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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Hardcover – September 2, 2014
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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OUR DUST JACKET IS SAME AS STOCK PHOTO SHOWN, AND THERE IS MINOR EDGE WEAR. BOOK HAS A MINOR DING AT TOP EDGE OF SPINE. CLEAN COPY WITHOUT MARKING OR WRITING.
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The book, on the other hand, just screams "lazy". The editing is poor, resulting in too many avoidable errors. Also little effort has been made to convert the web friendly format into book form. And there is very little new content. The whole thing gives me a feeling that someone - either Mr. Monroe himself or his publisher - just decided to take the (excellent) web content and dump it into book form, without much further thought. And even worse: It gives me the feeling that they allowed themselves to do a half-assed job, because they knew the fans will buy it anyway (and give it automatic five star reviews). I don't know if this is true or not, but that's the feeling I get.
Of-course, the raw content is still superb. But a book is much more than its raw content. Presentation matters. And dumping a superb website into book form does not a good book make. This is why, while I do adore Randall's web work, I cannot give this book 5 stars or even 4 stars in good conscience. You might say that I'm giving it 4-5 stars for the raw content and 1-2 stars for the the execution.
And I would like to end my review on a personal note:
I know this review is going to annoy many fans. But I ask you, as fellow xkcders, to be fair when you vote for or against my review. If you really think I'm wrong, feel free to downvote me. But don't do it just because I went against the crowd, okay?
So, now a review of the content: I am amused at the amount of work involved in coming up with the answers, necessarily using a lot of conjecture, as well as math to achieve plausible, if unlikely answers, to unplausible questions. My particular favorite was the answer to "What would happen if the sun suddenly went out." The obvious answer being unsuitable the author came up with a number of benefits that would be produced by such an event. That requires thinking outside of the box, which is evident throughout the book. That I only gave it 3 stars is because it wasn't more than just amusing, and it's one of those books that I'll have forgotten about in 6 months.
This is not a review of the book. This is a review of the Kindle version of the book. I am unable to read it on the Kindle. I can read it on my iPad with the Kindle app, and on my PC with the Kindle app, but my Paperwhite reboots every time I try to read it. It only happens with this book, none of the others that I have loaded on the Kindle exhibit anything like this. I'm guessing that it's the graphics. I have also redownloaded it from the cloud. No change.