• How the Universe Got Its Spots

  • Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space
  • By: Janna Levin
  • Narrated by: Christine Williams
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 10-28-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (102 ratings)

Regular price: $20.97

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Publisher's Summary

The gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin sets out to determine the size of the universe, along the way providing an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist. Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, and chaos and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the Big Bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. She does so with such originality, lucidity, and even poetry, that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay listener.
©2002 Janna Levin (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Lovely and utterly original....makes a reader long to meet the author." ( American Scientist)
"[A] gift to those people who want to think big but came to a screeching halt about two dozen pages into... A Brief History of Time." ( Discover)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By wendy on 08-30-11

Loved this story

I went in looking for a lot of hard physics, since the previous audiobook I'd listened to was "The Black Hole War". This touched on some physics, but not a lot - it was mostly a story of Janna Levin's life in CA and England. As a woman engineer, it was interesting to hear from another woman scientist about conferences, and career/family tradeoffs, and so forth. It's written as a series of letters to her mother, which was a neat way to present it.

The story's presentation was pretty neat. The narrator did a very good job, it was very approachable and lyrical.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 11-06-09

Original, Entertaining and Informative

I've read several of the books that Dr. Levin references in this book so I was a little worried that this one might be a tiresome rehash of these previous works. Not so! Dr. Levin's explanation of even the more predictable topics (Flatland) are new and interesting. I found her discussion of topology particularly enlightening. The narration was also first rate. Ms. Williams didn't just read the text, she rendered an interpretation of the work that captures the passion that Dr. Levin clearly brings to her work.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Neil Bartlett on 07-10-16

Nothing like the book I expected

There is very little science in this book, it is mostly dull travelogue about the author's life in the UK and California. Nothing necessarily wrong with that but there are much better writers in that genre.

The narrator was weirdly robotic, making the long sections about the shape of the author's boyfriend's hands (!) even more painful.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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