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What If? Audiobook

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd, What If? gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions. How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living?
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Publisher's Summary

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd, What If? gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions. How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind - or at least a really big explosion.

This audiobook edition is read by geek icon Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand by Me, The Big Bang Theory) and has been adapted for audio in collaboration with the author.

©2014 xkcd inc (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (39 )
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4.3 (34 )
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4.5 (34 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Troy 03-29-15
    Troy 03-29-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Worth it"

    Well worth it. Every chapter offers a new hypothetical gem ! Will be looking out for more from this author. 4 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 01-04-15
    Tim 01-04-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    328
    11
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    0
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    Overall
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    "So when is the next edition coming out ?"

    What a fantastically geeky, funny, serious and entertaining book. I've been reading XKCD for years but only found out about this book yesterday. Then finished it this afternoon. Any book read by Will Wheaton is always a treat and he puts in a perfect performance here. What a combination - Munroe and Wheaton. Get this book and prepare to be entertained, learn something and have a laugh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Ms L Madden
    Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good fun that descends into silliness"
    Would you try another book written by Randall Munroe or narrated by Wil Wheaton?

    Certainly Wil, who is high energy and adds an awful lot to what's here. Randall perhaps on the basis of his overall reputation or as seriously light relief. Not on the basis of this book!


    Could you see What If? being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    This isn't really that kind of book. It's comedy nonfiction bite sized chapters on different topics. I chose it for going to bed or quick moments to listen, and it suits that. The whole book in one go is a bit too much of the same and it stops being funny.


    Any additional comments?

    I went in expecting something like the New Scientist series of light hearted questions to things you've always wanted to know. I liked this book less, because how it works is a reader puts forward a completely strange question, Randall answers that question in about half the chapter, and the second half is taken up with an even more outlandish aside to the question that interests Randall. This invariably involves MORE explosions, MORE mass deaths, or MORE planets being destroyed.

    I can see some readers really enjoying that,but I found it same-y.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A R H
    UK Suffolk
    10/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book for Geeks"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I certainly would. What if answers all the questions you wanted ask but didn't know who to ask.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Will Weatons narration


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The question about the periodic table


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

    I wish!!


    Any additional comments?

    Just get it, its amazing.. Please do another!!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Doug Monk
    Bournemouth, England
    9/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, just brilliant!"
    If you could sum up What If? in three words, what would they be?

    Funny insightful entertaining


    What other book might you compare What If? to, and why?

    Not nearly as funny, but just as informative - Death from the Skies by Phil Plait


    Any additional comments?

    I love the website, and the book is even better. Wil Wheaton was a perfect choice for narrating this, he really makes this book and brings it to life.
    Recommend this for anyone who has ever pondered what would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped, if the sun has ever set on the British Empire or what would happen if a baseball was pitched at you at the speed of light. Couple this with Randall Munroe's almost obsessive need to blow things up in ever increasingly bizarre ways and you have an excellent read! Hope he releases a volume 2..

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Duncan
    3/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exactly what it says on the tin"

    I read a lot of popular science books and I'm really in two minds about this one. On the one hand, it's entertaining and extremely well read by Will Wheaton. On the other hand, the questions really are absurd and hypothetical, to the point of me listening for 7 hours and learning basically nothing (except perhaps that many scenarios lead to the world being destroyed!!) but maybe that never was the point. Worth a try but, for me, 3 out of 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • gareth
    3/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really?"

    What a load of rubbish, Why oh why did I buy this?
    Synopsis: someone with far too much time on their hands answers some unbelievably stupid questions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    2/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great and Thought Provoking"

    A really accessible book, very interesting every day concepts and questions answered using math and science. Great fun

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    12/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you love wacky pointless but fun science then this is for you!"

    If you love wacky pointless but fun science then this is for you! The narrator is great as well he really fits the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jon
    12/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of What If? to be better than the print version?

    I've only listened to the audio version, but of course if you're familiar with XKCD then you know that this would be great in print too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The questions are intrinsically interesting so each chapter is compelling. Each answer is very well structured and they frequently become comic without losing the point. A definite pleasure of the book is following the snowballing lunacy of each consequence. Chapters often end with a great comic twist.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Frankly it's just a bonus to have Wil Wheaton narrating. As you'd expect, his performance is clear, nuanced and enthusiastic - a great fit for the content.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I wouldn't advise anyone to make a film of this: way too dangerous. Some sort of ask-the-expert TV series: perhaps.


    Any additional comments?

    Just buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daryl
    11/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "entertaining and educational?"

    It was an interesting listen, I enjoyed the explanations. I've now discovered the website too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard B
    UK
    11/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting subject matter."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Very interesting although very US centric. I think reading the book would have been better as there were times the explanations required re-reading to understand what was being explained, this is difficult if listening to the book. Wil Wheaton is an excellent narrator.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Randall Munroe? Why or why not?

    Probably.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Nothing stands out.


    Could you see What If? being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Probably difficult to transform into a TV show.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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