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The Magic of Reality Audiobook
The Magic of Reality
Written by: 
Richard Dawkins
Narrated by: 
Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
The Magic of Reality Audiobook

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

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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

4.2 (1268 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Emil Bogdanov Rockford, IL USA 11-02-11
    Emil Bogdanov Rockford, IL USA 11-02-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book for teenagers and ... adults, too!"

    Once again Richard Dawkins delivers an excellent book with his easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand style!

    I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to get a fresh scientific view on many realities in our lives. It will be highly beneficial to young adults as they need to form an objective and unbiased opinion about the world around us.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Wake Forest, NC 10-17-11
    James Wake Forest, NC 10-17-11
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    "A breath of fresh air for a scientist."

    Another stellar product in a rich history of books form Dr. Dawkins.

    At the outset, it is a bit rudimentary, but overall an excellent read. I hope to introduce it to my grand-kids.

    Kudos "again" to Richard Dawkins.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MANCHESTER, NH, United States 10-12-11
    Amazon Customer MANCHESTER, NH, United States 10-12-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A new Myth - Dawkins could explain the ineffible!"
    Would you listen to The Magic of Reality again? Why?

    Yes! To help my grand-children understand so much in a most delightful way.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Is it coincidence that


    Have you listened to any of Richard Dawkins, and Lalla Ward’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. Their delivery is impeccable.


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

    I pursue Truth and Beauty and within this fascinating book, I discovered both. My definition of God is that which inspires awe. The Universe is indeed awesome in the extreme!


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book cover to cover today, soon after buying it. It is a

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookworm CHAPIN, SC, United States 11-22-11
    Bookworm CHAPIN, SC, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2016

    Jimmy423

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    "Review of The Magic of Reality"

    As an open minded Christian I felt compelled to give the world's most famous atheist a chance to make his case. And he makes a good case if you think God and Religion are the same thing. But if you are like me and think God and Religion are not only two separate things, but that they have very little in common, then all Dr. Dawkins does is confirm that Religion is nothing more than a manmade belief system, set up thousands of years ago, in an attempt by our ancestors to explain the unexplainable. Which is exactly what I believe Religion is.

    But Dr, Dawkins does nothing in this book to prove that there is no such thing as God. All he does is prove that he can't prove there is or isn't a God by using the scientific method. And while he doesn't even speculate that there might be a God, he has no trouble speculating about life on other planets right down to what aliens might look like, whether or not they would have eyes and how they might communicate "if" they in fact exist. His reasoning for the existence of intelligent life on other planets is based entirely on probability theory, not the scientific method.

    My overall feeling is that Dr. Dawkins is quite a bit more "religious" than he would admit, especially when it comes to his own personal brand of atheism, more so in fact than many fundamentalist believers. In other words he is just as religious in his non-belief in God as any radical believer is in the opposite. This apparent double standard makes it difficult for me to take him seriously when he tries to disprove the existence of God, simply using the argument that Religious myths and stories are easily proven redundant and impossible to prove.

    In my humble opinion, Dr. Dawkins has merely carved out a niche for himself where he has cast himself as the spiritual leader of the non-believer. He does not and cannot prove whether God exists or does not exist using the scientific method, simply by laying bare the discrepancies which are abundant in all religions. I do like the fact that he narrates his own books. It's always nice to hear the author's voice in an audio book. But if the reader/listener comes to this book looking for concrete evidence that proven evolution theory, (?) also proves there is no such thing as God or any form of Higher Intelligence, you won't find that evidence here in this book. You won't find any scientific proof there is life on other planets either, but at least Dr. Dawkins will speculate on the subject, which is more than he does when it comes to God. Been here, done this, nothing new here beyond basic science based entertainment.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Winnetka, CA, United States 09-14-12
    Jerry Winnetka, CA, United States 09-14-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Too elementary"

    There was some good information here. And I wish a lot of my "god believing" friends would listen to this. But the informaiton was too elementary for me. I knew most of the material and felt like I was in a highschool science class.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 10-15-11
    Elizabeth 10-15-11
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    "Great introduction, boring book"

    Listening to the introduction, I was fascinated and had high hopes for the rest of the book. I was terribly disappointed. While Richard Dawkins and his wife have wonderful, engaging voices, and did a fine reading, the stories they used as examples to make their points were tedious, and the overall effect of the book was boring.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ahmed 03-18-13
    Ahmed 03-18-13 Member Since 2007
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    "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

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