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The Undercover Scientist

Narrated by: Roger May
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Biology
4 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Summary

Undercover Scientist Peter Bentley is fascinated by the science of the everyday, and in this eye-opening book, organised in the form of one of those days when everything falls apart, he probes into the reasons why mishaps occur, from sleeping through the alarm to making the bathwater overflow.

As he does so he explains exactly what happens when you put metal in a microwave (the electric field inside the oven causes the metal to heat up like a light bulb filament) and why getting the juice from chilli peppers in your eye is so painful (the peppers contain a chemical that fools your nerve-endings into behaving as though they've been burnt). From there he goes on to show how these simple events form part of a pattern of scientific principles that govern everything around us.

If you want to find out how a diesel engine is able to run on chip fat or why lightning actually does strike the same place twice, The Undercover Scientist has all the answers.

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©2008 Peter J. Bentley (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very cool book

Funny story of a day in the life of a very unlucky man. The day is full of mishaps which the author breaks down to explain the science.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating listen

what a fantastic listen breaks down complicated science into everyday occurrences in a fun and entering way we'll recommended

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • chikwan
  • NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
  • 29-10-14

Too simplistic

Was The Undercover Scientist worth the listening time?

No

Any additional comments?

Everything discussed I would have classed more as general knowledge rather than science specifically. Too simple even for pop. science category.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Well done, but.....

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I gave up after a couple of hours as I felt that the information was too simplistic. I waited, minute by minute to hear things improve, but they didn't.

Would you be willing to try another book from Peter J Bentley? Why or why not?

Possibly.

Was The Undercover Scientist worth the listening time?

Sadly, no.

Any additional comments?

Noticeably, (for me), a great and easy-on-the-ear narration. Content was unsuitable, though.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

High School Science as a Story...

This book is well structured and informative, it uses a nice narrative to introduce ideas. I am a bit disappointed with the simplification. Maybe I was expecting too much! I think it would be ideal for a high school science student to see how the things they learn affect their everyday lives...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Axel
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 28-04-10

schoolmasterly...

I was really a bit disappointed by this book. I had hoped for something as entertaining and instructive as Bill Bryson's A Short History og Nearly Everything. However, the author is clearly not Bill Bryson in talent as a writer. Even some of the science is not up to date ..such as the consequences (or lack of) of sleeplessness...
Unfortunately, also the narration has a schoolmasterly tone..a schoolmaster who tries hard to be entertaining but somehow just isn't...