• 13 Things That Don't Make Sense

  • The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time
  • By: Michael Brooks
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (2,558 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.99

Buy for $19.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense.

Science's best-kept secret is that there are experimental results and reliable data that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar "anomalies" have revolutionized our world, as in the 16th century, when a set of celestial anomalies led Copernicus to realize that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the reverse, and in the 1770s, when two chemists discovered oxygen because of experimental results that defied the theories of the day. If history is any precedent, we should look to today's inexplicable results to forecast the future of science.

In 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet 13 modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs.

©2008 Michael Brooks (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about 13 Things That Don't Make Sense

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    808
  • 4 Stars
    921
  • 3 Stars
    584
  • 2 Stars
    163
  • 1 Stars
    82
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    614
  • 4 Stars
    549
  • 3 Stars
    283
  • 2 Stars
    76
  • 1 Stars
    32
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    547
  • 4 Stars
    546
  • 3 Stars
    319
  • 2 Stars
    97
  • 1 Stars
    50

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

10 interesting chapters-read epiloge first

The name of this book is misleading. It is really about 13 phenomena that we don't understand. Most of the book is science related and some science background will likely improve your appreciation. The topics are quite scientifically varied and covers astrophysics, physics, chemistry, biology, pscyhology. The author does a good job in presenting a balanced description and history of each of the topics. I am a scientist and found much of what was presented as very interesting and new information.

Oddly, my advice would be to read the epiloge first. It is a very good presentation of the wonders of science and why we pursue knowledge and serves as a great reason to care about what is in the book. It is also a good review of the chapaters to come. A few of the interesting chapters include the fact that the cold fusion experiments that were supposedly a bust, are now found to have enough merit to have spurred ongoing research. It also interesting to know that space craft launched into the glaxay decades ago, appear to have inexplicable changes in their flight path. The chapter on the placebo was also very illuminating as it turns our that there may be more to the placebo effect than psychology. Unfortunately, not all the chapters are of equal interest, but I found at least 10 of 13 to be very worthwhile.

118 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Know it all's Bane

A great listen. The 13 things are well explained. Each one is explained as to how they were found, why they don't make sense, and some of the theories that are being considered to explain the problems.

Expanded my grasp of reality and really got me thinking.

The perfect gift for someone who thinks they know it all.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking!

My husband and I listened to this book on a long car trip recently. The book is very well written with humorous bits throughout. The narrator however, is stilted and does not realize he is reading humorous parts. This book could use a much better narrator since the subject matter is fabulous. Otherwise I highly recommend.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

fascinating topics, boring presentation

I don't think I've ever read a book with more fascinating topics while at the same time wrapped up in such a boring presentation. It is like being in one of those scientific college courses with the most dreaded professor that nobody wants to take. Brooks seems to try presenting very technical and theoretical topics in a general way, but he really fails to tell the stories in a way to capture one's imagination or attention.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Buying This Book Doesn't Make Sense

I wish I had researched this book just a little bit before impulse buying it - then I would not have bought it at all. Part way through listening, something just wasn't sitting well with me in the way the author was treating some of 13 topics. Some things just didn't sound right to me, or like the author must be veering away from mainstream science into fringe ideas. Then with the section on homeopathy came the realization that I couldn't trust anything in the book. Homeopathy is pure bunk, with zero possible way it could ever work, period. In my opinion, it seems that at least some of these topics were made to seem more mysterious than they do in real life through the selective omission of relevant data. Data which would have shown that the topics make more sense than would have justified having them in a book with this title; or even show them to be patently false as with homeopathy. A few of the topics I enjoyed, but by the end the author had simply lost my trust in what he was saying.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best audio book I have!!!

Wow!!! If you liked The Universe in a Nutshell, Stephen Hawking's New Book you filp on this one. Not a dull moment from page one to the end. LOVED IT ALL.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and Fair

A fascinating overview written for lay people. The accuracy of the explanations does not suffer as a result of the simplicity. I am always on the lookout for bias in accounts of controversial topics. This struck me as very fair. The narration is also quite good.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Stop at Half Time

I found the 1st 1/2 of this book to be entertaining, and it definitely held my interest. The 2nd 1/2 was terrible.

The 1st 1/2 was "not too technical", but it was also not "dumbed-down" to a simpleton level either.

I think any science enthusiast will enjoy the 1st 1/2 regardless of your level of science knowledge.

The 2nd 1/2 of the book was a total drag for me.

If you like thinking about how science might apply to topics like Ouija Boards, Free Will, Placebo Effect, and Homeopathy, you may find it interesting, but I don't, and I didn't!

What boring subjects to begin with, and Brooks total fails at his attempt to links scientific thought to these topics.

Overall I'd give it a 2.5 since it was only 1/2 good, but the reader does a good job, so I'll round up to a 3-star rating :)

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One word: Masterful

This may be the best, most consistently compelling science writing I've ever encountered. I'd hold this up as the standard for which every science writer should aspire.

I don't know what else to say. The only thing I'd have changed about this book would be to make it about 25 or possibly 100 or more things that don't make sense, as 13 was not nearly enough to leave me satisfied (which may be why I'm now listening to it for a second time).

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A compelling survey

Michael Brooks has managed to capture the excitement and mystery (not to mention the irony and hilarity) of the undiscovered. Given the subject of his survey is the enterprise of science (which too often appears as an edifice of certainty), Brooks' accomplishment is not merely that much more compelling but especially timely and needed.

For we live in a time of great uncertainty and churn in human perspectives, when so many in the endeavour of science too frequently aggregate in positions of orthodoxy, dogma and convention. It's so crucial for us to be afforded this survey of science pursuing the unveiling of truth, to see how frequently mainstream (fashionable) science, despite a methodology designed to level the playing field, too frequently makes a fool of itself; by hounding the scientists who muster the courage to let their curiosity consider 'unfashionable' hypotheses.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is not only for those whose passion for science, or voracious curiosity of the nature of the universe/creation knows no bounds. This book is especially for those who have come to feel an unease with science and technology or a loss of wonder in the universe.

18 people found this helpful

.