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Publisher's 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 listeners say about What a Wonderful World

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  • Arnold
  • 16-06-2015

Way too esoteric

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Arnfinn
  • 07-12-2018

life, universe and everything....

.... beautifully explained.
I didn't understand everything, and surely I will not remember everything, but ut was a joy listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 31-05-2017

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 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-2016

Very informative! Good voice on reader

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mehmet Sencer KARADAYI
  • 12-04-2021

Voice actor’s imitations were disturbing

The content is amazing. However, the imitations of the voice actor for the quotations were really disturbing and not politically correct at all.

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  • tomàdale
  • 21-01-2016

a little tedious

some real gold but you have to be 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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kirsty
  • 24-04-2015

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

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  • mr
  • 14-01-2016

Very interesting in places.

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Benjamin
  • 10-02-2016

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".

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Downes
  • 10-12-2015

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Craig
  • 19-04-2015

Superb!

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

11 people found this helpful

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  • Dawn
  • 27-10-2015

loved it

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

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  • Nyota
  • 12-09-2018

Not at all simply explained

The author is trying his best to explain everything simply, but unfortunately fails quite miserably. The book is full of scientific expert speak, it’s difficult to follow the reasoning and overall it is not at all another Bill Bryson!

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  • Gemma
  • 27-12-2016

Very basic

The science here is very basic - some of it GCSE level, some A level, but nothing beyond. It might be good for a pre-GCSE student, or for an adult who didn't get or can't remember their science education, but otherwise it's too simple and basic to be of interest.

It's accessible and explained simply, but not very entertainingly.

The reading was good apart from the narrator putting on voices and, even worse, accents, whenever he read out a quote from another scientist. I couldn't help but cringe every time he attempted a foreign accent. Why, just why?!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr D J Eames
  • 23-02-2016

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.

4 people found this helpful

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