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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 2 star ratings
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  • A intellectual layman's masterpiece.

    If you're interested in anything, this brilliant book about everything is sure to astonish!

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  • Mind blowing ideas, very badly written.

    Firstly, get the print book not the audiobook: while the narration is excellent, there is quite a bit of math in the book which is very hard to follow without seeing it on the page. The ideas in this book are incredible: a physicist breaks down the underlying rules that explain the size of cities to the lifespan of animals. The big problem is that it's written using far more complex language than it needed to be. It's written in 'posh academic english', using words like "elucidate" when "explain" would do, and passive voice "it was only decades later that it was discovered that the ...." I have a PhD in evolutionary biology and even I found some of the bits on biology hard to follow. I've read some academic papers that explain the concepts more clearly than this book. I sense that computer scientists, physicists and engineers will love this book, but that people from the softer sciences may find it quite difficult to engage with. It also suffers from lack of consistent direction: the book often goes off on tangents that, while interesting, mean that the original point he was making gets lots by the time he returns to it.

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