Once Before Time

  • by Martin Bojowald
  • Narrated by Jonathan Cowley
  • 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a 27-year-old postdoc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity - a combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum mechanics - to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s theory of relativity had failed to do - illuminate the birth of the universe.
According to LQC, our universe could have emerged from the collapse of a previous universe, a Big Bounce rather than a Big Bang. Now, Martin Bojowald explains the science behind this new model of the universe in a step-by-step argument for the logical and philosophical cogency of loop quantum gravity (with fascinating digressions into art, literature, and philosophy), and in the process takes us on a remarkable journey through the history of modern cosmology, back to the origin of the universe and to the time before it existed.
In Martin Bojowald, we have not just an extraordinary and rigorous scientific mind, but also a science writer of uncommon eloquence and accessibility whose subject is as thoroughly fascinating as it is revolutionary.

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What the Critics Say

"Bojowald largely avoids mathematics for accessibility, but that can leave his writing dense with rigor as he strives to cover 'the Whole Story.' Readers willing to meet his challenge will find a fascinating new universe revealed by his enthusiastic firsthand approach." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Monotonous, Droning Narrator

The narrator sounds like a computer voice reader with an Australian accent. The voice detracts from what may be an interesting book.
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- Dennis

Decent Subject, But Narrator Ruins It All

Well, it was just a matter of time. This is my first review after 16 audiobooks from Audible.com. I regret that it is a negative review. What I mean is that the subject matter seems different enough and relatively (a very slight pun there) interesting, but I cannot suffer through another hour of the narrator. My gosh, I have listened to books on several subjects ranging from Augustus to The Edge of Physics and have enjoyed them all in one way or another, but this book is just awful given the way it is narrated. Jonathan Cowley could not have made a book more boring if he had tried (although one gets the feeling that he did try to make it so). The narration is a constant monotone with no emphasis whatsoever on any part of the text. And to add insult to injury, he reads so S-L-O-W that the listener loses interest. It ofter seems that the narration was a first take--either that or the sound engineer and director were bored to sleep because of lack of interest in the subject matter. Sadly, the robot voice from the NWS has more inflexion. I don't know how this guy made it through the editing process, if there was one. Anyway, it is a real shame that someone who appears to be a good author with a very difficult subject matter has their book ruined by a narrator with an uninteresting voice and annoying accent which is either real or terribly overdone. A mouthful of rocks wouldn't have interfered with the narrator's diction. I really am sorry to come down so hard on this guy, but after wasting $15 on this book I wanted to warn other potential purchasers. I hope that this fair warning is not censored by the reviewer of reviews. I have enjoyed a similar books: for example The Edge of Physis has a wonderful narrator. In a similar vein, the narrators of The Black Hole War and The Disappearing Spoon are also good. But be warned here, there are many other books on similar subjects which are much more enjoyable!
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- Randall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-09-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio