Regular price: $17.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Time is the most commonly used noun in the English language; it's always on our minds, and it advances through every living moment. But what is time exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we're bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?

In this witty and meditative exploration, award-winning author and New Yorker staff writer Alan Burdick takes listeners on a personal quest to understand how time gets in us and why we perceive it the way we do. In the company of scientists, he visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that "now" actually happened a split-second ago; finds a 25th hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist's lab, even makes time go backward. Why Time Flies is an instant classic, a vivid and intimate examination of the clocks that tick inside us all.

©2017 Alan Burdick (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nuanced and thoughtful

Any additional comments?

Entertaining, educational, introspective, and timely (pun intended). This all too brief book deals with time, how we measure it, how our bodies perceive it, how our brains process it, and what we have yet to figure out. It is a well-balanced mixture of science and anecdote, explanation and emotion. Worth your time!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Time slowed a bit near the middle but...

Time slowed a bit near the middle but...sped up again near the end. Some very interesting mostly scientific details. The rat studies were less interesting to me and therefore apparently seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to get through. I will recommend this as interesting and informative but with one slower section. Good useful read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Nice Surface Without Much Depth

What did you like best about Why Time Flies? What did you like least?

The Best: A smattering of anedotes with a wide variety of sources, often returning to William James, Anselm of Canterbury, and Michel Siffre.

The Bad: Often the chapters feel like magazine articles, filled with info found in other popular science books, tv shows, and YouTube channels. The author covers a fair amount of aspects, but it all felt like introductions.

If you’ve listened to books by Alan Burdick before, how does this one compare?

I've never listened/read anything by Burdick before, but he professionally demonstrates his research. He easily links ideas together and has a nice way to place his settings-- but there's not that much depth.

Which character – as performed by George Newbern – was your favorite?

(It's non-fiction, so there's no characters) however, George Newbern has a wry, slightly earnest next-door-neighbor delivery for this one. He's pretty good.

Was Why Time Flies worth the listening time?

Yes, it's a good introduction.

Any additional comments?

This book is mostly about psychology, history and philosophy, and it only briefly talks about the modern physics, sadly avoiding quantum mechanics. There's plenty of science, but I wanted more physics!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

TIME IS A MYSTERY

Time is a mystery. Alan Burdick speculates on a definition of time in “Why Time Flies”. In some respects, Burdick’s story is enlightening; in others, time escapes his audience’s understanding.

Time appears to be a construct of mind and consciousness, both of which are equally mysterious.  No one really knows what mind and consciousness are but recent experiments suggest they are a state of being that offers versions of reality; i.e. not objective truth but subjective understanding.  Experiments show that the mind deconstructs what we see and reassembles it to have meaning in an individual’s consciousness. 

Burdick shows, through recounted experiments, that time does not slow down when we experience traumatic events like a car crash or a bungee jump.  What our mind does is reconstruct an accident or bungee jump through a consciousness that makes it seem time slows down.  Our consciousness remembers or manufactures events as though they occurred in slow motion; i.e. we remember seeing our car flipping over, the top being crushed, and our effort to use a seat belt to steady our movements.  All of this happens within a minute but we remember it in detail as though a slow-motion camera records the accident.

How does one define a moment?  It seems to be something between history and future but what is time’s physical marker?  Maybe it is consciousness but no one knows what consciousness is and every person’s consciousness is personal and subjective; not universal.

At best, Burdick’s story only deepens the mystery of time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

Excessive, unnecessary detail that makes the book much longer than it needs to be to make it's point. Over and over the author writes: "when does now begin and when does it end?".
We got that point after the second or third time. After the umpteenth time you start to wish that the book would end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Deep, somewhat fractured review of research

Time perception, duration perception and many other time-related topics. Nice amount of humor along with the facts. Very interesting!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, comprehensive brilliance on the future of our world

This book is a must read, it does an amazing job of analyzing the rapid acceleration of changing our world – especially with new technology – and offers a practical and hopeful path for societies to successfully adapt. You should absolutely read (listen) to this book, whether you're in business, government/politics, education, non-profit work, or simply are interested in how our world is changing. Friedman offers vivid, fascinating case studies and extraordinarily smart, practical ideas that should appeal to anyone from any political background. If there is one book that you finish this year, this should be it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Time did not fly

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

You will have to ask the author to do a second edition, better edited. It was very dry and beat experiment stories to death with repetitious examples. Maybe more human interest aspects? Somehow more action? Less repetitive discussion on the same point?

Would you ever listen to anything by Alan Burdick again?

Everyone deserves a second chance.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not a lot of what musicians call shaping in the expression of his delivery. The rise and fall of voice pitch and volume with sentence development.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Technically there were some interesting facts, but they were beat to death.

Any additional comments?

Some good editing might have improved the pace and the amount of time spent on making a point. Too many examples, and too much information for each example. Anyone who selected this technical book is not likely to be slow-witted.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful