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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 (1374 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah Tel Aviv, Israel 02-03-12
    Sarah Tel Aviv, Israel 02-03-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Magical Indeed"

    This is a fun listen which makes you feel smarter - what more could one want? The book is packed with heartwarming myths and fascinating facts, beautifully presented with excellent narration. I enjoyed it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Apopka, FL, United States 02-01-12
    Michael Apopka, FL, United States 02-01-12
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    "Science literacy for the 21st centery"
    What made the experience of listening to The Magic of Reality the most enjoyable?

    What about Dinosaurs & Stars we can't eat them, smell them, hear them... wait science is natural observation, a verb and Dawkins generates a scientific definition of reality. Dawkins accent makes him sound smart, even backing up his accent with facts, concepts, illustrations of method of thought in the prism of science. Listen to this book to refresh everything you ever needed to know about everything you needed to know of everything. He may not have time to get to everything, he won't get to talk about it in this book, no one understands quantum mechanics.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    bucky balls & tubes


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

    This rules.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Atom means the smallest cut, we are all made of space! Maybe we are all expanding with the universe!


    Any additional comments?

    SCIENCE NINJA /n/

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 01-31-12
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 01-31-12 Member Since 2016

    Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply Stated!"

    I like Richard Dawkins, but having a second narrator really helped break the monotony. This was good basic science, kind of repetitive, but considering what most people know about science these days - I think repetition is a good thing. This is sort of a Beginning Science book. I think I may have to buy the "book" version. These are the basic ideas pretty much, not too much depth, the origins of "creation stories" plural, etc. and basic genetics, some good stuff. Another very, very good book just on evolution -
    "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry A Coyne - one of the simplest explanations ever. Good combination to have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Matteson, IL, United States 01-30-12
    Jennifer Matteson, IL, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2001
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    "Enlightening and Entertaining"
    What did you love best about The Magic of Reality?

    Easy to follow explanations for complex science concepts. I wish more of my science classes in school had been this engaging.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magic of Reality?

    The Timeline of evolution.


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

    I finished this book in in three sittings. Given the time I could have listened to it all in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are not opened minded and don't care for any viewpoint that is not creationism and miracle based this is not a book you should bother with listening to because you will be angry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr Los Osos, CA, United States 01-27-12
    Dr Los Osos, CA, United States 01-27-12
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    "Classic Dawkins"

    I love the way Dawkins can pull together many streams of thought to synthesize a holos at the end of the winding path. This series takes a strong existentialist look at what we take as real. The alternate male/female narrative style lends to balance and continued interest in the topic. What Dawkins teaches in this series is nothing short of looking oneself straight in the mirror without delusion interfering in the process. This is science, but it is so much more than that too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Whitehouse Station, NJ, United States 01-25-12
    Matthew Whitehouse Station, NJ, United States 01-25-12
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    "Great book! Explains life today through science."
    Where does The Magic of Reality rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very good audiobook and I would recommend it to anyone.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How Dawkins used science to explain how life has emerged on this planet.


    What does Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A personal touch (particularly Dawkins). His emphasis is in all the right places so that the meaning of the book really comes across nicely.


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

    Yes, I wish I could have read it all at once.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mohammed newark, NJ, United States 01-12-12
    Mohammed newark, NJ, United States 01-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Audio Book"

    This is my third experience listening to audio books, I recommend this book for everyone to try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 01-12-12
    Chris 01-12-12 Member Since 2008

    Science and philosophy buff

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    "Another good book by Dawkins"
    If you could sum up The Magic of Reality in three words, what would they be?

    Although this is well troden teritory and there are many other good books that cover this ground Richard Dawkins is always worth listening to.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward ?

    Yes, I have them all


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Johnson Raleigh NC 01-11-12
    D. Johnson Raleigh NC 01-11-12 Member Since 2010

    DJ

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    "Good story but he dismisses other views"

    I enjoyed the many myths in the book -- very entertaining. Dawkins uses very good illustrations of distances or time when discussing very small or very large "things." He totally dismisses other ways of viewing reality (through consciousness and thought), so his book is good as a scientific discourse but it may miss the "big picture" (which, granted, is very unknowable with any certainty -- or with any scientific proof). I wish he would have at least tried to delve a bit into this way of looking at reality.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01-09-12
    Guilherme Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01-09-12
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    "Not for geeks"

    The books seems very interesting for people not used to read about science. For me, a person interested in science, the books seems "for dummies".

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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