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Download Assembling California Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Assembling California Audiobook, by John McPhee
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (762 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John McPhee Narrator: Nelson Runger Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: Annals of the Former World Release Date: July 2015 ISBN: 9781461811442
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Thirty years ago, the theory that continents are comprised of drifting plates—plate tectonics—evoked more scorn than serious research. Today, this revolutionary theory continues to dazzle and challenge geologists and laymen alike. Assembling California explores an area uniquely demonstrative of the plate tectonic theory: California, which according to “tectonicists” is breaking apart at its seams.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In his usual clean, graceful prose, McPhee takes readers on an intensive geological tour of California, from the Sierra Nevada through wine country to the San Andreas fault system.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[McPhee] has a talent for relating complex concepts in a simple, interesting manner.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 2/9/2014

    " My only criticism is that I would have liked more visual material. Otherwise, an informative read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 2/5/2014

    " His description of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, tracing the seismic waves from the epicenter and depicting what happened along their route, is spellbinding and terrifying. I loved the portion about the Gold Rush too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Barnett | 1/29/2014

    " Creative non-fiction style essays about the geologic and human/cultural history of California. I always enjoy John McPhee's writing, whatever the topic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 1/22/2014

    " Ankle Mary was dead on. Rhythmic and really beautifully written for being about, essentially, continental drift and mountain formation. Not sure how much I got out of it, but enjoyable reading. Also, Annie do not read this unless you're about to leave/have already left the Bay Area. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 1/17/2014

    " Geology is never far from the minds of Californians, and this book uses that as a template for exploring California. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faye | 1/6/2014

    " Classic John McPhee but still enjoyable, perfect after visiting southern California. Great line: "Here is the one thing to remember from reading this book, the rock on top of Everest is marine limestone." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 12/16/2013

    " so far it is a popular geological history of california, from east to west on I-80. The chapter on the gold rush era mining was entertaining and sort of sad from an environmental point of view. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharonlee | 12/15/2013

    " Like all McPhee books, I learned so, so much--about geology, about politics, about water, about geography. Fascinating stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 12/10/2013

    " Full of delicious nuggets - chert, diabases, gabbro, variolitic basalts, serpentine, ophiolites, protopangaea, plate-tectonic history, transform faults, volcanology, earthquakology, crust, pebbles, faults, dust - it's the colission of geek geology love and writerly prowess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 11/27/2013

    " The description of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which I experienced myself, was incredibly interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mardel Fehrenbach | 5/27/2013

    " Fabulous, gripping book. Reading this book makes me wonder why I found geology so boring when I was in public school. Now, despite all the science, it was hard to put this book down. I must read more in this geology series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/27/2013

    " More than a book about California geology. Includes history of California Gold Rush and discovery of plate tectonics in the 1960s. I am listening to the book so trying to visualize the formations the author talks about is challenging but there are hardly any illustrations in the hard copy anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vaughn | 5/19/2013

    " A multiple-year project to finish this author's Annals of The Former World series ends with completion of this book. It's a fantastic series, and this book is among the best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha Andersen | 7/15/2012

    " Fascinating discussion of the geologic history of CA. We fly a lot so the book has provided me new insight into the terrain I am watching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arjun | 7/4/2012

    " I have read this book - and then again within Annals of a Former World - at least 4 times. It's a book about geology. It is also one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 11/25/2011

    " McPhee's writing, even on technical subjects like geology, is lucid and powerful. It's a pleasure to learn something from such a word artist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stowe | 9/28/2011

    " Makes you want to drive/hike/paddle to see many of the formations he describes. A great scientific history of CA for a recent transplant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taft-McPhee | 9/13/2011

    " Boring but weirdly gripping. No relation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 7/7/2011

    " this book is great. had to slog through it over a few months, but JESUS! how i learned!! california geology compressed, FINALLY! and no shortage of microbuses or seaweedy beaches either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deirdre | 6/30/2011

    " Interesting information about California Geology. Needs more diagrams to be considered a "science book." John McPhee writes great literature though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taft-McPhee | 5/7/2011

    " Boring but weirdly gripping. No relation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonelle | 4/20/2011

    " Well, I liked it. But I'm glad I had some of the vocaublary down before starting, or I would have been trotting off to the dictionary all the time. Geology for poets? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faye | 3/31/2011

    " Classic John McPhee but still enjoyable, perfect after visiting southern California. Great line: "Here is the one thing to remember from reading this book, the rock on top of Everest is marine limestone." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brigid | 12/7/2010

    " The content is great, but the writing is too dry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stowe | 8/12/2010

    " Makes you want to drive/hike/paddle to see many of the formations he describes. A great scientific history of CA for a recent transplant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 8/2/2010

    " such a good book, such a good writer. the ending is incredible. wow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 1/23/2010

    " The description of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which I experienced myself, was incredibly interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deirdre | 11/19/2009

    " Interesting information about California Geology. Needs more diagrams to be considered a "science book." John McPhee writes great literature though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vaughn | 6/12/2009

    " A multiple-year project to finish this author's Annals of The Former World series ends with completion of this book. It's a fantastic series, and this book is among the best.
    "

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About the Author
Author John McPhee

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with the New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. The same year he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with FSG, and followed with several others.

About the Narrator

Nelson Runger’s voice has been recorded in dozens of audio productions. His ability to convey difficult, scholarly material with eloquence and ease has earned him critical acclaim, including an AudioFile Best Voice in Biography & History for his reading of Nixon and Kissinger.