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Time One: Discover How the Universe Began

by Colin Gillespie

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Time One is a major contribution to the understanding of our universe. Author Colin Gillespie comes up with a strikingly simple answer to the most perplexing question of them all: How did the universe begin? Using forty-seven classic problems of philosophy and cosmology as clues, the narrator and a detective lead the reader to a single elegant solution that reveals the very instant time begins and explains how real time works. Time One explains exactly how the universe is constructed. It tackles the most important issues in physics and cosmology and its answers change everything. It is serious science, written as detective fiction, all in aid of helping the reader understand. It takes an iconoclastic look at contemporary physics, notably relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory. It connects the dots across centuries of philosophy, literature and religion. Its awesome scope and breadth, literary and scientific, and its new explanations of some of our most fundamental questions make Time One a must read for the curious.… (more)
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I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. Gillespie seems to be serious about his physics, and to a non-physicist, it doesn't sound much stranger than currently accepted physics. Gillespie also has what appear to be real physics credentials, too. He seems to have the notion of popularizing high-end physics and encouraging broad popular interest in revitalizing physics.

But there's the rub. If you want to inspire serious interest in physics, it's a bit odd to do it in a book with a fictional narrator on the fringes of a terrorist plot. It's as if he thinks he has to sugar-coat the physics and spoon-feed it to us. Generations of other science popularizers have done far better with far more respect for their readers.

So my verdict on the physics is that it's likely nonsense, fiction created for a rather oddly structured novel.This is unfortunate, because the fictional frame is weak and, at best, annoying.

Our Narrator is full of himself, smarter than everyone, disdainful of his boss but indifferent to her activities even when he suspects the worst. His classist contempt for Frank, the ex-LAPD detective, seems largely disconnected from any real flaws Frank has.

Meanwhile, if Frank or the unnamed boss have any ideals, ethics, or goals, or any motive for the undertaking they're involved in, we certainly don't find out about it.

And really, I don't care. None of these characters is worth the time we spend with them. That's before we get to the question of whether Our Narrator, or the voice in his head, are even sane. This book doesn't work as fiction, and doesn't work as science popularization.

Not recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
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Time One is a major contribution to the understanding of our universe. Author Colin Gillespie comes up with a strikingly simple answer to the most perplexing question of them all: How did the universe begin? Using forty-seven classic problems of philosophy and cosmology as clues, the narrator and a detective lead the reader to a single elegant solution that reveals the very instant time begins and explains how real time works. Time One explains exactly how the universe is constructed. It tackles the most important issues in physics and cosmology and its answers change everything. It is serious science, written as detective fiction, all in aid of helping the reader understand. It takes an iconoclastic look at contemporary physics, notably relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory. It connects the dots across centuries of philosophy, literature and religion. Its awesome scope and breadth, literary and scientific, and its new explanations of some of our most fundamental questions make Time One a must read for the curious.

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