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Summary

From the hosts of the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme comes this irreverent celebration of scientific marvels - a hectic leap through the grand and bizarre ideas conjured up by human imagination, from dark matter to consciousness via neutrinos and earthworms.

Prof Brian Cox and Robin Ince take the musings of the great and the good of British science, producing an insight into the multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe, with pearls of wisdom from leading scientists and comedians peppered throughout.

Covering thousands of concepts and conundrums, they tackle everything from the big bang to parallel universes, fierce creatures to extraterrestrial life, brain science to artificial intelligence. Bringing together the best, most unusual and hilarious of the inquisitive minds that help us shape and understand our world, from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dara Ó Briain to Sir Patrick Stewart, Tim Minchin, Stephen Fry and more, How to Build a Universe is an illuminating and inspirational celebration of science - sometimes silly, sometimes astounding and very occasionally facetious.

©2017 Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"A witty and irreverent look at the world according to science." ( Independent)
"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)
"He bridges the gap between our childish sense of wonder and a rather more professional grasp of the scale of things." ( Independent)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Must listen to the entire book - brilliant

The book stumbles a bit in the beginning, and you start to wonder if it’s going to be any good, as the book starts with a lengthy comedy bit which is a bit half-baked (hence only 4 stars. But once they get into the meat of the science it is a really great book to listen to. I particularly like the way they present the information so that a lay person can understand it without dumbing it down. I also like the discussions about the need to be skeptical of the pseudo sciences, and the deep analysis that Brian makes on the scientific methods and why they are important. From the Big Bang to the heat-death of the universe in the unimaginably distant future, it’s all covered. I’m a fan of the monkey cage podcasts, and I’m glad I’ve bought this book too. Gonna start at the beginning again and enjoy it once more

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Useful overview

A good listen without any revelations . Lacks the spontaneity of the radio show or podcast.

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    5 out of 5 stars

It's s not may audio books which have diagrams.

A series of difficult subjects presented in a, if not understandable way, then in way that makes you think that you could understand them if you had a few spare years to study them in university.

Entertaining and educational.

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Complex and Simple

Brian had a knack of being able to explain complex subjects in a refreshing way that can be more easily understood. Of course, some of it still went over my head, but I enjoyed listening to the whole thing. It’s well delivered, informative, funny and entertaining. I’d never heard their Monkey Cage show before, but am now searching it out to listen to them some more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

I've fallen asleep to this book, been kept awake by this book... I love it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

superb, intelligent & entertaining

If you like the Infinite Monkey Cage you will I think like this too. A wonderful, though sometimes complex, exploration of the nature of science and of existence.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Funny & Educational

A good mix of humour and well thought out metaphors that helped gain greater understanding - at least temporarily - of a number of complex topics I’ve read about before, as well as many I hadn’t. That I actually followed some of the jokes informed me that I’m slowly starting to understand some of the concepts. An excellent audiobook well worth the time.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good listen

I really enjoy the infinity monkey cage but found the comedy in this very forced and low level. When they got on with ideas and explaining the science I really enjoyed it.

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Loved it

Some amazing topics and new things to learn. The way it's put together makes so much sense especially with the comedy 5* from me.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book. Prof Brian Cox at his best

Fantastic awe inspiring humbling experience in a journey through space time. Worth every penny. super