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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Gleick Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.

Gleick’s story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological—the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks.

James Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture—from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • James Gleick is a master historian of ideas—no one else can do what he does. Synthesis leads to elucidation leads to stunning, original insight. Time Travel, like so much of his work, is simply indispensable. Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
  • Magnificent. A riveting history of an idea that changed us so profoundly, we forgot we had even been changed. But Gleick remembers. Lev Grossman, Books Editor of TIME and author of The Magicians Trilogy
  • “Against Kingsley Amis’ skeptical assertion that ‘time travel is inconceivable,’ Gleick adduces impressive evidence that the phenomenon has tantalized novelists, philosophers, poets, scientists, moviemakers, and even cartoonists as a transformative possibility. Readers follow the fictional ‘Time Traveler’ that H. G. Wells sends into future centuries; track the gyrations of time-spanning thought that Borges unfolds in his labyrinthine tales; ponder the temporal cause-effect paradoxes that Bertrand Russel surmounts; and puzzle over the reversibility of time in the physics with which Einstein revolutionized science….Ultimately, readers discern behind the modern mania for the phenomenon a human craving for immortality that—particularly in a secular age—fosters this mania. Both piquant and profound.  Booklist *starred review*
  • A dazzling voyage through the concept of time….Deeply philosophical and full of quirky humor—‘The universe is like a river. It flows. (Or it doesn’t, if you’re Plato.) Gleick’s journey through the fourth dimension is a marvelous mind bender.
  • “From Wells to Schrödinger to Twitter, [Gleick] doesn’t miss a beat, and he imparts a wry appreciation for humorous detail, making him one of the most enjoyable science writers in the field….Another fantastic contribution…from Gleick, whose lush storytelling will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Kirkus Reviews
  • Isaac Newton’s biographer takes a smart, scholarly look at this science fiction staple. With a little help from Gleick, you might finally understand Interstellar. Esquire Magazine, "Nine Books That You Need To Know"
  • Time Travel is another of James Gleick’s superb, unclassifiable books—rich in obscure and illuminating information, laced with lyricism, wit, and startling and convincing insights.  It is an exploration not only of the (theoretical) phenomenon of time travel but of our understanding of ‘time’ itself. Joyce Carol Oates
  • In Time Travel, James Gleick provides an absorbing history of the idea, eloquently elucidating the reasons for its enduring appeal…. Within physics, Gleick captures some of the intellectual ferment in his account of the debate about whether time is an illusion. Within literature, he’s particularly incisive in his account of alternative histories, which originated as an accident of time travel. New Scientist
  • Engaging…[Gleick’s] book resembles a salon where the guests include physicists (Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein), science-fiction writers (Robert Heinlein, Hugo Gernsback and the inevitable Isaac Asimov), philosophers (Richard Taylor), logicians (Kurt Gödel) and scientist-philosophers (Arthur Eddington), among many other articulate souls. Their discussions draw upon the theater (Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”), TV series (“Doctor Who”) and movies (“La Jetée”), as well as books of philosophy and works in theoretical physics….Time Travel presents a great read—as well as a wide-ranging, rich list for further reading—for anyone intrigued by the scientific romance of time travel. Washington Post
  • In his enthralling new book, James Gleick mounts H.G. Wells’s time machine for an invigorating ride through the most baffling of the four dimensions. In these pages, time flies. John Banville, author of The Sea
  • A fascinating mash-up of philosophy, literary criticism, physics and cultural observation. It’s witty . . . pithy . . . and regularly manages to twist its reader’s mind . . . . Throughout the book [Gleick] displays an acute and playful sensitivity to how quickly language gets slippery when we talk about time . . . a wonderful reminder that the most potent time-traveling technology we have is also the oldest technology we have: storytelling. Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review (cover)
  • “Exhilarating . . . Time travel has become a veritable theme park of playful attractions, which Mr. Gleick explores with infectious gusto. Michael Saler, The Wall Street Journal
  • A grand thought experiment, using physics and philosophy as the active agents, and literature as the catalyst. Embedded in the book is a bibliography for the Babel of time—a most exquisitely annotated compendium of the body of time literature. What emerges is an inquiry, the most elegant since Borges, into why we think about time, why its directionality troubles us so, and what asking these questions at all reveals about the deepest mysteries of human consciousness and about what Gleick so beguilingly calls ‘the fast-expanding tapestry of interwoven ideas and facts that we call our culture’...the kind of book that lodges itself in the imagination, planting seeds of ideas, insights, and revelations bound to go on blossoming for the remainder of this lifetime. Maria Popova, Brainpickings
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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