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What If? Audiobook

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

Regular Price:£16.99
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Publisher's Summary

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd, What If? gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions. How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind - or at least a really big explosion.

This audiobook edition is read by geek icon Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand by Me, The Big Bang Theory) and has been adapted for audio in collaboration with the author.

©2014 xkcd inc (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (494 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ms L Madden Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom 01/12/2014
    Ms L Madden Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom 01/12/2014 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good fun that descends into silliness"
    Would you try another book written by Randall Munroe or narrated by Wil Wheaton?

    Certainly Wil, who is high energy and adds an awful lot to what's here. Randall perhaps on the basis of his overall reputation or as seriously light relief. Not on the basis of this book!


    Could you see What If? being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    This isn't really that kind of book. It's comedy nonfiction bite sized chapters on different topics. I chose it for going to bed or quick moments to listen, and it suits that. The whole book in one go is a bit too much of the same and it stops being funny.


    Any additional comments?

    I went in expecting something like the New Scientist series of light hearted questions to things you've always wanted to know. I liked this book less, because how it works is a reader puts forward a completely strange question, Randall answers that question in about half the chapter, and the second half is taken up with an even more outlandish aside to the question that interests Randall. This invariably involves MORE explosions, MORE mass deaths, or MORE planets being destroyed.

    I can see some readers really enjoying that,but I found it same-y.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A R H UK Suffolk 14/10/2014
    A R H UK Suffolk 14/10/2014 Member Since 2015

    Shakka bomb

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing book for Geeks"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I certainly would. What if answers all the questions you wanted ask but didn't know who to ask.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Will Weatons narration


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The question about the periodic table


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

    I wish!!


    Any additional comments?

    Just get it, its amazing.. Please do another!!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 21/09/2016
    Justin 21/09/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Very well researched and entertaining"

    Enjoyed it very much, found the questions interesting and the answers even more interesting! A great listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Monk 22/09/2014
    Doug Monk 22/09/2014
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    "Brilliant, just brilliant!"
    If you could sum up What If? in three words, what would they be?

    Funny insightful entertaining


    What other book might you compare What If? to, and why?

    Not nearly as funny, but just as informative - Death from the Skies by Phil Plait


    Any additional comments?

    I love the website, and the book is even better. Wil Wheaton was a perfect choice for narrating this, he really makes this book and brings it to life.
    Recommend this for anyone who has ever pondered what would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped, if the sun has ever set on the British Empire or what would happen if a baseball was pitched at you at the speed of light. Couple this with Randall Munroe's almost obsessive need to blow things up in ever increasingly bizarre ways and you have an excellent read! Hope he releases a volume 2..

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Briggs 17/02/2017
    Adam Briggs 17/02/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "If you love xkcd you'll love this!"

    We all do it, daydream about what might happen if an off the wall hypothetical situation were actually to happen. Randall's sheer dedication to helping us understand the 'what if' is incredible with ever source listed and every tangent explored. He's managed to translate the humour of his comics' brilliantly into the writing.

    Will's narration is spot on, with great comic timing and a confidence that would make you believe that he'd written the book.

    I've listened to 'what if' three times now and I'm not done yet. If you want accessible, fun science written by a genius mathematician and ex nasa employee then this is for you!

    Thanks Randall, I really hope a second book is on the way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Snaith 06/02/2017
    Ashley Snaith 06/02/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Really enjoyed listening. One problem."

    The audiobook is very interesting, and I enjoyed it. The only problem is that the actual book has a lot of illustrations, which a problem if you're just listening to it. There are quite a few times where the author refers to pictures that you can't see.
    Wil Wheaton was a good choice!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 07/01/2017
    Sarah 07/01/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Funny look at the odder questions"

    This book is a fantastic listen. It takes a look at the science behind questions I'm sure we've all considered at some point. Can you swim in the water surrounding spent nuclear fuel? What would happen if a 15 magnitude quake hit New York? What would happen if you had a mole of moles?

    These and many other weird and wonderful questions are pondered and answered over the course of this audiobook. The narrator does a great job, adding just enough humour whilst keeping the science bits clear and concise. Its very light on the maths, instead focusing more on the basic concepts behind the questions, so its easy to understand.

    Its very entertaining, as well as educational. I recommend it to anyone who has ever pondered the odder questions in life. You may even find an answer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LJ Norfolk, UK 21/11/2016
    LJ Norfolk, UK 21/11/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Seriously Funny..."

    Great to pick up and put down. This hilarious set of mostly successful attempts to answer silly questions with serious answers should not be listened to in public unless you want the world to think you are deranged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Owen 05/11/2016
    C Owen 05/11/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "science bitches"

    an interesting dive into science and the end of the world in many different ways.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nobbby 01/10/2016
    Nobbby 01/10/2016 Member Since 2017
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    "Mad and yet superb!"

    General questions taken to their extreme conclusions or absurd questions given a logical answer.
    Both observations fit this book but don't get across how mad this book is. Yet no matter how bonkers the last Q & A was you can't stop listening.
    I wasn't sure about Wil Wheaton reading this book before I started, and the first 10 minutes was Wes Crusher reading it to me, but after that I forgot my total nerdism and it was just some American narrator who did a wonderful job, especially when conveying the authors humour.
    I would highly recommend Wes... I mean Wil for other audio books.

    My only criticism is that it is over so quickly and that there aren't any more books in the series yet.

    Please write another!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Troy
    29/03/15
    Overall
    "Worth it"

    Well worth it. Every chapter offers a new hypothetical gem ! Will be looking out for more from this author. 4 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    Apollo Beach, FL, United States
    04/01/15
    Overall
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    "So when is the next edition coming out ?"

    What a fantastically geeky, funny, serious and entertaining book. I've been reading XKCD for years but only found out about this book yesterday. Then finished it this afternoon. Any book read by Will Wheaton is always a treat and he puts in a perfect performance here. What a combination - Munroe and Wheaton. Get this book and prepare to be entertained, learn something and have a laugh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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