The Magic of Reality - Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality

By Richard Dawkins

  • Release Date: 2011-10-04
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4
From 179 Ratings


Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back—earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality—science.

Packed with clever thought experiments, dazzling illustrations and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena. What is stuff made of? How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? This is a page-turning, graphic detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.

Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist and one of science education’s most passionate advocates, has spent his career elucidating the wonders of science for adult readers. But now, in a dramatic departure, he has teamed up with acclaimed artist Dave McKean and used his unrivaled explanatory powers to share the magic of science with readers of all ages. This is a treasure trove for anyone who has ever wondered how the world works. Dawkins and McKean have created an illustrated guide to the secrets of our world—and the universe beyond—that will entertain and inform for years to come.


  • Bravo!

    By Billfbna
    Although I see the point of the review written by CalloftheGame below, I loved and enjoyed this book.
  • Dawkins' first book for children is fantastic

    By Anarimus
    Dawkins charts new ground here in his first book written specifically for children specifically aimed at tweens. Here he explains the things we used to believe from myths and legends and relates them to myths that many people even today still believe and shows how science is the best tool for explaining these things. The most important lesson to be taken away from the book is that the reality of a thing is more wondrous and magical than the tales and myths of old. This covers Dawkins' familiar grounds of evolution and genetics but also explains cosmology and physics in how do we know how old stars are or how big space is or what makes a rainbow. This book is magic.
  • These reviews....

    By kengel214
    For the reviewers ripping on this book for being a child's book, congratulations! You nailed it! It is a book designed for older children. Do you go to all children's book author's pages and give their books low ratings because you're too smart for them? This book deserves 5 stars and no less, it should be required reading for all kids 10 and over. Get it for your kids.
  • The magic of reality

    By beachdog
    I got this book on my iPad and the type is so small you can't read it! There are lots of graphics on each page, so you can't make the type adjustable and you have to blow up sections of each page to move around and read. This is a real hassle! I would not have gotten this if I had known how un-ipad friendly it was! I want my money back. This is one you need to get on paper. Just tell me that before I buy it for iPad!
  • Marvelous

    By Eron L
    WOW. This shall be the 'Good Book' from which I'll be reading on Sunday mornings to my children. Reality is true magic.
  • Dawkins For Beginners and Fans

    By Tayzlor
    This is an amazing book, and even more enjoyable interactive. I have been listening to his audio book version and that is spectacular too. A must for those starting with Richard Dawkins, or young scientists, or religious ppl first dipping their toes into a grander - and more subtle - world without myths.
  • Bringing reason to young minds

    By { Alice }
    This book is not meant for those who are thoroughly knowledgable in the basics of science. It is not meant for adults who have read previous works by Dawkins. It's obviously geared towards a much younger audience. This book is a perfect introductory for the genre and for other books by Dawkins. A must have for fans of Dawkins with children.
  • Magic of Reality Excels

    By mvaldeslora
    Maybe it is not well explained or properly emphasized in iBook's description but a little research into this book and any potential buyer will promptly realize Mr. Dawkins' primary audience is children. And for that audience it is a fantastic introduction to many scientific principles, specially if accompanied by an adult reader. Well done!!
  • Would not recommend to faithful readers of Dawkins

    By CalloftheGame
    Let me begin by saying I LOVE Richard Dawkins. I love listening to him speak, I love his ability to communicate scientific truths and hypotheses as well. He is our generation's Carl Sagan. I gave The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth 5 stars; The Selfish Gene is one of the most powerful, eye-opening, consciousness-raising, life-changing books of all time. I am an avid reader of the "Science for the lay person" genre. I realize that Dawkins is trying here to spread scientific understanding to a wider base with this work. However, if you have done any reading in this genre before, you will find this book, well, infantile. Dawkins is covering no new ground here, he's simply glossing over, in as cursory a way, material that he has either done already or should be plainly obvious to the reader. He scores a couple of points for organizing it in a new way, interspersing religious creation myths. But if you have read any Dawkins before, you will certainly come away from this one with the feeling that you've just read the large print, "Dawkins-for-children" cliffs notes of his life's work. I came away from this book feeling that I'd learned nothing that Dawkins hadn't already taught me. This is an absolutely unique case for me with Dawkins' work. I would recommend this only to someone as an introduction to the genre.
  • Do not buy this book!!

    By rongreen
    This is the worst excuse for a book i have ever seen. Who was designed for, 3 year olds?