I was ready to give this a lower score by the half way point. Up to then I’d listened through a long and pointless introduction, a section of the various US scientific bodies (why is this even included?) and it seemed like the book would focus heavily on physics and chemistry and brush through other subjects.
By the end I had to concede it was a good, broad walk through much of science, both the established theories and the cutting edge developments in a number of fields. It flows fairly seamlessly from topic to topic, as if it’s one huge lecture.
I like to think I already had a fairly good (if a little patchy) understanding of science, but I certainly found myself learning a few new things, not to mention remembering some of the lessons I had forgotten.
One problem was the reading. The audiobook is read by Fred Sanders, who does a good job of delivering the text clearly, but delivers it in such a monotone that I found myself zoning out for entire sections, and largely not caring. It was like listening to a particularly uninspiring teacher drone on.
Overall, it does a good job of doing what it sets out to: providing scientific literacy. If school was a long time ago for you, you never picked up much science or you simply want to brush up, then this should do the job nicely (if not in the most entertaining way).