Download The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself Audiobook

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself Audiobook, by Sean Carroll Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sean Carroll Narrator: Sean Carroll Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9780399565076
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*An instant New York Times Bestseller*
*Publishers Weekly #1 Most Anticipated Science Book of Spring 2016*
"You will be enthralled." — Wall Street Journal
"A tour de force." —

Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions.  Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?

In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level--and then how each connects to the other.  Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique.  

Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come.

*Includes a Bonus PDF with charts and images. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Never hectoring, always tolerant, the author…gives us a highly enjoyable and lucid tour through a wide range of topics.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Vivid…Impressive…Splendidly informative.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Intensely insightful.”

    Scientific American

  • “Carroll’s holistic vision accommodates the sciences and the humanities and has a high probability of provoking readers into clarifying their own views about the complex relations among science, religion and morality.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “A tour de force that offers a comprehensive snapshot of the human situation in our infinitely strange universe, and it does with with highly accessible language and engaging storytelling.”


  • “Listening to theoretical physicist Sean Carroll narrate his own book is akin to hearing a brilliant college lecturer explain the mysteries of the universe…It all makes perfect sense, thanks to the author’s sensible, grounded explanations…[and] friendly, conversational voice. His evocative writing, combined with his cheerful and clear narration, makes these complex subjects come to life even for listeners who have never contemplated the deep mysteries of the universe. Winner of AudioFIle Earphones Award.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of Best Nonfiction of 2016

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About the Author

Sean Carroll, PhD, is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. After receiving his doctorate at Harvard, he pursued his research at MIT, the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago. His books include From Eternity to Here and The Particle at the End of the Universe. He lives in Los Angeles.