Audiobook Review: Einstein’s Cosmos
January 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm
When you look at the sky at night, what do you see? Do you see an inky black sky dotted with beautiful celestial bodies? Do you see God? Or do you see a mathematical equation that holds the secrets of our natural world?
The way we think about physics and space was changed forever by Albert Einstein’s theorems. Michio Kaku, our modern-day Einstein and author of Einstein’s Cosmos, gives us the opportunity to understand the impact that Einstein has had on our modern understanding of space and time. The audiobook for Einstein’s Cosmos is narrated by Ray Porter, and the work he does in transporting the reader in Einstein’s ideas of space and time is just as important in the experience of the book as Kaku’s writing.
Kaku begins the book at the beginning of Einstein’s childhood and traces the foundation of his physical theorems from early in his school career (when Einstein pondered what a light beam would look like if the person looking at it was traveling at the speed of light) to his teaching days, and finally, to his work on special relativity.
Kaku couldn’t have been a better person to write this book. A lot of his works in physics is rooted in Einstein’s theorems (Kaku is the cofounder of string theory), and, if you’ve seen any of his lectures, he knows exactly how to explain complex mathematical theorems to the layman without losing the attention of those who are more well-versed in math and physics. His personality is both bubbly and intellectual, making any subject, no matter how theoretical and hard to understand, exciting for his audience. These attributes that make his lectures so fascinating translate well into Einstein’s Cosmos. You will find yourself sucked into the entirety of Einstein’s story, not just in his theories of space and time. I would consider this just as much a biography as a book on Einstein’s work.
Listening to Ray Porter tell this fantastic story is what completed the Einstein’s Cosmos experience for me. There’s nothing I hate more in an audiobook than the narrator adopting a bunch of different, horrific accents or possessing a narrative voice that is so lackluster I end up toning out most of the book. Ray Porter has a special gift: his voice sounds just like Robert Downey Jr.’s. Essentially, you’re listening to Iron Man reading you the story of special relativity. It’s as an amazing an experience as it sounds.
Whether you’re an audiobook noob or an established audiobookphile (is that a word? Google says no), Einstein’s Cosmos will quickly grasp your attention faster than the speed of light sucked in by a black hole. And if you’re jonesing for more theoretical physics (as I know you will be), I highly recommend listening to Michio Kaku’s lectures (you can start here: http://bigthink.com/experts/michiokaku).
5 out of 5 Crones
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Price: $17.95 without Audible membership; $14.95 with Audible membership