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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics comes a new audiobook about the mind-bending nature of the universe.

Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli, read by Roy McMillan.

What are time and space made of? Where does matter come from? And what exactly is reality?

Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. Here he explains how our image of the world has changed throughout centuries. From Aristotle to Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday to the Higgs boson, he takes us on a wondrous journey to show us that beyond our ever-changing idea of reality is a whole new world that has yet to be discovered.

©2016 Carlo Rovelli (P)2016 Penguin AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Rovelli is a master

This and Seven Brief Lessons are two of my favorite books of the year. Rovelli communicates advanced physics clearly, with imagination, and with such a great sense of humanity and the arts. I rarely listen to books twice, but these are the exceptions.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Sparkling foundational history of physics

The history makes sense of current thought
Then listen to the last half as many times as it takes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

great

Requires some knowledge of science, but definitely trying to also speak to the non-physicist . Great also for those needing the latest on physics. New concepts on space, time and gravity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So good l am so happy to study at Albert Einstein’s Uni@ ETH Zürich

The entire current technology is build on Faraday, the poor London experimentor and theoretical physics: build math equations on the intuition and vision of Faraday. Happy birthday Faraday 25th August 18

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WOAHHHH

Totally loved it...a masterpiece! evolved my perspective towards the world. Simple and yet so informative.

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A beautifully written and engaging text

One of the best audiobooks I have listened to and always in my library. I have listened to the book three times so far and still working on catching all the details, but have enjoyed listening immensely each time. Carlo Rovelli manages to inject poetry into quantum physics, his enthusiasm for his subject is infectious, and Roy McMillan narration is fantastic. The book gives a very good overview of quantum gravity and spin foam theory in their historical context. Wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended.

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The most brilliant book on physics

I just couldn't stop listening to this book. I am totally in love with the stories, narration, the view on history and physics evolvement.
May be it's because the author is an Italian? but his way of describing complex theories beautifully, poetically and sometimes metaphorically makes this book absolutely unique. I hope he'll continue writing.
Highly recommended!

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  • Stefan Richter
  • 11-28-16

Eye opening and mind expanding

This was the first audiobook that I listened to in one weekend and one of the very few that I will listen to again.
Put it on your list now.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan Townsend
  • 11-28-16

One of my favourites

This book is not only a mesmerising account of both the story and world of physics (that somehow manages to be both eloquently worded and yet still simple enough for a person of average intelligence to grasp) but is also read with all the passion and character I can imagine Rovelli penning it with.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Den
  • 11-25-16

Reaching out for understanding

Where does Reality Is Not What It Seems rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the very best.

What did you like best about this story?

Logical, clear and honest about this fascinating area of science.

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

No.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Content and performance combine to make this a memorable experience.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 11-11-16

Read this

A wonderful, almost poetic scientific exposition of quantum gravity and related developments which you will enjoy, I feel sure even as a non scientist.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 12-22-16

Nothing really new here.

Explained really well though and doesn't get bogged down, will listen again, to get a better grasp on the concepts covered, although author tends to ridicule anything spiritual, but at the same time explains how little we do know!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Petrit
  • 12-13-16

An absolutely outstanding book.

Great book for anyone, with very good narration! You will not be able to stop listening and you'll ask for more...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adz McP
  • 01-29-18

Great

Excellent overview of the current understanding of physics, explained simplistically and states that a complete understanding is not necessary to see the bigger picture.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Unretired
  • 06-25-17

Outstanding

This is the book I've been waiting for. Well reasoned, great structure and narrated beautifully.

I can't claim that I understood everything but that just means I'll be going back for a 2nd and maybe even 3rd listening!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Meirion
  • 10-26-16

Brilliant book

Roy McMillan manages to convey the enthusiasm, wonder and clarity of Carlo Rovelli's staggering masterpiece

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Rich
  • 02-26-18

A study of science as well

This made a lot more sense after reading Quantum, a Guide for the Perplexed but anyone with a basic understanding of the pillars of Quantum Mechanics and knows this is just one of them will enjoy it. It starts from right back at the first scientific thinkers of all and tells a very interesting story of how we got from there to here

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan West
  • 08-18-18

A very important book!

Not only important for its effective and layered delivery of the discoveries of science, but more so for the framework of thinking it encourages the reader to hold. This framework is vitally important today. Thank you, Carlo.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-18

just the beginning

not a science major. learned some, lost too often. listened twice. lost in space time

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  • Saman Attarian
  • 11-29-17

It actually changed how i see the world

Had to listen two times to a couple of characters to digest the magnificence of the ideas

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  • nathan
  • 04-26-17

Visuals?

Really good book but I think this form of non fiction requires pictures videos and interactive components

0 of 2 people found this review helpful