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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blunders of the Universe...
Professor Brian Cox's latest television series "Wonders of the Universe" was received with mixed appraise by the British public. Some found its presentation overly theatrical; others complained of the overblown soundtrack. Admittedly, I found that this follow up series was a little weaker in content than its fabulous predecessor, "Wonders of the Solar System", perhaps...
Published on 9 April 2011 by Mr T T R Spearing

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT Buy for Kindle!!!
An excellent book so far but I am very disappointed with the presentation on Kindle. All the pictures and diagrams are not clear at all and I've become very frustrated reading about a diagram that appears some pages later. I wish I had bought it in the normal book form form , where I'm sure I would have given it 5 stars, than wasting money by buying it for kindle...
Published on 24 Sep 2011 by Andy


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blunders of the Universe..., 9 April 2011
This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
Professor Brian Cox's latest television series "Wonders of the Universe" was received with mixed appraise by the British public. Some found its presentation overly theatrical; others complained of the overblown soundtrack. Admittedly, I found that this follow up series was a little weaker in content than its fabulous predecessor, "Wonders of the Solar System", perhaps because this first series was far more focussed in terms of subject matter. Even so, I enjoyed WOTU thoroughly, and I speak only praise for Brian Cox's presentational style, which, as always, was delivered in an intelligible and enthusiastic manner - two qualities, I feel, that are the makings of good documentary television. Indeed, Brian himself responded to recent viewer complaints by saying: "At the end of the day it's a piece of film on television ... not a lecture" - I couldn't agree more.

As one would expect, the accompanying book is presented in a similar style: it draws on each of the four main themes of the series - light, cosmology, gravity, and time - using the analogies and case studies discussed on film. Though the book expands on this material, it does not go into prolonged or unnecessary detail, so those readers wishing to learn much more about the subjects explored in the tv series should look elsewhere. I, however, have found the book useful as a means of reiterating some of the more complex theories and principles behind cosmology, particularly with regard to particle physics, space-time, and stellar chemistry. The book is coherent and comprehensible, even to those with limited scientific capacity (like me); though I must admit that some of the mathematics and physics of it all was beyond my ability...

Despite being impressed both with the book's content and aesthetics (the book is very well illustrated throughout), it is a shame that it is riddled with so many grammatical and typographical errors. This is a little pedantic of me, I'll admit, but when I fork over my cash for something I naturally expect it to meet high standards. The Universe is a vast and baffling place, but it is even more so when Brian tells you it is both "93 billion" and "45 billion" light years across - that is quite a large discrepancy. Throughout the book there are a number of grammatical errors that disjoint the flow of the text, giving every impression that it was neither edited, or even proof-read, before publication. The book appears to have been hastily assembled and thrown onto the shelves; a little extra time spent checking for errors would have delivered a far more satisfying product.

That said, these printing errors are a minor issue in an otherwise brilliant - and highly recommended - book. If you enjoyed the television series, I am sure you will find this book equally captivating.
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132 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book transmits wonder and curiosity, 10 Mar 2011
By 
D. Lane (Paignton, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
I think, with regard to my review title, Brian Cox would be pleased. This book really is superb, it is written with a Childs sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of the world around us. An artist once said that a scientist doesn't see a flower in all it's beauty as if science detracts from the aesthetics of it, Richard Feynman - famous physicist - objected, saying I see the flower and so much more, it's beauty is not diminished with this new understanding. There is a strong thread of pride at the achievements of mankind running through this book, and so there should be! We have done some amazing things, and with equal measure Professor Cox pays homage to those great minds who have unravelled such tantalising mysteries as there are in the world and beyond. I'm a scientist myself but not in this field, I have however been looking at light phenomena and in particular about Fraunhofer lines. Professor Cox has done a brilliant job of explaining simply and in a connected way the light phenomena we experience. This is key to good storytelling that it is connected whilst expanding our view of the world and beyond.
Do yourself a favour, buy this book, get excited and enjoy the ride. The best of human endeavours is paraded before your very eyes, be humbled by it and better yet take part!
Thanks for reading
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131 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ordinary person's view, 16 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
As a female pensioner in my 70's and a non scientist(the nearest I came was an O level in geology taken in my 40's) I can't reccomend Professor Brian Cox books and television series enough.I am delighted that he has just won 2 TV awards for his series. Professor Cox is a natural,I would never get bored watching and listening to him,he explains everything so that everyone from the youngest to the oldest can understand.The book is a 'must have'.The presentation and photography is excellent.Well done Brian and Andrew Cohen and thankyou for making the solar systems and universe so interesting.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Universe here on Earth!, 12 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
Sequel to the "Wonders of the Solar System" and companion to BBC TV series of the same name, Brian Cox takes us on a personal guided tour from the birth of the Universe to the end of time and beyond. Split into four main chapters Messengers, Stardust, Falling and Destiny, topics include; What is Light?, Time Travel, The Big Bang, Life and Death of Stars, Gravity and Relativity and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

The one thing for which this book stands out from other books of this subject is the way concepts are explained using real analogies here on Earth. This gives a sense of reality and something tangeable to relate to. For example, Brian Cox's explanation of entropy was especially clear using a simple example with sandcastles, a concept not easily understood for the lay-person and even the budding astrophycisist.

My one and only critique is that the style of graphics gives the book a retro 1980's feel... and in fact I felt that I have seen many of the images before in books from that period, although perhaps I am missing the point!

My personal favorite of the two books in the series. Highly recommended.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the TV Series, 20 Mar 2011
This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
Enjoying the TV series. However, this gives a lot more detail and information, plus you can absorb some of the ideas at your own pace.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gift, 22 Dec 2011
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Fergal Loughran "fergal loughran" (Northren Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
Purchased this book for my 12 year old daughter who is fascintated by programmes of Brian Cox. I bought this book for her for christmas and I'm sure that I will be enjoying her knowledge of what she reads. Great Book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make you realise how small our planet is!!, 27 April 2011
This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
Bought this book after the television programme was aired because I wanted to know more about our planet and all the universes around us. This book does not fail!!! Explains things in a way that anyone could understand. Excellent book which will be read and re-read over and over again. What more could you want from a book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very poor images in Kindle version., 3 April 2011
I'd been thinking about buying this book in the hardcover version but having just bought an iPad I thought it would be a great first buy in the kindle format. How wrong I was! Don't get me wrong, the reading experience is great and the text is wonderful both in content and layout. The problem is the graphics and images, which are one of the key attractions of this type of book, are sadly lacking both in clarity and resolution. For example the diagram/image that appears on page23-24 in the hardcover version, showing our position in the universe, has captions that are unreadable. I wish I'd bought a hard copy now. I wonder if the authors and publisher realise how poorly their work is being represented.

Note: I've updated my rating of the item to 5 stars as I'm advised that the rating is for the book in all it's forms, not just the Kindle version. I'm enjoying the book as a text but my comments re the Kindle version still stand.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent science primer for kids and adults, 24 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
I'm waiting for the Brian Cox backlash but frankly, nuts to those who want to take potshots at Professor Cox. This book and his TV series are helping make science explicable and fun to learn. He clearly is in a sense of wonder and that might irritate some people but underneath that veneer of boyish enthusiasm, he clearly knows his stuff and is keen to communicate complex concepts in an easy to understand manner. I don't envy him as entropy and spacetime don't lend themselves to single sentence descriptions. Frankly, if the periodic table had been demonstrated to me in graffiti on the walls of a ruined Brazilian prison, I might have got an A in my O'level Chemistry. I think with science under attack, particularly in the US, let's thank Cox and take him seriously. He's fighting a good fight.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 7 Mar 2011
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N. Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonders of the Universe (Hardcover)
I've got many a book on physics and space and the inerworkings of atoms and light; but this book just seems to pull all that together in one place with a fantasic path through the lot... Very easy to follow and with all the key points beautifully explained and crafted to make it interesting too; I'd rate this as pertty much the best book for the subject I have, so if your like me, average chap (or lady) ;-) that has a great interest and is fascinated by all things space, light, atoms and things that pop up from nothing then this really is a treat... as the title says; I'd rate it as brilliant...! you wont be dissapointed...
Dazza
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Wonders of the Universe
Wonders of the Universe by Andrew Cohen (Hardcover - 3 Mar 2011)
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