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Summary

A Sunday Times best seller.

A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet, this groundbreaking audiobook accompanies the BBC One TV series, providing the deepest answers to the simplest questions.

'What is motion?'

'Why is every snowflake different?'

'Why is life symmetrical?'

To answer these and many other questions, Professor Brian Cox uncovers some of the most extraordinary natural events on Earth and in the universe and beyond.

From the immensity of the universe and the roundness of Earth to the form of every single snowflake, the forces of nature shape everything we see. Pushed to extremes, the results are astonishing. In seeking to understand the everyday world, the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home, we develop the knowledge and techniques necessary to step beyond the everyday and approach the universe beyond.

Forces of Nature takes you to the great plains of the Serengeti, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal to the humpback whales of the Caribbean and the northern lights of the Arctic. Brian will answer questions on Earth that will illuminate our understanding of the universe.

Think you know our planet?

Think again.

©2017 Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"In this book of the acclaimed BBC2 TV series, Professor Cox shows us the cosmos as we have never seen it before - a place full of the most bizarre and powerful natural phenomena." ( Sunday Express)
"Engaging, ambitious and creative." ( Guardian)
"Cox's romantic, lyrical approach to astrophysics all adds up to an experience that feels less like homework and more like having a story told to you. A really good story, too." ( Guardian)

What listeners say about Forces of Nature

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Engaging but difficult to follow

To listen to this you must have some kind of background in science otherwise it is near impossible to understand everything just by listening. I downloaded the book and read and listened at the same time and I have some scientific knowledge and a huge interest in the subject but still this is no easy piece. There are many diagrams, graphs and pictures in the book which are not available in the audiobook but which are essential. These could have been included here easily. So if you don’t have a lot of interest in science and some kind of scientific background I don’t think this book is for you. If you are interested, I would still not suggest the audiobook. the written book is much better. I can’t say anything bad about the narration though it was superb.

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Supporting documents are needed

Would you listen to Forces of Nature again? Why?

I probably wouldn't listen to this book again, however some sections/chapters of this book were fascinating and would probably warrant a re-listen.

What other book might you compare Forces of Nature to, and why?

A short history of nearly anything by Bill Bryson. Although Bryson's book has the edge for me as Bryson was able to explain the physics without reference to a diagram. It was really annoying that in this book the narration was clearly referring to equations or diagrams that existed in the print version. So this audible was lacking supporting material.Some bits you can visualise in your mind what is being discussed which is fine. However. for some of the concepts being explained due to the technicality it's just not possible to follow without the supporting diagram or formula.

Have you listened to any of Samuel West’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Physics answers the questions to your questions on nature.

Any additional comments?

Although I had negative comments about the lack of supporting documents, I still think this is a very good work and worth listening to if you have interests in Physics. If you have no prior knowledge of physics probably no worth listening to just yet, Or might be worth listening to if you have seen the TV series.

7 people found this helpful

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Great!

Very informative and intriguing. It made me question my very inquisitive about our universe. 😁

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Addictive from start to finish

I'll not make this an overly long review as I'm no scientist and, therefor, not qualified to delve into this into too much detail. 

As I said, I am no scientist, but this book does not require you to be one. It simply requires that you have a curious mind as to how everything works and an urge to dive a tad deeper than simply being curious. The science in this book is accessible to anyone. There are, obviously, times when it does advance a tad, but for the most part it's kept at a level where anyone can pick it up and feel like they're along for the ride rather than simply nodding, smiling and waiting for the smart men with the big words to go away and leave you in peace.

The writing style is very witty and engaging, something that a lot of science books I've tried either attempt and don't do very well, fail at all together, or simply do not try. In the case of the latter, it's hardly their fault. Most scientists write for other scientists so assume all the big words and equations are understood (thankfully Cox and Cohen aren't solely of that school of thought).

I enjoyed this from start to finish and was thoroughly upset when it ended. I wanted there to be more, more, more. But, that's what these books are designed to do: give you a taste for the main course; a main course you need to track down and devour on your own, as opposed to being spoon fed here.

If you've the slightest curiosity about the world, solar system and universe around you, I'd highly recommend picking up this book (and others like it). Some of the things in here opened my eyes to different ways of seeing the world and I look forward to diving into more of their work to continue that journey.

Samuel West's narration is utterly brilliant. It makes the witty, far more so and adds to the enjoyability factor knowing he was the narrator who did the original show. If that man was reading me the instructions to a microwave oven I'd sit down, take note and expect to enjoy it.

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Interesting and beautifully read

A really interesting book. Samuel West is a brilliant narrator. Would recommend to anyone with an interest in science.

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fantastic book

everyone should listen to this... it's great! a celebration of the beautiful patterns and principles that lie in wait to be discovered by the curious. To understand the rainbow is not to unweave its beauty but to appreciate it more fully.

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  • 02-08-17

Brilliant.

Beauriful, brilliant and awe inspiring. A accessible and magnificent read. Highly Recomend this to anyone, even if science doesn't interest you.

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great book

I really enjoyed this.

For all of us who still wonder how things work but we left physics and chemistry behind when we left secondary school this is a great book.

Enjoying also is the fact that Cox reminds us of his music background. so it's not just another anorak bleeting out endless theories and equations that Joe blogs can't fathom. He reminds us he's one of us.

might just listen again ! ! !

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pure ear candy. The narrator is a favourite

professor Cox nails it again. The author has such a fine talent of communicating science.

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Great overview of forces of nature with just the right amount of history

Great for non-beginner , non-expert.
Some great historical and social context but still focused always on the science .
PDF (charts, diagrams) etc not needed when listening to audiobook , I made a few notes and googled a few things if it needed a visual .

Same narrator so you never know if you are listening to Brian Cox or Andrew Cohen’s version of events

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  • Philomath
  • 13-06-17

Complicated in its simplicity

Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen have the ability to explain science in a fashion that still maintains depth, yet you don't need to be a scientist to understand it. This is simpler said than done, specially when you explain all of what is out there from its simplest components.

The authors passion is carried vividly in this book, that even the few equations that are provided sound like poetry.

This book is not too simple, but definitely a gem. It is yet another up to date explanation of science in the cutting edge, where progress is moving faster than books can be written.

Highly recommended for those who want to be informed of where we are and are willing to strain their mind just a little, the lovers of science.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Sharey
  • 02-08-17

Very Good

You will need to engage your brain to follow these complex concepts, so do not expect an easy listen. That said, once you have shifted gear to listen very intently, West will carefully deliver Cox's fascinating explanations of the forces of nature to the average person who is not well-versed in physics. If you are, however, this book may be too elementary for you and you might find this book too pedestrian. If you do get in over your head, just listen and pick up what you can!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chip C.
  • 13-07-17

And I thought I had read it all ...

No, I hadn't. I also thought I knew most of the basics of this physics, astronomy and other natural sciences stuff. I didn't. This is a very well written and narrated book. A fun listen! Particularly for the price.

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  • Carlos Diaz
  • 15-09-20

Beautifully written and read

I loved learning about the reasons things are they way they are. Snowflakes are so much more interesting when you see why they are unique and have six sides.
I teared up at Cox's description of the possibility that all events, such as your favorite memory, exist out there in spacetime.
Samuel West was the perfect match for this book

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  • Great and powerful IDE
  • 24-07-17

good read nice examples

Brian Cox is a great job of making complicated things easier to understand by using great examples that are very relatable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicola Bleasby
  • 31-12-21

A struggle

Really tough stuff for an audiobook. It probably requires a second listen, but I didn’t find the story particularly compelling and couldn’t finish it the first time - so I don’t think I’ll bother.

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  • John B Swain
  • 20-10-21

Well written and superbly explained for those of is interested, but not so knowledgeable

Superbly written subject matter for those interested in basic modern science at the leading edge. Explanations made straightforward and easy to understand. Most enjoyable.

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  • Tito
  • 06-10-21

Sensacional

Incrivelmente bem escrito , emocionante , preciso , em alguns momentos engraçado, em outros genial; recomendado demais ; versão áudio da audible é fantástica 🙏

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  • P.
  • 27-09-21

There’s a glitch/bug in the software.

The audio kept shutting down every time my phone’s screen went to “sleep.” Very distracting and off-putting.

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  • David g. Smith
  • 06-08-21

The best description of Science.

I’ve listened to this book many times and never grow tired of listening to his brilliant description of the world around us.