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Publisher's Summary

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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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard physics and flowery in equal measure

Highly memorable, though sometimes very meandering. Rovelli is unlike any other writer of physics. An extremely confronting exploration of physical reality and the human condition. The first two sections contain all the important and cosmos-shattering assertions about the emergence of time from stranger underlying structures. The last few chapters were too poetic for my liking. Benedict obviously enjoyed narrating this book.

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wonderful

An inspiring book by a brilliant thinker delivered through superb narration. l enjoyed the challenge of digesting poetic science. Sometimes the science was difficult and sometimes the poetry too dominant, but a greatly enriching experience.

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A deep and intriguing view of time

Totally absorbing. A perspective I had not previously entertained but one well worth pursuing. l find Carlos insights refreshing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-07-2018

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
  • 13-06-2018

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
  • 01-06-2018

Beautiful

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

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  • Heisenberg
  • 27-04-2018

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 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura Hammond
  • 03-05-2018

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 3 people found this review helpful

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  • T. Pearce
  • 15-05-2018

Literally the best thing I ever read.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 14-05-2018

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?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-05-2018

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 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. C. Lucock
  • 09-05-2018

At last a book about time I can relate to

This book blew my mind. Brilliantly written, brilliantly read. I cannot usually read or listen to books on complex concepts due to my lack of concentration coupled with their dry delivery. This book is different and one I have been waiting for. To cider.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Colvin
  • 14-08-2018

narrator great but Volume is too low! sort it out.

narrator great but... Volume is too low! struggle to listen at full volume. sort it out.

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  • Will
  • 12-08-2018

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.

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  • Samuel Ako Anyetei
  • 08-08-2018

Very comprehensive and mind blowingly interesting!

This is a fantastic book which gives you all the tools you need to understand the theories explored. Complex ideas are explained beautifully and also tackled from various perspectives to give the listener a well rounded view of the subject.
It is a short book but it will stick with you- and will make you want to to take a break and have a think before going back in for more. I love that the author is able to bring very elevated ideas to the table in a democratic way. In a book that tackles laws of physics, thermodynamics. the works of Newton and Einstein to name just a few it’s important to note there is only one beautiful equation in it.

Benedict Cumberbatch is obviously fantastic, conveying just the right amount of passion and enthusiasm to add emotion to what could otherwise be quite an overly scientific book.

5 stars across the board!




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  • Alban
  • 19-07-2018

Quite poetic

The book comes across as poetry to time, like a long song about time, like a novel where time is the only character, and it being so it brings with it all the miserable conditions alongside the delirious happiness everyone lusts for.

Performance by Cumberbatch is great and soothing.