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Publisher's Summary

'This witty book reveals the humbling vastness of our ignorance about the universe, along with charming insights into what we actually do understand.' (Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality Is Not What It Seems)

Many books explain what we know about the universe. This one, from the hugely popular PhD Comics (50 million readers since 2008), tackles all the weird stuff we haven't figured out yet.

In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on.

In fact we don't know what about 95 percent of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes.

With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If.

©2017 Daniel Whiteson (P)2017 Penguin Random House Audio

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  • D. Menashy
  • 07-02-17

Fun science!

I actually listened to this a few weeks ago now, so don't remember loads of details . A fun listen and I'm sure I learned (or was reminded of) loads of cool stuff.
The authors tried hard to give the audiobook a distinct feel, lots of sound effects etc., presumably to compensate for the lack of the cartoons to be found in the printed edition. To be honest I found these occasionally a bit jarring but I appreciated the effort.
Overall I think one can never learn too much Physics, so a recommended listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • SqueakyMcClean
  • 10-06-17

A 'must listen' title

Engaging, passionate narration that makes complex concepts accessible to everyone. Who would have thought that a book which answers significantly less questions than it asks could be so fascinating and entertaining? Garth Marenghi take note! Lose the awful sound effects and it's five stars across the board.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. G. F. Carter
  • 11-29-17

Rubbed me up the wrong way

Lots of great content, but despite the subject matter, and the depth of the topics discussed at times I felt it went too far to install levity and make it light. It does this to such an extent that it feels like they think the audience are a bunch of idiots, despite the fact that the purchase of the book implies at least a background level of intellect and curiosity. I appreciate that books on science don't need to be dry and inaccessible... but attempting to tell poor groan-inducing jokes?

Or perhaps it was the delivery of the jokes.... I couldn't stand the narrator, himself sounding like Samuel L Jackson in Kingsmen, which was essentially overblown parody. It was kind of off putting and his timing poor.

In book form... I love this book.... but some of the things they do there, don't translate well to audio and they've attempted to fill in the cartoons and illustrations with stupid noises.

Science.... including hard science can be fun, humorous and light.... look at the excellent infinite monkey cage for hard science that is humorous, deep, challenging, accessible, in depth, and never patronizes it's listeners.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-17

Ruined by silly and pointless sound effects

Generally okay as far as the material and narrator goes. Unfortunately, the book conveyed the feeling that I was being spoken down to. I've read many similar titles that have successfully managed to convey complex ideas without making me feel that the author had little faith in my intelligence and needed to humour me with dumb sound effects and dodgy jokes. I may be being unfair and I may simply be at odds with the style of these particular authors but for me this book missed the mark.