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Publisher's Summary

Smell is the most emotional and evocative of our senses: it can bring back memories faster and with more immediacy than a photograph - so why is it so little understood?

Armed with a hungry curiosity and a willingness to self-experiment, author Barney Shaw goes in search of the hidden meanings of smells. Using plain words to describe what he finds, he investigates the chemistry, psychology, history and future of this underappreciated sense.

Journeying around boatyards, perfume shops and memories, Shaw opens your nose to the world, breaking down "chords" of smells into their component notes and through them revealing new ways of understanding the spaces through which we move.

An investigation into the biology, psychology and history of smell, and a search for effective ways to put into words scents that we instantly relate to but find strangely ineffable, The Smell of Fresh Rain includes a 200 entry thesaurus of succinct descriptions of common smells.

©2017 Barney Shaw (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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  • Anna Richardson
  • 04-30-18

A well written romp through olfaction ruined

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Despite this being confidently written and well-paced, the reader delivers each line as if he's reading something he doesn't understand to a toddler who he's trying to distract. (He could be great on another book, but I feel for Barney Shaw).

What did you like best about this story?

I know something of botany and olfaction and this was pitched well for anyone with similar interests. I've now learned some curious details and have a fuller understanding of the subject.The writer has clearly researched his passion for all things smelly.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator seems to read each sentence with no regard for the previous or up-coming text. There is a constant element of nervous surprise as he reads pretty simple things. I really couldn't do more than a chapter at a time as it became infuriating hearing simple words mis-read.

Was The Smell of Fresh Rain worth the listening time?

I'd recommend this book as a good read, but a teeth-grinding listen. I stuck with it, in the hope it might improve; it doesn't.

Any additional comments?

This writer deserves a better narrator.