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Publisher's Summary

John McPhee's Pulitzer Prize-winning Annals of the Former World takes readers on mind-expanding adventures in geology. In the first book, Basin and Range, McPhee traveled to Nevada with a proponent of plate techtonics. Now, an engaging sceptic working for the United States Geological Survey is his guide to some of eastern America's most fascinating geologic formations.

Respected geologist Anita Harris doesn't completely accept the reigning gospel of plate tectonics. Rather than limiting herself to one theory, the Brooklyn native insists on letting the rocks tell their own stories. Pickaxe and hydrochloric acid in hand, Harris guides McPhee to terrain that speaks of sudden, cataclysmic events and the spectacular, relatively recent, movement of glaciers.

Author John McPhee is celebrated for his elegant style and skill in making specialized material accessible. When the narrative talents of Nelson Runger are added, you will discover that the intricacies of geology become not only understandable, but most entertaining.

Listen to more books in the Annals of the Former World collection.
©1981, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1998 John McPhee; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Julie
  • Niles, IL, USA
  • 10-12-04

Wow.

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!!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unfortunate choice of narrator

Unfortunately, this book has the same narrator as Basin and Range. Words and sentences are read overly slowly, with strangely-placed pauses and awkward emphasis of polysyllabic words. At times, I could almost believe it is computer generated.

Again, a disappointment. Strongly recommend checking out the preview to make sure you can handle the narration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Apparently not the beginning

I have to admit I haven't yet listened very far into this - I've started it several times, and each time stop, thinking I must have loaded the second part. When I check, it is the first and only part. Apparently there is another book that precedes this that is required reading for continuity sake. The format and style are engaging, but reads like starting a book at chapter 4.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful