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

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; 1st edition (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 (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,506 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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really good book, combines science with art, the only reason for 4 stars is that it's pretty much identical to his other book "The Sound Book- science of the sonic wonders of the world" I bought this book thinking, with the different title that it had different content- not so- but a good buy just don't make my mistake and end up with two differently titled but essentially identical books.
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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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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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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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By Amanda Jenkinson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Sept. 2015
Format: Paperback
Trevor Cox is an acoustic engineer and his passion for sounds of all kinds comes over loud and clear in this fascinating exploration of some of the sonic wonders of the world and the mysterious sounds that the natural world often produces. He points out that sound is often ignored or blocked out when it becomes a nuisance but in fact we should pay attention and celebrate sound and thus become better listeners. His study is wide-ranging and covers a wealth of topics, from physics to music to neuroscience. Most of the time he manages to make often difficult science at least reasonably accessible – although I must admit he lost me at times. A website accompanies the book, so the reader can hear some of the sounds Cox talks about, but this is definitely a book that cries out to be produced with hyperlinks – it would have so enhanced my reading if I could have heard what I was reading about as I read it. However, given the limitations of writing about sound, Cox does an excellent job of making an abstruse subject comprehensible and if his aim is to make his readers more aware of the world around them, then he’s certainly succeeded with this particular reader.
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By Big Jim TOP 500 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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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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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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