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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 (1304 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-22-12
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2016

    l'enfer c'est les autres

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not his best effort"

    I enjoyed this book, but in comparison to his other books this one is only okay. It's similar but not as good as "The History of Nearly Everything" or "Science Matters". Each of those books cover similar topics but in more depth and better expositions.

    It's unfair of me to rank this book in comparison to the author's other works. If I had not listened to all of his other books I might have rated the book a 4, but I loved his other books so much I had higher expectations for this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. PALMDALE, CA, United States 05-21-12
    E. PALMDALE, CA, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Nothing new"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I love Dawkins in general but this is pretty much just a rehashing of previous work.


    Any additional comments?

    Great for a "first Dawkins book" reader.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Cortés Bay Area, California 03-18-13
    Carlos Cortés Bay Area, California 03-18-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Nothing new here"
    Any additional comments?

    I'll disclaim that I only read about half the book, giving it a solid try because I've liked other books by Dawkins. But this just had nothing that interesting or new for someone with a even cursory science education.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 02-07-14
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 02-07-14 Member Since 2012
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    "It's a science textbook for pre-teens"

    The sub-head "How we know what's really true" led me to believe the book would be about how to refute and rebut arguments from the religious right on the validity of the Bible, etc.

    Instead it's a rather dull science textbook written for pre-teenagers.

    And unfortunately the woman's voice and intonation makes it seem that she is speaking to someone who doesn't understand English.

    I like Hawkins, but not this.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Goldston Star, Idaho 06-04-12
    Michael Goldston Star, Idaho 06-04-12
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    "Good high school level science with an agenda."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A good introductory science text with an emphasis on explaining away myths.I have listened to a couple of Dawkin's books and overall agree with what he and his partner have to say. I found the introductory chapters did a good job of explaining how science views and explains what reality is and the differences between data and observational based reality versus myths and beliefs based on misunderstanding and outright distortions. The latter chapters become a bit repetitious.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Although Dawkins and Ward do an adequate job of narrating, I think that the narration would be better done by professionals. Normally I like it when authors read their works, but in this case I am not so sure.


    Was The Magic of Reality worth the listening time?

    Yes. I would recommend it to younger people who would want to better understand how science views reality.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 12-22-11
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 12-22-11 Member Since 2014
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    "An about everything kinda book, with a slight bias"

    This one is ok, presented well, and I liked the presentation and the author, and narration of the team. Breaks it up from having one speaker the entire book. Appreciated the effort of gathering the knowledge presented, and when to say "I don't understand."

    Now this tells you about the DNA, Universe, religion, myths.... type thing. Giving the science side of the house. All valid stuff and good. So if you've never listened to one of these "everything about everything" volumes then I recommend it, and learned a few more things. The slight bias is to describe how the science point of view is correct, and once you get past the stories, myths, and non-logic of the other beliefs, the science presented is "what's really true." But that is what their theme is, so its on path with the sub-title. So, between the vast amount of science info, intermixed with the stated bias, its a lot of info and an interesting listen. I follow the science side of the house myself, but I also know that, 'what you believe is what's true for you and how you perceive the universe,' so... there's that. Enjoy, I recommend it.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg SCHILLER PARK, ILLINOIS, United States 11-02-11
    greg SCHILLER PARK, ILLINOIS, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Awesome, " read me , read me " !!!"

    On till now I thought that God Delusion was best work of Richard Dawkins , The Selfish Gene annoyed me a little bit that is way I was very skeptical about this one , was I WRONG !!!
    When you read this book you will know general knowledge about Universe, Earth, etc.., how things work ,why Rainbow is full of color, I thing that every human in 21st century regarding of background, religion and education level should read this book , and then perhaps we would have same platform on one we could build our future . !! Read it you won’t be disappointed .

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
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    Jamie Blackband 08-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Built for beginners, but a great summary for the rest of us!"

    A great summary of some of the most scientifically astounding discoveries we've made over the years, and the myths that came before our true explanations.

    Seems to be written for people unfamiliar with many scientific concepts or younger audiences, but it's a great review for those who might already have a general understanding of these concepts - Dawkins is always good at putting things into perspective with a different way of looking at something!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    bmartin 07-18-16
    bmartin 07-18-16
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    "Excellent as always"

    Excellent as you would expect from Dawkins. A bit heavy on the examples of historical myths, but a great book none the less.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Basim Ayoub 04-25-16
    Basim Ayoub 04-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved it as most Dawkin's books"

    If Dawkins lived in the old days he would have either been killed and tortured and worship as a "god"

    One of the few people that have helped me change my perspective to a much broader more accepting one especially if the magic of reality !

    "God bless you" Richard LOL

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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