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Publisher's Summary

"A thoughtful meditation on the mythic, cultural, philosophical, and, yes, scientific implications of what happens when a wet potato or a crystal vase slips from your hand." (Billy Collins)

A mind-bending exploration of gravity, the universe's greatest mystery. What is gravity? Nobody knows - and just about nobody knows that nobody knows. How something so pervasive can also be so mysterious, and how that mystery can be so wholly unrecognized outside the field of physics, is one of the greatest conundrums in modern science. But as award-winning author Richard Panek shows in this groundbreaking book, gravity is a cold case that we are closer to cracking than ever - and whose very investigation has yielded untold truths about the cosmos and humanity itself. 

Part scientific detective story, part meta­physical romp, The Trouble with Gravity is a revelation: the first in-depth, accessible study of this ubiquitous, elusive force. Gravity and our efforts to understand it, Panek reveals, have shaped not only the world we inhabit, but also our bodies, minds, and culture. Its influence can be seen in everything from ancient fables to modern furniture, Dante’s Inferno to the pratfalls of Laurel and Hardy, bipedalism to black holes. As we approach the truth about gravity, we should also be prepared to know both our universe and our­selves as never before.

Design by Martha Kennedy

©2019 Richard Panek (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Trouble with Gravity

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  • 05-05-20

Panek's entertaining tour never set out to "solve

Humanity has failed at “solving the mystery” of gravity. And Richard Panek tells you that up front! But many hyper-critics missed that part.

Mr. Panek’s excellent historical development of western humanity's struggles to find the essence of gravity, actually transports one in a great read/listen (I use Audible) to relax and learn and to just enjoy the ride. The reader/listener of this good book does not need to criticize it. Just needs to enjoy it as an introductory survey and teaser for further independent study.

IF, at the outset of this entertaining instructive work, one actually notices Richard Panek’s heads-up that neither he, nor anyone, will/has yet “solved” the riddle of gravity, but instead one simply enjoys the non-scientific historical panorama of humanity’s wonderment with the phenomenon, then this book will be for you. As it was for me. For me, it was wonderful! And it is also a great inspirational introductory motivator to later Google the many historical references teeming in this good book. And thereby, buy even more books! And what's wrong with that?

If you want a "pop science" introductory panorama to the struggles of western humanity’s attempts at understanding, or stumbling upon, the mystery of gravity, buy this book on Audible or Kindle and enjoy. I had the Audible version and it transported me as I heard it through great trail hikes and walks in my beautiful city. Because of this book, I went on to buy even more books about Tycho Brahe, Kepler and Newton. And am still eating it up.
Thank you Mr. Panek!

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awful

if you want to learn anything about the fascination of gravity, then do not read this book!

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Very disappointed

This had been touted on the 'net as the "final explanation" of gravity, sadly it was more of a theological interpretation of the Illiad and the Odyssey. What I had hoped would be a collegiate / masters / doctoral discussion finally explaining gravity was more grade-school big-picture. I think I learned more from Morgan Freeman on the Discovery Channel than from this book.

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A must read for anyone interested in science!

Panek makes the story of gravity as exciting as any epic thriller. It appears as though the mysteries of gravity will be solved, and dark matter will be fully explained for all time.

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Too light on science.

An amusing and entertaining rambling, but for a book published when the greatest advances in history are taking place in the fields of astrophyics and gravity I found it far too light on science. It you like history of science with not much recent news, then you will enjoy this book.