We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions | [Randall Munroe]

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?
Regular Price:$23.84
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.3 (26 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.2 (24 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.4 (23 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    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
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    282
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
Sort by:
  • 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!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    3 of 3 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
  • Katherine
    New Malden, United Kingdom
    7/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen for short bursts of entertainment"
    What did you like most about What If??

    This book was extremely well read, interesting, and enjoyable. It was very well structured so that if one situation didn't interest you, the next was coming soon. I found this very easy to listen to while doing odd jobs or short journeys because it was intellectually stimulating without being too taxing.


    Would you recommend What If? to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would definitely recommend this to those looking for something that will keep you entertained and make you think for short bursts of time, without having to remember what happened last time you listened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great for any fan of random knowledge"
    If you could sum up What If? in three words, what would they be?

    Humourous Ecclectic Information


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Wil Wheton has a great delivery of the peculiar topics herein, and seems a fitting mouthpiece to Randall's ideas


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Geddes
    Bournemouth, UK
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining (and informed) listening..."
    Where does What If? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Indulge your inner geek with a series of insightful and often humorous anecdotes from a former NASA scientist.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No specific characters in the book, but my favourite question explored what would happen if all the Earth's water was vacuumed through a portal to Mars...


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

    The comedic narration by Will Wheaton adds to the original wit of author Randall Munroe.


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

    The dissection of chapters per questions adds to the listen-ability of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • a dicipline deciple
    London
    7/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listen and Enjoy."

    A masterfully narrated book about things you didn't even know you wanted to know about.

    I enjoyed it so much I'm re-listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • rachel
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "must read if your curious on a variety of things."

    good listen, very interesting. learned answers to questions I didn't even know I wanted to ask

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    6/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well read, very funny"
    Would you consider the audio edition of What If? to be better than the print version?

    Not seen the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    was funny and informative.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    not listened to any other will wheaton performances.


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

    Not think they could.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    newport, United Kingdom
    6/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What if we emptied our oceans?"

    Quite a fascinating book where the most bizarre questions are put to the author, he will then find out the answers scientifically and more. The narrator is good easy on the ear. I have listened to it more than once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.