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How To

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Summary

The world's most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the million-selling What If? and Thing Explainer.  

For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.  

Best-selling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analysing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you're a baby boomer or a millennial by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon. 

By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn't just make things difficult for himself and his listeners. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, he invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.

©2019 xkcd inc (P)2019 Penguin Random House Audio

What listeners say about How To

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Entertaining information

I totally didn't recognize Will's voice til he said ot at the end. I face-palmed. Great read!

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Fantastic!

Fascinating, absurd and illuminating throughout. Very well adapted, and brilliantly read. Comic/scientific/literary genius. Love it!

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Ultimately nerdy guide to everything

Listening to Randall Munroe reminds me of Robin Williams' character in Mork and Mindy; you know the slightly erratic and highly strung alien who knows everything about the universe apart from how to interact with humans but is desperate to learn. Munroe has a similar nerdy manner that entertains the reader / listener and, although his delivery is a little strange, it is an enjoyable, if not absurd listen and you really do not know what direction he is going to go off into next. This can be exhausting trying to keep up with the author's razor sharp and fast thinking mind and I recommend reading or listening to this book in short blasts otherwise it can be overwhelming. I it stands up to a second reading too as so much of the detail can go over your head the first time around there is plenty of information layers to mine that you will be quoting for days afterwards.

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Good, but not great

I thought this book had a bit of a slow start, but did get more interesting as it went on, but perhaps that's just because it got more into physics which is more my interest. There's not much in the way of logic to the layout of the book as it's just a collection of thought experiments, however there's certainly some amusing ponderings & a lot of silly, but accurate, mathematics for a lot of the thought experiments. I actually own a hardcopy of this book & I've never managed to get into it, but as something to listen to on the daily commute this has been quite nice.

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Great book

Really enjoyed this and has furthered my interest in physics. It's great to have a book you can learn from but is also really entertaining and keeps you interested even when it's all about numbers and formulas Could not rate Randall Munroe any higher

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No comparison to What If?

Was looking forward to this as I loved What If? This is no where near the same level. Learning about all the ways you can cross a river is no comparison to learning how long you'll survive in a submarine in space, or whether a machine gun jetpack would work.

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Geekily side-splitting

Oh guys, you're in for a treat, not only is the book itself the nerdiest brain dive ever committed to paper but @wilw is the PERFECT narratorz too. 10/10!

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  • Matthew
  • 06-09-19

When is the next one available?

Only one complaint: it’s too short. The Munroe/Wheaton combo is my favourite on Audible. I’ve listened to “What If” at least ten times, both my children love it, and I pre-ordered “How To” as soon as it became available. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that it was only 6 hours long. It is awesome - but I want more!! I finished it in a day and just started listening a second time. Being on the next publication.

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  • Bryden
  • 29-01-20

too-much vocal fry

An intrestingly silly jaunt by munroe from the amusing and impractical to allmost usefull information.