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Summary

Winner of the Specsavers Audiobook of the Year 2018. 

Penguin presents the audio edition of The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli. The best-selling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting journey to discover the meaning of time. 

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at different speeds in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. 

With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery, inviting us to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time. 

©2018 Carlo Rovelli (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"A global superstar...Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation." (Channel 4 News)

"Benedict Cumberbatch's warm, resonant voice makes him a very fine narrator." (The Times)

"Cumberbatch possesses a deep and rich voice and reads the text in a precise but unhurried manner, with the result that we feel as if we are getting an exposition by an erudite but gentle teacher." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Beautifully written and beautifully read.

Popular physics books can often by dry or full of technical language, but with Rovelli you get such wonderfully lyrical writing, drawing references from art and literature, and the wider cultural life, to illustrate the points he is making. A joy to read, or listen to, especially when read by Benedict Cumberbatch. A brief but profound book, that examines the physics and the philosophy of time. What is time? Does it even exist? What does the concept of now mean? This builds on Rovelli's earlier works, and is, I think, his best yet. Highly recommended.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Tell me doctor, where are we going this time?

It’s has been some time, naturally from my own relative perspective that a book has so profoundly blown my mind to absolute smithereens. This book will take me a few reads to fully comprehend, but if you want to learn more about what time is, and what it is not then this work is for you. It’s poetic and beautiful and to have it read by Mr Cumberbatch is just ambrosia to the ears.

I will read this again, and again perhaps now or in the past; in the future or somewhere in between. Who knows?

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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An interesting book that made me think differently

I like reading about science, but sometimes I get the same facts in a different way. This offered me something different. The concept of entropy defined in terms of order, but the concept of orderliness defined relative to a particular viewpoint. This means that there can be no absolute definition of orderliness and so the direction of time is a local concept.

It was well written and interesting, in a very accessible way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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elegant

really enjoyed the simple and elequent phrasing and could listen to it again. Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!

Like being sat down in a button back leather armchair and having chocolate poured into your ears until your mind is blown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

An artful combination of science, philosophy and classics. You know when someone talks passionately about an interesting subject and you get so drawn in that you almost have an out of body experience? This book is that, with added physics.

Cumberbatch reads it extremely well too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Literally the best thing I ever read.

Amazing. Profound. Illuminating. Beautiful. Moving. Measured. Passionate. Thoughtful. Mind-expanding. Mind-blowing. Astonishing. Graceful. Vast. Relatable. Perfect.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A brilliant pairing of author and narrator

Magnificently read by Benedict Cumberbatch. It's an experience I'll never forget, lyrically written but accessible. A must listen!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A deeper understanding of time

Easily understandable physics but just as easily lost in philosophy. Cumberbatch could make a phone directory sound engaging. The physics of time is fascinating and well-explained. I personally disagree with Rovelli's philosophical perspective on time - which he describes clearly - and so a lot of the poetic musings in the latter part of the book are of less interest to me than the marvels of time dilation and black holes. It is, however a fascinating book and over all too quickly.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Well worth listening to

As someone with next to no previous knowledge on the subject, some parts where tricky to get my head around (and some for chunks I didn't manage it at all). Other sections, particularly the first few chapters, were very illuminating and really changed my perception of time.
The final chapter is beautifully written and quite philosophical, I teared up a few times, which I wasn't expecting.
The narration is excellent and really brought the text to life.
I think I'm going to give it a second listen...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-18

Amazing book! Very deep and interesting.

I think Benedict Cumberbatch should read every audiobook! His voice is lovely! The book is amazing. It really makes you wonder.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-07-18

Enjoyable, intriguiging read on time.

Loved the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch. Warm voice and nice rhythm.

Refreshing combination of physics and poetry.

Not a technical book, rather a nice and thought-provoking read with interesting views and theories on time.

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  • Linn
  • 13-06-18

Mundane linguistic insights coupled with a good description of our current understanding of the universe.

Mundane linguistic insights coupled with a good description of our current understanding of the universe. Many great references, poems and a timeline of our understanding of time in relation to thermodynamics. Field theory is a little glossed over. The worst part is the recurrence of the linguistic discussion, you can tell the author has a great frustration with the sort of questions people ask, but the faculties to help re-evaluate them are limited to repetition.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-18

Beautiful

Takes all of us on an adventure and explores the deep enigmatic mysteries of our reality.

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  • Management Consultant
  • 14-09-18

Fails to explain what time is

I was hoping this book would explain in layman's terms, what time is according to physics. The book is in laymans terms, but explains very little. There were also too many quotes from historical, religious and mythological characters and the authors own life philosophy instead of attempts to explain what time is.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful