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Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound Hardcover – 16 Jan 2014

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847922104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847922106
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A riveting ear-opener, Trevor Cox describes in lyrical detail a range of sonic events and new ways of listening that can only brighten our experience of the acoustic world around us. A must-read for sound-lovers of all stripes" (Bernie Krause, author of The Great Animal Orchestra)

"This is acoustician Trevor Cox’s fun but thoroughly detailed tour through some of the world’s aural gems. Sounds like music to our ears" (New Scientist)

"A must read for musicians, producers, sound engineers and nerds of all kinds" (Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music)

"A David Attenborough of the acoustic realm, whose knowledge is unimpeachable yet worn lightly, whose language is vivid yet without indulgence" (David Hendy Observer)

"Sonic Wonderland by Trevor Cox is one of those books that require a "this book will change your life" sticker" (Simon Barnes The Times)

Book Description

An original and compelling tour of the world's most amazing acoustic phenomena and a passionate plea for a deeper appreciation of and respect for our shared sonic landscapes.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin99 on 19 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
A few dreary and carping reviews here. Surprisingly, because this book brilliantly achieves what it clearly sets out to do - that is to share and instil a sense of wonder in the strange and little discussed world of sound phenomena.
If Professor Cox had wanted to produce a fusty academic tome, no doubt he could have done so. But his book imparts lots of acoustic scientific facts and hypotheses in an easy to understand and fun-to-read style. He easily imparts his enthusiasm for the subject. And enthusiasm isn't a commodity you see every day, in my experience.
Prof. Cox also lightly (and I think accurately) explores our perception of sound and noise and how and why we react the way we do.
He also stakes his claim for the "most embarrassing parent of the year" award as he (tongue firmly in cheek) describes how his family have (perhaps unwillingly) shared in his investigations of some unusual acoustic phenomena.
It had me chuckling, anyway!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
As other reviewers have noted this book isn't totally "scientific" but as it obviously aimed at the general reader then there is no harm in that. Having said that there is still some science in here with some useful if basic illustrations and graphs which help demonstrate some of the theories explained within but on the whole this is an exploration of various sound effects, both natural and man-made, around the world and the causes of these phenomena. On the whole this is an interesting and diverting journey but a couple of things let the book down for me somewhat. The author is obviously at great pains to appear as a "man of the people", wearing his expertise lightly but sometimes the humour he injects into certain passages just seems crass and unnecessary. Yet in almost direct contradiction to this at the start of the book states phrases such as "...experts in architectural acoustics like me..." and refers to himself as being amongst "other" acoustic experts and details some of the great works he has done, almost to establish his bonafides which to me just comes across as a bit big headed. In reality he needn't be so obvious in proclaiming his authority on the subject - this is obvious as we go through the book - and to be fair after the first few pages this lessens so maybe this is just a quirk that slightly annoys me alone. Having said all that my criticism may be a bit harsh as this book is very well worth reading and once you have finished it you will go around with your ears just that little bit more wide open and you might just be amazed at what you might hear.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Trevor Cox's book is full of interesting facts about the aural world, amusing anecdote and tales of wriggling into very tight spaces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris S on 26 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in the applications of sound and (latterly) some awareness of acoustics, this book gives a wealth of examples, explained and described in an easy-to-follow format. It considers both the natural and built environments - giving food for thought for the full spectrum of readers, from naturalist to architect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C Prior on 25 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A totally different way of looking at sounds, from an acoustic engineer who not only thinkg and tries to understand some of the acoustic marvels of nature, but can explain them well. A thoroughly fascinating read, and give you a lot to think about, and to look out for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tor Halmrast on 20 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent journey of interesting sounds and strange sounding rooms all over the world! Interesting for all "new ears", but still correct enough for academics!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is really a very interesting read and obviously Trevor is a very important authority on this subject, reflected in his writing. Well worth a look.
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