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Publisher's Summary

Now updated with a major new afterword that incorporates the latest cosmological research, this classic of contemporary science writing by a Nobel prize-winning physicist explains to general readers what happened when the Universe began, and how we know.
©1988 Steven Weinberg (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Science writing at its best." (New York Review of Books)
"The book is the first I have seen to put the details, both historical and conceptual, of the origin of the Universe within the grasp of the general reader. As such, it is a tremendous service to us all." (Isaac Asimov)
"Weinberg builds such a convincing case...that one comes away from his book feeling not only that the idea of an original cosmic explosion is not crazy but that any other theory appears scientifically irrational." (New Yorker)

What listeners say about The First Three Minutes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Strong and Compelling Story

An excellent and accessible accounting of the beginnings of the universe. This introduction to cosmology is presented in a compelling and engaging way. I enjoy reading about science, and most especially, science books that grab the reader and take him through an adventure of discovery. This book does that.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Sleeping Aid

If you need help falling asleep, then maybe this book is a good choice. The narrator apparently felt the same because he pretty much rushes through the book and clearly doesn't know what he's reading.

The material is extremely dated-- huge advances have been made since the author wrote this in 1975, and he did not bother to re-write it in the 1990s. Instead he just tagged on a catch-up chapter at the end. And who will still be awake by the end of this audiobook?

Try Fabric of the Cosmos for something better on this subject matter.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unlistenable

This is the first audiobook I've regretted buying. I've made about four attempts to make it through and I've been stopped every time by the expressionless, rushed narration.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

maybe better as a book

Perhaps better when read rather than listened to. Even with a decent background in math and physics, it was most difficult to follow the spoken text.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

In the Beginning

This book is not for the scientifically challenged. Having a basic knowledge of physics helps. I found the scales used to be mind-boggling. The history of our world is but a single heartbeat in the life of the universe.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Tough to follow

This is really interesting stuff but after a brief introduction to cosmology takes off at break neck speed. It is written for someone already very comfortable with concepts such as black body spectrums and particle/anti-particle production. It would make a great book for a 2nd year physic student or mid-level astronomy student.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very, very boring and outdated.

Wow. I have a science degree, though not Astrophysics. I read a lot of “intro” books for novices: Particle Physics, The Universe, Evolution, etc. In the first chapter, the author says this is a book for beginners and contains no math except as required. Then he spends half the book (that’s as far as I got). Using terms, both Math and Physics, without explaining any of them and using Scientific Notation with no size comparison. Worse, considering it’s “the first three minutes,” he jumps back and forth in time with no explanation. The information is significantly outdated, as noted by the author in the footnotes, but his time would have been better served writing a new edition. The narrator reads this book with no inflection, no interest, and possibly, without taking a breath. Not the combo I would have hoped for given my interest in the subject.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Still relevant after all these years

Much has been revealed in cosmology since this book's publication in 1977. Even the "afterward" tacked on to the 1993 reprint (and included in the audiobook) predates the sensational discovery of accelerated cosmic expansion. Nevertheless, the 1960s observation of cosmic microwave background radiation and its fundamental implications for the first few minutes after the Big Bang have stood the test of time.

One caveat: the author does not shy away from detailed logical and quantitative reasoning. Frequent pausing for reflection is required. Keep your finger ready to hit the pause button!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Just a bit to technical

I was hoping for a lay persons book on the origin of the universe. I have been watching the history channel's the universe and was looking for a book that would go into a little more detain about the origin of the universe. This book does that but at times I found myself very confused, but overall it was a very good, very thought provoking book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Format dependent

This book is NOT conducive to audio due to the large amount of formulas, tables, etc. In print format, you can't go wrong with "The First Three Minutes". I'm an amateur in astrophysics and I respect this book (in print).