The Elegant Universe

  • by Brian Greene
  • Narrated by Erik Davies
  • 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, one of the world's leading string theorists peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.Brian Greene uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to illustrate the beautiful yet bizarre realities that modern physics is unveiling. Dazzling in its brilliance, unprecedented in its ability to both illuminate and entertain, The Elegant Universe is a tour de force of science writing-a delightful, lucid voyage through modern physics that brings us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.


What the Critics Say

"The Elegant Universe is compulsively readable.... Greene threatens to do for string theory what Stephen Hawking did for black holes." (New York)
"[Greene] develops one fresh new insight after another...In the great tradition of physicists writing for the masses, The Elegant Universe sets a standard that will be hard to beat." (George Johnson, The New York Times Book Review)
"[An] important book.... The Elegant Universe presents the ideas and aspirations-and some of the characters-of string theory with clarity and charm." (Scientific American)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well Written, Good Narration

The Elegant Universe is very well written. The author gives good examples and analogies to better understand the complex thematic.

The narrator was an excellent choice. His voice is very smooth and calm and the narration is very well paced, so that you can easily follow and concentrate on the content.

A little criticism goes however to the production. First, as already mentioned, this book is complex and you need to concentrate on what is being said. Now, imagine being deeply in thought and suddenly there is a big explosion. The producer thought it would be a great idea to put "Big Bang" explosion sounds in between the chapters which is very annoying and disrupts the concentration. It could even make you jump since you do not know when the chapter ends unless you are reading along with the book.
Second, there are a lot of names of scientists from all over the world. I wish the pronunciation of these names would have been researched better. For example, the German physicist Karl Schwarzschild, was pronounced throughout the book as "Schwarz(s)-child", instead of "Schwarz-schild" (engl. for shield), although the correct division of the word can be found also in the book. To me this was quite irritating and lessened my concentration on the actual content.

Due to the complexity of the book some parts might need to be listened to more than once, especially if this is not your field of expertise.
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- Verena

Very Very good

This is an excellent book covering the newest of theories Physics has to offer. However it is not as approachable as Hawking's books is my guess. I understood it even if a few sections had to be reviewed more than once but I imagine a person with less comfort in the subject might get overwhelmed and not really understand.
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- Ginger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio