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It's Not Rocket Science [Kindle Edition]

Ben Miller
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Top Ten Bestseller

Black holes. DNA. The Large Hadron Collider. Ever had that sneaking feeling that you are missing out on some truly spectacular science?

You do? Well, fear not, for help is at hand.

Ben Miller was working on his Physics PhD at Cambridge when he accidentally became a comedian. But first love runs deep, and he has returned to his roots to share with you all his favourite bits of science. This is the stuff you really need to know, not only because it matters but because it will quite simply amaze and delight you.

'Let me show you another, perhaps less familiar side of Science; her beauty, her seductiveness and her passion. And let's do it quickly, while Maths isn't looking'

Ben Miller

'This book makes climate change actually seem interesting. Not just important - it's obviously important - but interesting. As a result I bought lots of other books about climate change, something I now regret'

David Mitchell

Ben Miller is, like you, a mutant ape living through an Ice Age on a ball of molten iron, orbiting a supermassive black hole. He is also an actor, comedian and approximately one half of Armstrong & Miller. He's presented a BBC Horizon documentary on temperature and a Radio 4 series about the history of particle physics, and has written a science column for The Times. He is slowly coming to terms with the idea that he may never be an astronaut.

Product Description


This book makes climate change actually seem interesting. Not just important - it's obviously important - but interesting. As a result I bought lots of other books about climate change, something I now regret (David Mitchell)

Ben Miller has made a successful career out of concealing his intellect, but in this book he fails to obscure his scientific credentials beautifully. It's a fun and insightful ride through the whole of science - it's almost as if he'd finished his PhD! (Professor Brian Cox)

Book Description

* An engaging, accessible and fascinating look at science's 'best bits' by popular comedian and particle physicist Ben Miller

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 953 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0751545007
  • Publisher: Sphere (12 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847445012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847445018
  • ASIN: B0089YH1RE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just spent two days on a sailing boat with no wind; luckily I downloaded this book. It is the best popular science book I have read and I have read many over the years. As Ben Miller explains early on, this book is about the highlights of science and it is to be enjoyed not learnt. The style reflects his excellent comic sense and timing as he gets to the point quickly and pithily with lots of juicy facts and figures that make you say "you won't believe this but... And "did you know..." to anyone sitting nearby. So read alone if you can...A key aspect of the books appeal is that Miller has not dumbed down the facts and theories to the point that you are not enlightened or indeed do not need to think, its just the way he explains the complexity that opens up subjects that previously were shrouded in mystery.

If you have ever wondered about the origins and potential fate of the universe, earth and man, all wrapped up in quantum physics, stars, nuclear fusion, global warming, E=mc2, human evolution, fossils, how the earth was formed, DNA, victoria sponges, the Maillard reaction, space travel, Gordon Ramsey, and aliens then this is the right book for you.

I would recommend this book wholeheartedly
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's Not Rocket Science is an excellent book having a whip through the latest scientific thoughts and research of the day, written by sometime particle physicist and now comedian and actor, Ben Miller. I like Miller's light style and amusing allegorical comparisons. You may have to slow down a bit once in a while to grasp some of the concepts, but as Miller says no one has to understand all or even any of it and to just enjoy the ride, which I most certainly have. Even made sure that friends and family have a copy! I really hope Ben does a follow up of some sort. Great reading and an introduction to science itself.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for brushing up 23 July 2012
Got this book last week and have finished it already. It tackles all the scientific ideas that you really should understand and have opinions on but, frankly, don't, and makes them feel accessible - joyful even. As someone who recently struggled to explain gravity to an eight-year-old niece, it was a revelation to have concepts broken down into such appetising chunks. Thoroughly recommend to anyone who didn't 'choose' science. Should also be required reading for parents so they can enthuse the next generation - the author makes it feel like a total pleasure.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just superb 5 Oct. 2012
By Sagan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you liked Cosmos and A Short History of Nearly Everything then this is the book for you . A humorous highly readable summary of the most exciting science around. I particularly liked the climate change and human evolution sections. For me the book hots up after the first chapter . When I get half way through a book I usually either think-good not long to go now-or damn its nearly finished.The latter is how I felt about this book. I even found myself underlining sections and making notes (sad ? possibly but it is a gem of a book you will want to keep and not trade in)

I was reminded of the genetics I had forgotten and was especially interested in the lactose intolerance section . Ben Miller's intelligence comes through in his comedy but I hope he harnesses it for more of the same in the popular science field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners 2 Jun. 2013
By Brian Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ben Miller is probably best known for playing a detective in the gentle, rather underrated comedy drama Death in Paradise, and as half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller, but he studied physics at Cambridge and was en route to a doctorate when he realized that getting a real job was much more useful. (I would like to apply a large kick to Brian Cox for writing the most condescending puff for the book I've ever seen: `A fun and insightful ride through the whole of science - it's almost as if he'd finished his PhD.')

I don't know why it is, but people always get a little excited when an entertainer has a science qualification. (Think Brian May or Dara O'Briain for instance.) No doubt many others have, say, English or history degrees, but for some reason this doesn't cause the same amazement. Perhaps the assumption is that all entertainers are a bit, well, thick. But either way we really have to take the book on its merits. And they are considerable.

Miller conducts a rambling tour of some of the best bits (in the terms of being mind boggling) of science. He takes us into the world of particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider, into the depths of the universe and black holes, looks at how the solar system formed, at the wonders of evolution and geology, DNA, the chemistry of cookery, global warming, and how space travel requires Newton's laws of motion. All this is done in a good humoured light-hearted fashion. Particularly engaging are the sections where he describes how he got into science, his experiences at Cambridge and taking on Gordon Ramsay in making a sponge cake.

I'd say the ideal audience for this book is someone who has never read a popular science book and wants a primer.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Superb Book! 29 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm just over halfway through this and want to write a review now because the book hasn't had many so far and certainly deserves lots.

I knew next to nothing about the author before purchasing the book. Although I remember him doing an excellent BBC documentary on heat and temperature, and bought the book on the strength of the kindle sample. Within a few pages I hooked, AND I've read a few popular science books over the years, but Ben Miller has such an easy way of writing I'm surprised this is one of his first books (I may be wrong as I'm not up on the comedy scene)?

I recently read Bill Brysons 'a short history of nearly everything' and although also an excellent book I prefer Miller's book, and his way of writing. It's probably because he's a Brit and a similar age to myself. I would like to think it's the sort of book I could write but I've not even got one percent of Miller's talent!

I will update this review when I finished the book.
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