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The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here?

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,198 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Internationally renowned, award-winning theoretical physicist, New York Times bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing, and passionate advocate for reason, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality—a grand poetic vision of nature—and how we find our place within it.

In the beginning there was light.
But more than this, the
...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Atria Books
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Bill Goers Dr. Krauss is a scientist, not a theologian or a self-proclaimed prophet. His book tells the story of the progress made in cosmology, most of which ha…moreDr. Krauss is a scientist, not a theologian or a self-proclaimed prophet. His book tells the story of the progress made in cosmology, most of which has been made in the last century of human existence. It is a physical description of the mechanisms in nature accounting for the Big Bang and the evolution of the universe. It explains how the Earth came into being enabling the cosmic accident of humanity, based upon the scientific method. The author does not deny God. Science simply does not require His existence to provide this current level of description. The author also does not maintain that this is a complete (whole) description. That's why the title of the book ends with "- So Far". The Light of the Truth is a spiritual treatise based upon scripture and faith. It preaches morality and provides behavioral guidance. It does not encourage inquiry and understanding.(less)
Uday Barla Seems its not published yet.
Expected publication: March 21st 2017 by Atria Books(in description)…more
Seems its not published yet.
Expected publication: March 21st 2017 by Atria Books(in description)(less)

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Billie
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading this book, I feel smarter but also still incredibly stupid. I am fascinated by the study of physics and by the amazing discoveries still being made in the field, but, no matter how much I read, I still feel like I just don't really understand physics. And that's okay. I'll just keep reading, as long as patient (and passionate) scientists like Krauss continue to write books that attempt to explain the field to laypersons like myself.
Lew Watts
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A couple of weeks ago, and shortly after starting this book, I had the benefit of hearing Lawrence Krauss expounding his thoughts at a book launch in Chicago—he speaks as well as he writes, and his explanations are full of humor and allegory. Who can resist this approach to relativity? Krauss is driving his car at (say) 30mph, with his 2 year old daughter in the backseat. Suddenly, she projectile vomits at 10 mph onto his head. The vomit is therefore traveling at 40 mph, but to an observer by th ...more
Book
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
The Greatest Story Ever Told – So Far: Why Are We Here? by Lawrence M. Krauss

“The Greatest Story Ever Told – So Far" tells the story of our hidden world. Award-winning theoretical physicist and iconic defender of reason, Lawrence M. Krauss takes the reader on a five hundred year journey of progressive scientific understanding of our reality. This interesting 337-page book includes twenty-three chapters broken out by the following three parts: 1. Genesis, 2. Exodus, and 3. Revelation.

Positives:
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Brian Hayes
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have discovered a new super dense narrativeless substance, this book. "Unless you are a blind devotee of Krauss, you will most likely not enjoy this book. His dislike for all things not science inappropriately seeps into this science book. He bizarrely opens each chapter with biblical scripture. The title of the book is the closest thing to click bait in the literary world I have come across. I am sucker for the kind of book I thought I was buying, ultimately this book reads like a history of ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was too smart for me. I'm throwing in the towel halfway through. I imagine this would be more enjoyable for people who don't suck at science.
Charlene
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: space, physics
It doesn't matter that what Krauss wrote about in this book has been well told many times over by other authors. I will read anything he writes because he always writes from a perspective filled with immense awe. It is a particular treat to listen to him narrate his own books in audio version. He comes off as humble, generous, curious, excited, intelligent, and completely inspired. It always makes me wonder how he can be friends with Richard Dawkins. Every time I read or listen to Krauss, I feel ...more
Lindsay
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I thoroughly enjoyed this look into the development of the Standard Model of particle physics that goes into both the history of the discoveries and what was discovered in enough detail that I was both educated and challenged. I felt the framing conceit detracted from the overall though. The bible is sometimes called "the Greatest Story Ever Told", and Krauss presents this one as both more interesting and relevant. I agree, but it comes off here as arrogant and needlessly offensive, and the freq ...more
Gendou
This is a wonderful book about the history of the cosmos and of humankind's quest to discover its story, which Krauss and I agree is the greatest ever told (so far).

There's a lot of focus on particle physics, gauge symmetry, and the discovery of a theory which accurately describes the strong and weak nuclear forces.

This book is a must-read for any fan of particle physics!

I did catch Krauss in one tiny mistake. And I'm proud of it. In chapter 10 he says neutrons "... make up most of the mass of h
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Radiantflux
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
72nd book for 2018.

About one-third into the book I started to dislike Krauss, by the two-thirds mark my dislike turned to a mild form of loathing. He comes across as smug and arrogant. He makes no effort to explain complex physics in a manner that would be accessible to average reader. And he peppers the book with stupid rants against religion. The title is beyond ironic.

It's just all an ugly hot mess of a book.

2-stars.
Vance J.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I had great hopes for this book. Even at just 300 pages, however, it seemed 50 pages too long. There's some good stuff here, but if Prof. Krauss had perhaps stuck to the science instead of wandering in and out of attacks on organized religion he would have produced a much tighter book.
These attacks didn't add anything to the book - in my view - and I do remain puzzled why he included Biblical references at the intro to each chapter (plain weird considering his tone throughout the book). I will
...more
Ginger Griffin
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Looking to understand the ultimate nature of reality, but not into drugs? Try particle physics! And start with this book, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject. BTW, just want to say that if the Higgs field condensate transitions to a lower-energy state, well ... this universe was fun while it lasted. ;-)
Jeff
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Lawrence Krauss for years. I've heard him on podcasts and read him in Scientific American but have not read any of his books as of yet. When I heard him announce that he wrote a new book I kept an eye out for it at my local B&N so I could get on it right away.

The Greatest Story Ever Told -- So Far: Why Are We Here is primarily the story of the discovery of the building blocks of the the universe at the subatomic level which are being used to explain how the universe came abo
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Nick Mclean
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
This book is a fascinating journey through modern particle physics, with an emphasis on the strange, confounding but inspiring world sub atomic physics. Lawrence Krauss structures his book like a scriptural text or one of Homer's epic poems. His decision to begin each chapter with a quote from the Bible is surely a cheeky nod to his own atheism, noting that scientists can use the techniques of religion while discarding its certainty and dogma. The three sections of the book: Genesis, Exodus and ...more
Phil Livingstone
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Picking up this book in the airport bookshop I half expected it to be generally accessible. What I got was a thought provoking but poorly composed academic text best left on a university library shelf. Although great to get the messages of the book out there, the exposition is terrible.

I can only presume that the editors let it through as they didn’t understand it. Even the title includes “why” when the author constantly says never to use that term and ask “how”. Classic academic cash cow mater
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Nina
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
So I really like science history and stuff, but so much of this was just so over my head that I had a hard time paying attention. I guess I wish it was just a bit more narrative and maybe a little faster. It was still interesting, but I wanted the more recent stuff to be a little more generally described so I could get a better big picture understanding of what we know now.
Nilesh
This summary, popular science book has almost nothing new to offer and does not have the easiest, most engaging explanations to compensate either.

With a plethora of great books written on relativity/quantum mechanics in the last ten or so years, the task for anyone to come up with something good in telling the story of Galileo/Newton onwards, with a large portion of the book elaborating on the discoveries of the first half of the Twentieth century and then completing with the latest, is extremel
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Carl
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
The big breakthroughs in physics, especially covering quantum & particle physics over the 20th century. This history provides a good sense of the major issues, discoveries, & personalities but it also reminds & makes good sense of the quote about writing about art makes about as much sense as dancing about architecture. If you can claim to understand any of the physics from this book, your smarter than I am. ...more
Shane Phillips
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love a great science story. Filled with science, amazing scientist, this books tells a fascinating story of our universe and the nature of reality
Dennis
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I started to listen to this and just could not get into it. Mabye I'll pick it up again at some point.
Joshua Krueger
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joshua Krueger
Review 8

What first caught my attention in The Greatest story ever told -- so far was Lawrence M. Krauss’ love of science. It is roughly 336 pages. The book covers from the 17th century to the 21st century. It is a comprehensive book that will significantly increase your knowledge and understanding of science. He introduces concepts with understandable dialect, and visual representation.
Krauss implements ideas in a way that will make you audibly say oh, he makes the book interesting
...more
Paul Skorupskas
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
A thoroughly entertaining and fascinating look at the history of scientific discovery starting with Newton all the way through to today. The book loosely follows the structure of the bible, however I think that the story of Plato's cave example, which is revisited many times in the book, from several perspectives, serves as a better and more helpful structural anchor for the reader.

Lawrence Krauss does a brilliant job explaining some very difficult concepts. Some cannot really be grasped withou
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j_ay
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature-science
Dear Dr Krauss,
You are an atheist. And while I get your play on the title of the book, there is little to no reason to continue to quote the bible in your chapter headers.
We can only hope religion starts to die out if it starts falling to the wayside and is left in the dust. Where it should have never risen from...
Greg
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is worth buying on the intro and epilogue alone. They are a beautiful philosophical discussion answering questions like, "Why do we even bother searching for answers to these questions?" and "Do we need divine powers to explain the universe?" and "Why are we here?"

Krauss tells the story of the universe as we know it so far from the viewpoint of a particle physicists, so, unsurprisingly, it centers on our broadening knowledge of fundamental particle physics. I am well versed on electrom
...more
Sean
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: astro-physics
Not impressed. Book starts with a slam of religions. The analogy of adding velocities by using his daughter's projectile vomiting from the back seat + his car's velocity should not have made it past an editor/publisher/1st review. Chapters are all titled with religious passages, yet he drops the religion discussions and just plows through standard cool physics stuff. Then chapters don't really have strong conclusions. I got about half way through this book and returned it to the library. An incr ...more
Brent
Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
The author had unnecessary opinionated jabs that have no place in a book about the status of science.
Mehrsa
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Overly dense and jargon-y and more a bunch of biographies than any grand theories. Read the Bill Bryson one instead for a primer or even the Neil De Grass Tyson one was better
Mac
May 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Buy, Borrow, Burn: Very weak borrow, but don't.

This book is not what you think it is and it is not what it is advertised as. Rather than labelled 'The Greatest Story Ever Told: Why Are We Here?" it should have been "Tiny Stories About The Times I Met Other Scientists: What Am I Trying To Accomplish With This Book?."

Krauss writes this book like he is preparing a lecture in the style of a funny, engaging, and nerdy professor. And you know what, that is probably exactly what he is and what he is do
...more
Will Peterson
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A summary of the amazing physics discoveries over the centuries from Newton to now. Despite 4 years of engineering school, I never heard so many physics facts explained in intuitive ways without getting bogged down by math. Why does time move slower as one approaches the speed of light? Why is the photon massless?

The nuances of particle physics are second nature to Krauss, so when he got deep into the discovery of various quarks and W particles, I had to sort of let the information wash over me
...more
Diane
This was amazing and beautiful I am holding back tears.
I've had the privilege of attending one of Professor Krauss' lectures on particle physics in person for the occasion of this book's launch. He's a fabulous orator so I greatly recommend this book as an audiobook.

This was an interesting discussion on the millennia of science and thought processes that have led from the philosophy of Plato's cave, to the new theoretical physic's research in dark energy and the start/end of our universe. Simpl
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Todd Martin
Sep 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
“I loved the fight scenes and the sex scenes were excellent.”
- Eric Idle {in what is literally, the best part of the book}

The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here? is the story of the profound success that theoretical and experimental physics has had from Isaac Newton to Peter Higgs. The book is by Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University (or used to be, but I won’t get into th
...more
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Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of a ...more

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“To argue that, in a universe in which there seems to be no purpose, our existence is without meaning or value is unparalleled solipsism, as it suggests that without us the universe is worthless. The greatest gift that science can give us is to allow us to overcome our need to be the center of existence even as we learn to appreciate the wonder of the accident we are privileged to witness.” 7 likes
“For most people, the central questions of existence ultimately come down to transcendental ones: Why is there a universe at all? Why are we here?
Whatever presumptions one might bring to the question "Why?," if we understand the "how" better, "why" will come into sharper focus.”
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