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Publisher's Summary

Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective.
Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day? The myths that address these questions are beautiful, but in every case their beauty is exceeded by the scientific truth.
With characteristic clarity and verve, Dawkins answers these big questions. Looking first at some of the myths that arose to answer the question, he then, dazzles us with the facts. He looks at the building blocks of matter, the first humans, the sun - explaining the life and death of stars; why there’s a night and a day - ranging from our solar system to the inner workings of our planet; what a rainbow really is—going from the rainbow in your backyard to the age of the universe; and finally, he poses a question that still baffles scientists: When did everything begin?
©2011 Richard Dawkins, Ltd. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"I wanted to write this book but I wasn't clever enough. Now I've read it, I am." (Ricky Gervais)
“Exhilarating. The clearest and most beautifully written introduction to science I've ever read. Again and again I found myself saying 'Oh! So that's how genes work!' (or stars, or tectonic plates, or all the other things he explains). Explanations I thought I knew were clarified; things I never understood were made clear for the first time. My favourite adjective of praise has always been "clear", and this book has clarity all the way through.” (Philip Pullman, author of The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and the His Dark Materials trilogy)
I am often asked to recommend good books on science for young people. From now on, I will not have to hesitate. The Magic of Reality provides a beautiful, accessible and wide ranging volume that addresses the questions that all of us have about the universe, separating often too-little known facts from too-frequently believed fictions. For this reason it should be a powerful resource for people of all ages, written with the masterful and eloquently literate style of perhaps the best popular expositor of science, Richard Dawkins, and delightfully illustrated by Dave McKean. What more could anyone ask for?” (Lawrence Krauss is Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and the author most recently of Quantum Man, and A Universe from Nothing)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael Dowd on 10-10-11

Audio version is superb for us grown-ups

If you could sum up The Magic of Reality in three words, what would they be?

eye-opening mesmerizing bravo

What other book might you compare The Magic of Reality to and why?

In a class of its own; a master and beloved teacher who is well known for his searing intellect and scorn for those who discount the collective intelligence of evidential science in favor of subjective and ancient woo, disarms himself in order to speak with gentle, unblinking clarity. Ostensibly he does this to honor his own commitment to spare youth from propaganda and unfair use of rhetorical flourish. But that technique is tremendously alluring for us grown-ups too. Here Richard Dawkins plays the wise uncle, mentoring our species to grow up and see the real world for what it really is: amazing

What about Richard Dawkins, and Lalla Ward’s performance did you like?

Their narration is more professional and alluring than that of most of the professionally narrated books I have listened to via Audible. I also loved the refreshing pattern of male and female voices taking turns.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

If any book could give me hope that our species might actually make it through the necessary transitions, it is this one -- provided it is widely read and listened to. I first read the hardcover, gorgeously illustrated, but was surprised I loved it far more as an author-read audiobook by which I create the pictures in my own mind while dear Uncle Richard and Aunt Lalla are reading to me!

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33 of 35 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By aaron on 11-12-11

A Dawkins Book.....FOR KIDS

I mean this book is "for kids" in the best way possible, because I would actually buy it for MY kid. It's good for adults too, but pretty much sums up Dawkins' other books. I always feel a few IQ points smarter when I read his books. This one makes GREAT analogies that allows the listener to easily understand some of the more complicated subjects. Highly recommend for anyone new to Dawkins.

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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