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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(1 star, Verified Purchases). See all 214 reviews
on October 19, 2013
This book contains little new information and is mostly anecdotal in nature i recommend not purchasing it
there are quite a few alternatives
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on December 4, 2015
Did not finish the book. Terrible!
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on October 28, 2015
Today's popular science writers are not cut from the same cloth as Gamow, Asimov, or even Hawking. Wrapped securely in the blankie of her Harvard education, she smugly defends "science" in the face of unasked questions about the mutability of scientific theories while she hypocritically evangelizes for concensus science. There isn't any meat in this stew.
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on December 9, 2011
This book has some potential, but Lisa Randall focuses too much on differences between science and religion. There are admittedly differences, and those differences should be briefly addressed. Unfortunately, the science-religion differences are discussed for at least the first 85 pages of the book. I was disappointed in this book; I expected a book on physics, not a book arguing why science and religion are different.
33 comments| 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 2, 2011
I really enjoyed Warped Passages, and have read many books about the cosmos, physics, etc. I looked forward to reading Randall's new book, Knocking on Heaven's Door, only to be totally disappointed that she has spent so many pages talking about her political views, including some thoughts on global warming and the banks! The book is recommended by Bill Clinton, as revealed on the dust cover once you buy it.
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on February 28, 2015
Went out with the trash.
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on November 25, 2011
I am an avid reader of leading scientists talking about their theories and explaining how they think the world works. Ms. Randall is at the forefront of her subject and this book should have been brilliant. But it's not. It's profoundly disappointing.

Think of the meaningful parts of what Ms. Randall has to say as corresponding to the few percent of our universe made up from the particles we can detect. The rest of the book is filled with the literary equivalent of dark matter and dark energy. We know it's there because something is obviously filling the large space between the front and back cover, but it doesn't actually interact with any parts of the reader's brain.

I don't need another history of science. It's been done so many times by almost every other science writer. Ms. Randall's version adds nothing and just repeats all the anecdotes we have heard before. Yes, Einstein's biggest mistake might just turn out to be right after all. The microwave background radiation was mistaken for pigeon poo. Quarks were named after... No, please not again.

If I want to explore the debate between science and religion, there are far better views available on both side of that issue from others who are able to articulate their positions with great perception and elegance, which is most certainly not the case here.

If I want to know how the large hadron collider works, I'll go to CERN for the details.

No. I read Lisa Randall to understand where she and her colleagues stand on their theories of how our universe is put together at a fundamental level. Now is the right time because the LHC is the most exciting microscope ever to built and it is very relevant to hear what it might and might not reveal. Ms. Randall does address this, eventually. But I was hoping for an account that is vivid, engaging and suitable for a genuinely interested layman. Finding an effective way to do that is the real skill in scientific writing. Unfortunately she does not bring these issues to life and this key chapter is about as exciting as a engine mechanic's maintenance manual. Ms. Randall needs some serious help with her writing style.

Finally, there is an obscene amount of repetition, which goes beyond mere irritation to the point of being an insult to the reader's ability to understand. She points out that some theories work at large scales and some different ones work at smaller scales. Yes, OK, I can understand that. Almost every other book on physics says the same thing. So one crisp and concise paragraph would do nicely. But no. We are subjected to an entire long chapter that repeats this concept over and over again. Repetition that is often in virtually the same words. Even minor points are restated many times. This exasperating style continues through the entire book.

Knocking on Heaven's Door may well take a ride on the momentum of Warped Passages. But if scientists really are knocking on heaven's door this book will not find a place in the bible if they are let in.
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on October 10, 2011
Professor Randall has added nothing to the understanding of physics in this jargon filled and extremely boring book. What a disapointment from an author as quailfied as anyone to make sense out of the latest thinking in physics. Don't waste you time on this very bad book. The author never hesitates to expand upon the blindingly obvious, while skipping everything of real interest at the cutting edge. A real disapointment from an author who should have known better.
33 comments| 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 7, 2014
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