Thirty years ago, the theory that continents are comprised of drifting plates—plate tectonics—evoked more scorn than serious research.....
The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher....
Those who have traveled into America’s only remaining frontier rarely come back out the same....
This first-hand account of the transportation sector features evocative portraits of the men and women who deliver our consumer and industrial goods....
In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head....
This insightful course explores a range of topics that help to tell the story of Earth and to explain the discipline of Geology and the role of the geologist....
In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind....
Few fish are as beloved, or as obsessed over, as the American shad....
In the best-selling tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, The Great Quake is a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in North American recorded history....
From a brilliant new literary voice comes a groundbreaking exploration of how trails help us understand the world....
For a person who has not encountered John McPhee's lively writing, The Second John McPhee Reader is the perfect introduction....
Fabulously entertaining and filled with the intriguing trivia of life, Irons in the Fire is another impeccably crafted collection of seven essays by John McPhee....
Simon Winchester delivers a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A.....
The quest for gravitational waves involved years of risky research and many personal and professional struggles that threatened to derail one of the world's largest scientific endeavors....
Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner recounts the remarkable career of Major John Wesley Powell....
The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (the name has since become a by-word for a cataclysmic disaster) was followed by an immense tsunami....
When Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, it became the focus of a nationwide cult. Rude and sensitive. Thought-provoking and mystical. Angry and loving....
Best-selling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature....
In this first book of a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, the author crosses the spectacular Basin and Range with geology professor Kenneth Deffeyes in tow. McPhee draws on Deffeyes' expertise to dazzle you with the vast perspective of geologic time and the fascinating history of vanished landscapes. The effect is guaranteed to expand your mind.
McPhee's enthusiasm is infectious, as he provides one of the best introductions to plate tectonics and the New Geology. His elegant style is more pleasing than ever with narrator Nelson Runger's smooth, enthusiastic delivery. Runger mines the book's rich veins of poetic prose and subtle humor, and the result is pure gold.
"A fascinating book." (The New York Times Book Review)
"He triumphs by succinct prose, by his uncanny ability to capture the essence of a complex issue, or an arcane trade secret, in a well-turned phrase." (New York Review of Books)
McPhee is an amazing writer. I love geology, but he makes it positively lush and compelling to listen to. I am so glad Audible added this to their collection. Thanks!!
35 of 38 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Basin and Range the most enjoyable?
The wealth of Geological information interwoven with the stories of the Geologists whoexplain, through McPhee, the complex but fascinating Geological history of America from coast to coast. But be aware that "Assembling California" is not listed with the other 4 books of the canon. Be sure to get all five. The Sequence I would suggest would In my opinion logically follow the trek across the country really from coast to coast ie books1 through 5 in order. Some have suggested a different sequence, but all stand alone very well. This series of 5 Audio books should be in every library of those who admire and enjoy superb non-fiction writing or Geology.These are suberbly performed by Nelson Runger.If, like me, much of your listening is done while driving, this audio book series willtransport you to "The Former World" as you travel.Ronald E. Bowers, MDFL
What other book might you compare Basin and Range to and why?
the other 4 books of "Annals of the Former World"
What about Nelson Runger’s performance did you like?
Tone and delivery matched the style of the book(s). Not pedantic.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes, and re-listen!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Weaves literary genius with scientific discovery to create an enthralling tapestry of the earth and our small place in it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from John McPhee and/or Nelson Runger?
Yes. John McPhee does his best to make a very dry and complicated subject palatable to the general reader. This is one of Nelson Runger's better books. I know that some folks aren't fans of his, but outside of a few readings, he never really bothered me.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Outside of the Narrator (McPhee) probably the guy who was able to procure the aggregate silver from abandoned mines in Nevada.
What three words best describe Nelson Runger’s performance?
Accessible. Journalistic. Engaged.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
This would probably be better as a PBS Special
Any additional comments?
It is a tough listen, I'm not going to lie. But you do learn something. My experience was enhanced by listening to it while driving to Las Vegas and being in the geological region where the book was based. It was also neat to pass by road cuts in the highway and discover how geologists use them for research. But I can see how past reviewers would want maps while listening to this.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
McPhee does an excellent job of introducing geology. However, despite his excellent prose, pictures and maps would add to the experience.
Worst thing is Nelson Runger's narration--while his avuncular style is well suited to McPhee's prose, the microphone picks up all of his lip-smacking noises. Once I became attuned to this, I couldn't get it out of my mind--he sounded like a dog eating peanut butter. Please, filter this out on your next book.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Whether you're an amateur or professional geologist, or simply curious about the big fuss geologists make about rocks, this book is a joy. McPhee conveys the simplest to the most complex topics in geology with the most succinct and illuminating of metaphors that is a treat for the imagination.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Not knowing all the scientific/geological speak made it a little difficult to follow but in audio form I could just let the terminology wash over me and put enough of it together.
My interest is sparked to learn more.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
McPhee tells us the story of the discovery of the speeding of the ocean floor and the Tectonic Plate which result and on which we live.
The narration leaves something to be desired, but well worth buying.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
The narrator's voice is slow and rather painful to listen to. I gave up after only 5 minutes. Strongly recommend listening to the _entire_ preview before purchasing, to make sure you don't find the narration equally painful.
Very disappointing, as I loved the book.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful
I love to study geology and I love good writing (printed or recorded). I gave up on this effort after 40 painful listening minutes. I, too, was an English major but I still value my "little book".
3 of 9 people found this review helpful