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Download The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Magic of Reality: How We Know Whats Really True Audiobook, by Richard Dawkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.99992135367016 out of 53.99992135367016 out of 53.99992135367016 out of 53.99992135367016 out of 53.99992135367016 out of 5 4.00 (4,196 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Dawkins Narrator: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781442341777
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Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective.

Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day? The myths that address these questions are beautiful, but in every case their beauty is exceeded by the scientific truth.

With characteristic clarity and verve, Dawkins answers these big questions. Looking first at some of the myths that arose to answer the question, he then, dazzles us with the facts. He looks at the building blocks of matter, the first humans, the sun—explaining the life and death of stars; why there’s a night and a day—ranging from our solar system to the inner workings of our planet; what a rainbow really is—going from the rainbow in your backyard to the age of the universe; and finally, he poses a question that still baffles scientists: When did everything begin?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Exhilarating. The clearest and most beautifully written introduction to science I’ve ever read. Again and again I found myself saying ‘Oh! So that’s how genes work!’ (or stars, or tectonic plates, or all the other things he explains). Explanations I thought I knew were clarified; things I never understood were made clear for the first time. My favourite adjective of praise has always been ‘clear,’ and this book has clarity all the way through.” 

    Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy

  • “I am often asked to recommend good books on science for young people. From now on, I will not have to hesitate. The Magic of Reality provides a beautiful, accessible, and wide ranging volume that addresses the questions that all of us have about the universe…masterful and eloquently literate.” 

    Lawrence Krauss, Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration; director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University; and author of A Universe from Nothing

  • “The great virtue of this volume…is that it leads the young along the path of logical thinking instead of piling fact upon fact in an effort to tell children what they should think.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Outstanding…Rather than oversimplifying things, Dawkins’ explanations demonstrate that life on earth is magical enough without tricks of the eye or supernatural theories…This book may be exactly what’s needed to increase science literary for readers of all ages.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darrin | 2/6/2014

    " This book if for my son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammad Tanviruzzaman | 2/5/2014

    " Science's explanation can be more beautiful and amazing than any myth, miracle, or magic: Dawkins makes this point by picking up a series of questions (like: what is real? what is a rainbow? why do we have night and day, summer and winter? who is the first person? why are there so many kinds of life-forms? etc.), which haunt many of us time and again, and then he presents what the myths have to offer as the answer to each of those questions and what science has to offer; and through this journey one is introduced to a lot of important stuffs about science and moreover the way scientists go about applying scientific method to come up with answers. I liked Hume's neat idea for evaluating the plausibility of a "stated" miracle. The writing is lucid and often witty; should be a great read for youngsters even. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina H. | 1/30/2014

    " While the author does not pit myth against science, he does a miraculous job of explaining the scientific truths behind what appears to be magical, without destroying the beauty. For those of you with iPads, there is an amazing app to download it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 1/29/2014

    " I read this chapter by chapter with my precocious 10 year old and it was a great refresher of basic science for me as well as opening the door for discussions between her and I regarding science, religion, human development and critical thinking. Worth checking out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bettye | 1/23/2014

    " Not your typical Dawkins book, this one could be read by an inquisitive 5th-8th grader. Yet it is very engrossing reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book-reviewing scientific facts I already knew, and learning new ones. Dawkins opens most chapters with accounts of world myths and then ties them in to the scientific proofs related to those myths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 1/22/2014

    " An accessible and engaging overview of the BIG questions for curious younger readers. An excellent science primer that dismisses the usual supernatural mumbo jumbo kids are exposed to without talking down to them. Plus, fun illustrations by frequent Gaiman collaborator, Dave McKean. If I ever have kids, I'd buy this book for them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 1/22/2014

    " I happily give this one a 5 start rating. Very entertaining, widely informative, and above all, so beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry86 | 1/15/2014

    " Interesting myths, but even better (and more clear) descriptions of reality. A fun scientific read... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Millie | 1/15/2014

    " This book will be brilliant for children, 10+ years. It's written simply enough to be understandable to young minds, and the illustrations are lovely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rambles Corbeau | 12/26/2013

    " Pretty great. It's basically about how exciting science is. A little more accessible and more of a broader range of topics are covered than in his other book that I've read, "The Selfish Gene." I want to read more by him. I like the way this man's brian works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacob Joseph | 12/14/2013

    " this was a good book,it told us about the world around us.It also told us about some of the worlds history. It some very interesting facts in the book. Overall the book was interesting and fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ichsan | 11/24/2013

    " a must read if you're new to science and interested to learn to view our world scientifically. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj | 11/4/2013

    " Incredible. Aimed for young Europeans or American adults. Highly recommended for your high school student, or junior high if they aren't a complete moron "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kariss | 8/24/2013

    " A great introduction for kids - there are some things to think about "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leo | 7/20/2013

    " A good book to teach school age children how to have an open mind and understand the wonders of skepticism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 12/1/2012

    " Dawkins is less doctrinaire but still preaches his religion with fervor. This is about the beautiful and fascinating nature without him demanding that you believe in his theology "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 11/20/2012

    " It is a remarkable book that I share with my kids. I love how it teaches thinking and perception. Kids always ask deep questions and it helps us think how to answer in a way that allows kids to come to their own conclusions through observation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaki King | 5/24/2012

    " I love the idea behind this book, but the same issue I had while reading The Greatest Show on Earth I had with this Richard Dawkins book. If I have to read, "but I'm not going to go into that right now" or "Let's skip that" one more time I swear I will puke. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari Bakos | 4/23/2012

    " Loved it!!! Should have been longer! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 10/27/2011

    " Targeted more to the YA crowd. Ethan is really liking this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 10/26/2011

    " I'll be posting a full review over at SLJ, but for now, suffice to say that (as always) Dawkins is a great scientist (and writer of science) and a very very poor philosopher. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rambles | 10/26/2011

    " Pretty great. It's basically about how exciting science is. A little more accessible and more of a broader range of topics are covered than in his other book that I've read, "The Selfish Gene." I want to read more by him. I like the way this man's brian works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Max | 10/18/2011

    " A very good introduction to science for non-scienctists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj | 10/15/2011

    " Incredible. Aimed for young Europeans or American adults. Highly recommended for your high school student, or junior high if they aren't a complete moron "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 10/15/2011

    " As much as I enjoyed the book and reading Dawkins in general, I didn't really think it was written well for the younger audience he intended. Perhaps he could have used a more critical editor. Razor blades indeed!

    PS, I didn't care much for the artist's picture of Newton either! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ernest | 10/14/2011

    " I only wish that it had more pictures in it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 10/11/2011

    " Of course I don't need Mr Dawkins to convince me. This is an elegant addition to his work promoting scientific procedures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 10/10/2011

    " A fantastically written and brilliantly illustrated introduction to the basics of science. It dismisses myths without insulting their believers and explains the basic sciences behind some of the most basic questions you could ask. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, an acclaimed biologist, is a fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth. He has received a number of honorary doctorates from colleges and universities around the world and has received many awards and honors throughout his career, most notably a Finlay Innovation Award, the Michael Faraday Award, the Nakayama Prize, the Kistler Prize, and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest.

About the Narrator

Lalla Ward is an actress and audiobook narrator who is best known for her role as Romana in Doctor Who, a popular BBC television series. She has also appeared in several other television shows, including The Protectors, Quiller, The Professionals, and Hazel. She is the former wife of actor and costar Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.