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Publisher's Summary

A Sunday Times best seller.

A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet, this groundbreaking audiobook accompanies the BBC One TV series, providing the deepest answers to the simplest questions.

'What is motion?'

'Why is every snowflake different?'

'Why is life symmetrical?'

To answer these and many other questions, Professor Brian Cox uncovers some of the most extraordinary natural events on Earth and in the universe and beyond.

From the immensity of the universe and the roundness of Earth to the form of every single snowflake, the forces of nature shape everything we see. Pushed to extremes, the results are astonishing. In seeking to understand the everyday world, the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home, we develop the knowledge and techniques necessary to step beyond the everyday and approach the universe beyond.

Forces of Nature takes you to the great plains of the Serengeti, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal to the humpback whales of the Caribbean and the northern lights of the Arctic. Brian will answer questions on Earth that will illuminate our understanding of the universe.

Think you know our planet?

Think again.

©2017 Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"In this book of the acclaimed BBC2 TV series, Professor Cox shows us the cosmos as we have never seen it before - a place full of the most bizarre and powerful natural phenomena." ( Sunday Express)
"Engaging, ambitious and creative." ( Guardian)
"Cox's romantic, lyrical approach to astrophysics all adds up to an experience that feels less like homework and more like having a story told to you. A really good story, too." ( Guardian)

What listeners say about Forces of Nature

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Complicated in its simplicity

Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen have the ability to explain science in a fashion that still maintains depth, yet you don't need to be a scientist to understand it. This is simpler said than done, specially when you explain all of what is out there from its simplest components.

The authors passion is carried vividly in this book, that even the few equations that are provided sound like poetry.

This book is not too simple, but definitely a gem. It is yet another up to date explanation of science in the cutting edge, where progress is moving faster than books can be written.

Highly recommended for those who want to be informed of where we are and are willing to strain their mind just a little, the lovers of science.

11 people found this helpful

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Very Good

You will need to engage your brain to follow these complex concepts, so do not expect an easy listen. That said, once you have shifted gear to listen very intently, West will carefully deliver Cox's fascinating explanations of the forces of nature to the average person who is not well-versed in physics. If you are, however, this book may be too elementary for you and you might find this book too pedestrian. If you do get in over your head, just listen and pick up what you can!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

And I thought I had read it all ...

No, I hadn't. I also thought I knew most of the basics of this physics, astronomy and other natural sciences stuff. I didn't. This is a very well written and narrated book. A fun listen! Particularly for the price.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and read

I loved learning about the reasons things are they way they are. Snowflakes are so much more interesting when you see why they are unique and have six sides.
I teared up at Cox's description of the possibility that all events, such as your favorite memory, exist out there in spacetime.
Samuel West was the perfect match for this book

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good read nice examples

Brian Cox is a great job of making complicated things easier to understand by using great examples that are very relatable.

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So good

More please tell us about quantum entanglement and the possibility of faster than light communication

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One of the best books on science.

I hear it over and over at night, awake and asleep, and every time I learn something new. Concepts are described and explained in a clear and simple way, while still affirming the complexity of nature. The more I hear it, the more I enjoy it.

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A struggle

Really tough stuff for an audiobook. It probably requires a second listen, but I didn’t find the story particularly compelling and couldn’t finish it the first time - so I don’t think I’ll bother.

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Well written and superbly explained for those of is interested, but not so knowledgeable

Superbly written subject matter for those interested in basic modern science at the leading edge. Explanations made straightforward and easy to understand. Most enjoyable.

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Sensacional

Incrivelmente bem escrito , emocionante , preciso , em alguns momentos engraçado, em outros genial; recomendado demais ; versão áudio da audible é fantástica 🙏

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  • Amy
  • 10-15-17

Diagrams are the Death of Audiobooks

It was near junction 26 of the M1 that I realised this book's worst problem. A book written by a Professor of life, the universe and everything within it usually contains several happy little diagrams that make it possible for 'normal' people like me to understand the higher level of science that the book contains. Without the diagrams you're left swimming (drowning) in insane amounts of facts. Facts are great, but if you're after a book that you want to read and not think to hard about - this is not the book you are looking for.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Honest Dude
  • 01-25-18

Supporting documents are needed

Would you listen to Forces of Nature again? Why?

I probably wouldn't listen to this book again, however some sections/chapters of this book were fascinating and would probably warrant a re-listen.

What other book might you compare Forces of Nature to, and why?

A short history of nearly anything by Bill Bryson. Although Bryson's book has the edge for me as Bryson was able to explain the physics without reference to a diagram. It was really annoying that in this book the narration was clearly referring to equations or diagrams that existed in the print version. So this audible was lacking supporting material.Some bits you can visualise in your mind what is being discussed which is fine. However. for some of the concepts being explained due to the technicality it's just not possible to follow without the supporting diagram or formula.

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

No

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

Physics answers the questions to your questions on nature.

Any additional comments?

Although I had negative comments about the lack of supporting documents, I still think this is a very good work and worth listening to if you have interests in Physics. If you have no prior knowledge of physics probably no worth listening to just yet, Or might be worth listening to if you have seen the TV series.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-14-20

Engaging but difficult to follow

To listen to this you must have some kind of background in science otherwise it is near impossible to understand everything just by listening. I downloaded the book and read and listened at the same time and I have some scientific knowledge and a huge interest in the subject but still this is no easy piece. There are many diagrams, graphs and pictures in the book which are not available in the audiobook but which are essential. These could have been included here easily. So if you don’t have a lot of interest in science and some kind of scientific background I don’t think this book is for you. If you are interested, I would still not suggest the audiobook. the written book is much better. I can’t say anything bad about the narration though it was superb.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Soba Taiwo
  • 01-25-18

Great!

Very informative and intriguing. It made me question my very inquisitive about our universe. 😁

5 people found this helpful

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  • Swords and Spectres
  • 11-01-21

Addictive from start to finish

I'll not make this an overly long review as I'm no scientist and, therefor, not qualified to delve into this into too much detail. 

As I said, I am no scientist, but this book does not require you to be one. It simply requires that you have a curious mind as to how everything works and an urge to dive a tad deeper than simply being curious. The science in this book is accessible to anyone. There are, obviously, times when it does advance a tad, but for the most part it's kept at a level where anyone can pick it up and feel like they're along for the ride rather than simply nodding, smiling and waiting for the smart men with the big words to go away and leave you in peace.

The writing style is very witty and engaging, something that a lot of science books I've tried either attempt and don't do very well, fail at all together, or simply do not try. In the case of the latter, it's hardly their fault. Most scientists write for other scientists so assume all the big words and equations are understood (thankfully Cox and Cohen aren't solely of that school of thought).

I enjoyed this from start to finish and was thoroughly upset when it ended. I wanted there to be more, more, more. But, that's what these books are designed to do: give you a taste for the main course; a main course you need to track down and devour on your own, as opposed to being spoon fed here.

If you've the slightest curiosity about the world, solar system and universe around you, I'd highly recommend picking up this book (and others like it). Some of the things in here opened my eyes to different ways of seeing the world and I look forward to diving into more of their work to continue that journey.

Samuel West's narration is utterly brilliant. It makes the witty, far more so and adds to the enjoyability factor knowing he was the narrator who did the original show. If that man was reading me the instructions to a microwave oven I'd sit down, take note and expect to enjoy it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-29-17

Too much physics

Not a book for the average Joe, seemed to vary alot in terms of level- some bits more accessible than other bits.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Francesca
  • 09-07-21

Interesting and beautifully read

A really interesting book. Samuel West is a brilliant narrator. Would recommend to anyone with an interest in science.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JPhil
  • 12-09-17

fantastic book

everyone should listen to this... it's great! a celebration of the beautiful patterns and principles that lie in wait to be discovered by the curious. To understand the rainbow is not to unweave its beauty but to appreciate it more fully.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A
  • 08-02-17

Brilliant.

Beauriful, brilliant and awe inspiring. A accessible and magnificent read. Highly Recomend this to anyone, even if science doesn't interest you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stop the lights
  • 07-31-17

great book

I really enjoyed this.

For all of us who still wonder how things work but we left physics and chemistry behind when we left secondary school this is a great book.

Enjoying also is the fact that Cox reminds us of his music background. so it's not just another anorak bleeting out endless theories and equations that Joe blogs can't fathom. He reminds us he's one of us.

might just listen again ! ! !

2 people found this helpful

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  • Hopmott
  • 08-17-19

Mind-blowing made more digestible

Will certainly be revisiting a few times...wish I’d had this when studying physics at school! Great combination of the factual set in the context of the real world...and very interesting to hear the how and who surrounding various discoveries. Initially disappointed Professor Brian Cox not narrating, but soon got over it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 04-24-17

summary of formation of life

loved it! great explanation of physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology and optics and how they all combine to produce life

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 08-27-19

Engaging and compelling discussion of nature

A fantastic introduction to some basic principles of science and nature, put forward in an engaging and understandable way. The jargon and mathematics are kept brief and optional, and the ideas complex and simple are presented in a way that is easy to follow and grasp. The orator was perfect and his performance in the reading was thoroughly enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-20

A great intro to some big subjects

Great book, well narrated. These concepts can be hard to understand, especially in audio form. In this case Brian’s takes you through the story and history really clearly. I’d recommend this to friends starting out on these subjects. I’d also love to see more books from Brian diving more deeply into one of the topics.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clinton
  • 03-12-18

Great book if you’re smart enough

I found this really interesting but had to relisten so many times ‘cause I’m just not smart enough :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shamal
  • 06-19-17

Best one so far

All the things I wanted to know is in one place.. Listened to it twice so far.. might do another round after a few months :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-22

Unphiloshhical

Enjoyed the book and learnt a great deal.
The one critique of Brian is his thought is so reductionist in nature, which makes some of his narratives illogical.
An example of this is when he states he is happy to forego free will only to say how much he enjoys that the past still exists. You don’t have free will you also don’t have personal preference. Where that leaves the rest of emotions and ethics is also ignored.

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  • Olga
  • 01-01-22

An inspiring and captivating story of science

I love the interconnected narrative that Brian creates when explaining complex scientific phenomena. His genuine fascination with nature and our scientific advances in understanding its laws is so inspiring! thank you for ignating sparks in our minds.

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  • Friedrich Clausen
  • 07-31-20

Truly fascinating

This book brings glorious rabbit holes to explore. Really actually palaces to stimulate the minds of the curious. Excellent content and narration.

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  • Nicholas O'Halloran
  • 05-27-20

Absolutely Amazing

it was the most enjoyable book and completely in keeping with Brian Cox and his attitude towards science and the wonders of the universe.