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Summary

Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing?

In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, best-selling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives.

Lucid, witty, and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs' length each year and how money permits trade to time travel, why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing, and why we are all living in a giant hologram.

©2013 Marcus Chown (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

“Reading a well-written popular science book is one of the great pleasures of modern times, and this guided tour through life, the universe and everything affords that pleasure in abundance.” (Brandon Robshaw, Independent)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Craig
  • Worsley, United Kingdom
  • 19-04-15

Superb!

Great fun and utterly compelling. Chown is a master of explaining difficult concepts in easily digestible chunks. The narrator is also first class!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So well explained. Very impressive

Great book which I will read more than once. Thanks to this book I feel like I could explore physics and understand it if Marcus chown was teaching me. I shall recommend it to others

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

My head hurts

Here is some have to take in with this book. Although the author claims to be able to explain complex theories in easy to understand language some are just too baffling! My understanding of living organisms, electricity and the Big Bang is a little clearer, but time, infinite universes etc are still way out there!
Favourite quote: "a hen is just the egg's way of making another egg".
Clive Mantle - great narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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loved it

Great book which covers many interesting topics but make sure you like science before you buy

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mid Atlantic mangling.

A good book spoilt by the narrator's terrible attempts at foreign accents. He is to America as Dick Van Dyke is to London.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

a little tedious

some real gold but you have to 've willing to trudge through the boring parts to find it. a short history of nearly everything is similar but better in my opinion, albeit a bit dated in comparison.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok, but typical

It was ok and entertaining and interesting but it tries a bit too hard to imitate the other 100 books that try to talk about "everything".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • mr
  • 14-01-16

Very interesting in places.

Some really good chapters, but also some that I gave up on after my tiny brain started to melt.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

deep and provoking could be more engaging

reinforced a great deal of my thinking and gave me some new perspectives. came away feeling more engaged with science but must admit there can be times that are hard going in here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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life-affirming

I shall listen many times to this book and probably still only grasp a fraction of it. But the way the writer makes sense of the creation (and that is conveyed) means i derive great comfort, peace and serenity from it. Science has become for me like a religious experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Arnold
  • 16-06-15

Way too esoteric

Requires a reasonable sophistication in physics to follow all the details. Hardly a primer for the scientifically interested layperson.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • 31-05-17

Learn how all things have come into existence

This was truly the most interesting book to learn how things have come into existence in our everyday lives , and even our lives themselves .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-16

Very informative! Good voice on reader

Very nice, writtten in a way that even laymen can relate to. Worth the money!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful