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Extended Audio Sample Basin and Range Audiobook, by John McPhee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 5 3.75 (8 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 2016 ISBN: 9781440782411
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To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive-a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah. In this first book of a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, the author crosses the spectacular Basin and Range with geology professor Kenneth Deffeyes in tow. McPhee draws on Deffeyes’ expertise to dazzle you with the vast perspective of geologic time and the fascinating history of vanished landscapes. The effect is guaranteed to expand your mind. McPhee’s enthusiasm is infectious, as he provides one of the best introductions to plate tectonics and the New Geology. His elegant style is more pleasing than ever with narrator Nelson Runger’s smooth, enthusiastic delivery. Runger mines the book’s rich veins of poetic prose and subtle humor-and the result is pure gold.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One result of the trip west is an introduction to plate tectonics—probably the most readable summary extant. Geologists will find it sound, others will find it understandable and illuminating.”

    Geotimes

  • “In Basin and Range, McPhee is not so much a visiting amateur as a rhapsodist of ‘deep time’…The result is a fascinating book.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “He triumphs by succinct prose, by his uncanny ability to capture the essence of a complex issue, or an arcane trade secret, in a well-turned phrase.”

    New York Review of Books

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magillco | 5/12/2011

    " Lots of mind-blowing geology stuff. McPhee is one of my favorites. Reeeeeeeally long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ronald | 1/5/2011

    " A good book but for me too long and too much detail. I liked it but needed its message delivered by many fewer words. Not a book for the casual geologist. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy | 6/24/2010

    " My interest and knowledge of geology was not enough to carry me. Without pictures I couldn't visualize. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 pacjennifer | 5/11/2010

    " My husband told me about this and I love it. It's a geology book written so ordinary people can understand it. You'll never drive through a roadcut on the highway again without thinking about the formations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 3/28/2010

    " I read the first 2 and a half books and eventually lost interest. The author jumped around too much to make coherent stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linconter | 2/25/2010

    " This was a fabulous and thought-provoking compendium of McPhee's books on America's geology and those whose work has brought us to a greater understanding of the "former world." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 11/10/2009

    " It's a slow plodding read but oh so satisfying, especially if you are a geology junkie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 8/21/2009

    " After reading this I realize the continents are rocky bumper boats caroming about over magma. Rocks are just not all that solid all the time. "

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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 and won him two AudioFile Earphones Awards. 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.