve, Dawkins answers these big questions. Looking first at some of the myths that arose to answer the question, he then, dazzles us with the facts. He looks at the building blocks of matter, the first humans, the sun - explaining the life and death of stars; why there’s a night and a day - ranging from our solar system to the inner workings of our planet; what a rainbow really is—going from the rainbow in your backyard to the age of the universe; and finally, he poses a question that still baffles scientists: When did everything begin?

©2011 Richard Dawkins, Ltd. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"I wanted to write this book but I wasn't clever enough. Now I've read it, I am." (Ricky Gervais)

“Exhilarating. The clearest and most beautifully written introduction to science I've ever read. Again and again I found myself saying 'Oh! So that's how genes work!' (or stars, or tectonic plates, or all the other things he explains). Explanations I thought I knew were clarified; things I never understood were made clear for the first time. My favourite adjective of praise has always been "clear", and this book has clarity all the way through.” (Philip Pullman, author of The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and the His Dark Materials trilogy)

I am often asked to recommend good books on science for young people. From now on, I will not have to hesitate. The Magic of Reality provides a beautiful, accessible and wide ranging volume that addresses the questions that all of us have about the universe, separating often too-little known facts from too-frequently believed fictions. For this reason it should be a powerful resource for people of all ages, written with the masterful and eloquently literate style of perhaps the best popular expositor of science, Richard Dawkins, and delightfully illustrated by Dave McKean. What more could anyone ask for?” (Lawrence Krauss is Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and the author most recently of Quantum Man, and A Universe from Nothing)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Ahmed 03-18-13
    Ahmed 03-18-13 Member Since 2007
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    Story
    "I hated the atheist under-current."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The only thing that would deter me from recommending it is its atheist ideology, which for me is unfathomable, since all the facts stated in the book actually solidify the belief in the existence of God.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its eye-opening scientific facts.


    Do you think The Magic of Reality needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 02-23-13
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 02-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining and informative"

    if you like thinking about the mystery of how certain things in the real world work, you'll enjoy this book. It has a lot of interesting content, and you'll be mesmerized by the charming English accents of the authors.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Lee OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US 11-10-12
    Jim Lee OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US 11-10-12 Member Since 2007
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    "So Dull I Got I Wanted Claw Out My Ears!"
    What would have made The Magic of Reality better?

    It would have been better if it actually original content. I seemed a rehash of many other authors works


    Has The Magic of Reality turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. But I will be sure to use the sample listen before I purchase from now on.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    I wouldn't do that to any narrator. I just hope they got paid well. The narrator are fine. It was the content that was worthless.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It best redeeming quality......was when it was over!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steamer.ssf Baytown, TX, United States 10-29-12
    steamer.ssf Baytown, TX, United States 10-29-12
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    "Inconsistencies with origins explanation:"

    The author would like you to believe there must be an undirected explainable explanation of all phenomenon. The age of scientific enlightenment dispells this myth that something came from nothing as the author leaves it with the "big bang theory". This first cause must be from an "uncaused" entity that directed all intelligence, as is commonly called God, that exist trans temporallly beyond known dimensions. Why universal myths describing similar phenomenon? - I would prepose that God has obviously provided "General Revelation" in the "book of nature" - this is the "light of creation and consciousness" the God gives all persons of all time that none may be without excuse for believing in God. God also has given "special revelation" through the spiritually inspired scriptures backed up by manuscript evidence, archealogical evidence, prophecy and the science of statistical probability as well as countless eyewitness accounts. In addition, evolution is certainly a mechanism of change within species, but as the fossil record clearly reveals, does not change one species to another. A mechanism for adaption, intelligently guided.

    Anyway it was an interesting account which, when all is said and done, comes down to faith - either in a fatalistic view of life on earth and eternity or faith in the only living God Jesus Christ who chose to die and be resurrected to forgive mankind, through faith in Him, of all sin, by giving believers the righteousness of Christ and eternal life with God, hallelujah. Go online for more information and a better explanation of all things involving origins, Christianity and other religions.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Sparks SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 08-09-12
    Joe Sparks SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A book for young children, ages 7-11"

    Another reviewer made this point "Dawkins..for children", and I would play this for my kids. But if you have kept in light touch with the world at all, you will learn very little from this book as an adult (the only thing I learned was a bit more about how stars produce energy). It is obviously aimed at religious people, to break them free from mythology. I doubt it would work on mystic adults, but it might have some chance with children in their formative years.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Canada 06-18-12
    Charles Canada 06-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Over and over the same thing"
    Have you listened to any of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is yet another of a series of books from Dawkins that are all the same. A slightly different facet of the same arguments. I'm a fan but I was bored.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vrad Vodrazka Huntersville, NC United States 04-20-12
    Vrad Vodrazka Huntersville, NC United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Appreciate the World Around You"
    What did you love best about The Magic of Reality?

    This captures a lot of what I have always felt. People see magic behind the beauty and intricacy of everything around us. I just see the beauty of science as it helps us appreciate the existence of the universe and everything within it. Putting magic behind it can't possibly give people the same sense of appreciation as when you force the brain to think and have it come to strunning realizations. It's like living inside the matrix, which is just a smoke screen. But unlike the matrix, the world outside is much more amazing than inside. Come join me outside of the matrix :)


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a book that adults and even early teenagers can really get into. It gives a great biology background and also delves into other sciences (although Dawkins discloses that biology is his real expertise). Instead of magical, you realize that the existence of the universe and everything within it is amazing and consistent with known sciences (without a need to resort to magic or pseudo-sciences).


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Childs dallas,texas 04-17-12
    Stephen Childs dallas,texas 04-17-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Dawkins For A 14 Year Old"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is perfect for any young adult looking to understand why they are here.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tero Helsinki, Finland 04-16-12
    Tero Helsinki, Finland 04-16-12 Member Since 2016

    tero_pajunen

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    "Science vs. Superstition"
    What made the experience of listening to The Magic of Reality the most enjoyable?

    The author, Dr. Richard Dawkins, reads the book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I found the story of the rainbow, i.e. why we see colors and how the science behind it reveals the cosmic reality, the best part of the book.


    What aspect of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ’s performance would you have changed?

    More references to further reading and exploring of the contextual subjects.


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

    No. Have never had a need (urge) to do so.


    Any additional comments?

    The quality of the cover image of the audiobooks are usually very low. This said, would there be any technological solution, which would able readers to see images, which are in the book, e.g. graphs etc?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Anne Clark 03-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Maybe OK as a children's book."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. There is nothing new in this book, it is very basic and simplistic. It is clearly intended for children, although I'm not sure how the patronizing narration would go over even by children. Maybe especially by children.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Didn't finish it.


    What aspect of Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ???s performance would you have changed?

    A more adult style, even if the book is intended for children.


    Do you think The Magic of Reality needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Perhaps a version for adults. I like the concept, but the material was just too simplistic.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a great fan of Richard Dawkins. I think he's done some great stuff over the years. But this one is a miss.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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