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Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
The text itself is very good. On a par with Krauss's A Universe from Nothing, Weinberg's The First Three Minutes, and Shermer's Why Darwin Matters and it covers some of the same material in a way that enhances your understanding of the integrated field.
How could the performance have been better?
David Smalley, who mangled Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis," is back and he manages to goof up this volume as well. He makes it obvious that Pitchstone just wanted to get an audio version out and didn't care enough about it to either (a) research even the most basic pronunciations for names and concepts or (b) get a narrator who was familiar enough with the material to get it right on his or her own. The performance takes all of the pleasure out of Stenger's fine work. A hack job that didn't have to be a hack job.
Any additional comments?
Stenger's books are important. They're praised by the Four Horsemen and others as accessible ways to get up to speed on the scientific arguments in this field. The release of audiobook versions of Stenger's works were anxiously awaited. And these performances by Smalley and his director and/or producer bring the whole thing down with a thud.If you just want a convenient way to consume this book and you're okay with the narrator and producer giving the book short shrift (e.g., you have to be familiar with the book for a college course or you're just surveying the literature in the most general way) then this is a passable intoning of most of the English words and you'll be able to say that you've read (listened to) it.But if you care in the least bit about Stenger's work or if you are the least bit familiar with the science and the scientists, this performance will be too distractingly bad to enjoy or even tolerate.There is probably the will and the business case to produce one audio version of each of Stenger's books. Pitchstone picked up this baton - excluding any other that might have carried it - and promptly and distressingly fumbled it. I'm disappointed, and, if you are at all widely read in science and its history, you'll be disappointed, too. Go read the hardcopy.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
Most of the book is a straight forward presentation of the facts. Doesn't have the overt confrontational tone that so many science and religious books have. found it refreshing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful